4-day Pacific Judicial Council kicks off

130 judges, justices, lawyers, guests gather for biennial conference

U.S. District Court for Guam Chief Judge and Pacific Judicial Conference president Frances Tydingco-Gatewood and CNMI Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro, both seated center in the first row, pose for a photo with judges, justices, and lawyers from the U.S. district courts and judiciaries from the CNMI, Guam, Palau, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Chuuk, Yap, American Samoa, Philippines, and from schools of law in the U.S. mainland, at yesterday’s kickoff of the four-day PJC’s biennial conference at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan’s Hibiscus Hall. (Ferdie De La Torre)

The four-day Pacific Judicial Council biennial conference kicked off Tuesday with 130 judges, justices, lawyers, law clerks, and other guests at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan’s Hibiscus Hall.

Participants come from PJC member judiciaries—the CNMI, Guam, American Samoa, Palau, Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Yap. Fifteen judges from the Philippines also joined the conference.

Guam Supreme Court Associate Justice F. Philip Carbullido, who is chairman of the PJC education committee, served as the master of ceremony.

Over 30 judges and justices as well as members of the CNMI Bar Association joined the conference.

U.S. District Court for Guam chief judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood, who is PJC president, welcomed the delegates.

Member jurisdictions rotate hosting the biennial conference. The CNMI Judiciary hosted the conference in 2009. PJC was created in 1991.

Presentations for the next few days will provide a comprehensive range of issues from immigration control, military buildup, ethics and social media, to evidence and judicial writing.

Tuesay’s speakers were University of California Davis School of Law professor Carlton F. W. Larson, Joint Region Marianas commander Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield, and U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington Senior U.S. district judge John C. Coughenour.

The conference will end on Friday.

Funding for the conference comes from the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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