Justice Christine Durham to Receive National Award

August 31, 2012
American Judicature Society
Seth S. Andersen
(800) 626-4089 or sandersen@ajs.org

Justice Christine Durham of Utah to Receive National Award
Des Moines, Iowa – Hon. Christine M. Durham, Justice of the Utah Supreme Court, has been selected to receive the Eighth Annual Dwight D. Opperman Award for Judicial Excellence from the American Judicature Society. Justice Randy Holland of the Delaware Supreme Court, chair of the award selection panel, said “Justice Durham is the personification of judicial excellence.”
In her nomination letter, former Chief Justice Ruth V. McGregor of the Arizona Supreme Court, who received the Second Annual Dwight D. Opperman Award, said, “[Justice Durham] has served the public for almost thirty years; during that time, she has demonstrated her commitment to the rule of law, to the administration of justice, and to judicial and legal education. She has served as a role model to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of young women and men who see in her the characteristics they hope someday to possess.”

Justice Durham served as Chief Justice and Chair of the Utah Judicial Council from 2002 to 2012. She has also served as President of the Conference of Chief Justices; Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Center for State Courts; Chair of the American Bar Association’s Council on Legal Education; a member of the American Judicature Society’s Board of Directors; and, President of the National Association of Women Judges. Justice Durham was a founding member of both the initial American Inn and the National Association of Women Judges. She is presently serving as Chair of the Initiative on Utah Children in Foster Care; Chair of the Utah Judicial Council’s Education Committee; a member of the Council of the American Law Institute; a member of the Board of Overseers of the Rand Corporation’s Institute of Civil Justice; and as an emeritus member of the Duke University Board of Trustees. She is a fellow of the American Bar Association and a recipient of the William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence.
Justice Durham began her judicial career only seven years after graduation from law school and was appointed to the Utah Supreme Court in 1982. Prior to this appointment she served on the Utah District Court. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and earned her J.D. from Duke University School of Law.
Justice Durham was chosen by the three-member panel: Justice Randy Holland of the Delaware Supreme Court and last year’s Opperman Award recipient; Judge Martha Jamison, 14th Court of Appeals (TX); and Judge Jon Comstock, Bentonville County Courts (AR). The American Judicature Society (AJS) created the Dwight D. Opperman Award for Judicial Excellence to honor state trial and appellate judges for distinguished judicial service. The award is named for Dwight D. Opperman, former chairman and CEO of West Publishing Company. Opperman is a Distinguished Lifetime Director of AJS.
Founded in 1913, the American Judicature Society is a nonpartisan organization with a national membership of judges, lawyers, and other citizens interested in improving our nation’s courts and the administration of justice. The AJS mission is to secure and promote an independent and qualified judiciary and a fair system of justice. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.ajs.org.

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