By: Rebecca Perez Santo Tomas of Lujan Aguigui & Perez, LLP
Retired Supreme Court Justice Janet Healy Weeks returned to the island she called home for more than 30 years, as the proud recipient of this year’s Hustisia Award. This award is given to recognize a person or organization that has contributed significantly to the improvement of the administration of justice and of good government in Guam.
A native of Quincy, Massachusetts, Justice Weeks graduated from Emmanuel College in Boston in 1955 with a degree in Chemistry, and received her law degree in 1958 from Boston College School of Law. Upon graduation, she was selected for the prestigious Attorney General’s Honor Graduate Program, and served in that capacity with the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. She was an associate with the law firm of Trapp & Gayle in 1971, and four years later, became a partner in the firm of Trapp, Gayle, Teker, Weeks & Freedman.
She was appointed to the Superior Court of Guam in 1975, and served our community as a judge for more than 21 years, presiding over both criminal and civil cases. She has also served as designated judge in the District Court of Guam. On April 21, 1996, she was sworn in as Justice of the newly created Supreme Court of Guam. During her tenure, Justice Weeks authored opinions analyzing many legal issues including the doctrine of separation of powers, and the remedy of mandamus.
Justice Weeks has the noteworthy distinction of being the first female judge appointed to the bench on Guam and the first woman admitted to the Guam Bar. Her service extends throughout the communities of Micronesia; she was the first female judge appointed to the bench in Micronesia. She sat as a designated justice in the Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia and is a justice pro tem in the Supreme Court of the Republic of Palau.
Upon her retirement from the Supreme Court, she was recognized during Congressional session by Delegate Robert A. Underwood: “Justice Weeks’ devotion to the island of Guam, its people, and the judicial system is her utmost legacy. . . The decades of service she dedicated to the people of Guam has truly earned her a place in our hearts,” he said.
Justice Weeks, who is celebrating the 10th anniversary of her retirement from the Supreme Court bench, took the time to share with members of the Guam Bar her firsthand historical perspective on the practice of law on Guam and development of the Guam Judiciary, including the creation of the Guam Supreme Court. Her presentation, “Weeks at a Time,” was held during Law Week on Thursday, April 30, 2009, at the Guam Supreme Court.
“We are delighted and honored to recognize the important role that Justice Weeks has played in our island’s legal and judicial history,” said Chief Justice Robert J. Torres. The Hustisia Award was presented to Justice Weeks on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. in the Justice Monessa G. Lujan Courtroom, Supreme Court.