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Honor of Recipients
Joan Dempsey Klein ’54
Presiding Justice, California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District
Joan Dempsey Klein is the presiding justice of the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Three in Los Angeles, a post she has held since 1978. She is currently the most senior appellate justice in the state.
Justice Klein was the deputy attorney general for California from 1955 to 1963. She was then appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court by Governor Pat Brown, and elected to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 1975.
She was a co-founder and the first president of the National Association of Women Judges, as well as the founding president of the California Women Lawyers. She was the first recipient of the California Women Lawyers’ Joan Dempsey Klein Award. In addition to many other honors, she has received the prestigious Bernard E. Witkin Medal from the State Bar of California and the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award.
Martine Rothblatt, PhD ’81
Chairman and CEO, United Therapeutics Corporation
Martine Rothblatt is chairman and CEO of United Therapeutics Corporation, a major U.S. public biotech company. Prior to starting United Therapeutics, she founded and served as chairman and CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio (now Sirius XM).
Upon graduation with a joint J.D./M.B.A. degree from UCLA, she practiced law in Washington, D.C. with Covington & Burling and later with Mahon, Patusky, Rothblatt & Fisher. Her legal practice focused initially on satellite communications law. Later, her practice focused on developing the legal arguments for equal marital rights and for freedom from genetic and reproductive discrimination. The latter work led to her leading the International Bar Association’s effort to present a Human Genome Treaty to the United Nations.
She is currently involved in creating an unlimited supply of transplantable organs via biotechnology, and in the extension of her work in human rights law to cyberconsciousness.