Lorri Montgomery
Director of Communications
National Center for State Courts

Michigan Appellate Court judge named recipient of national court organization’s Distinguished Service Award

Williamsburg, Va. (October 1, 2015) – Michigan Judge William B. Murphy is the recipient of the National Center for State Courts' (NCSC) 2015 Distinguished Service Award, one of the highest awards presented by the organization. The Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to those who have made significant contributions to the justice system and who have supported the mission of NCSC. The award will be presented to Judge Murphy October 9, during the annual meeting of the National Council of Chief Judges of State Courts of Appeal in New Jersey.  

"Judge Murphy has built a national reputation as an innovator in court services. He has demonstrated exceptional leadership in the way he administers the finances, case management, and work assignments of his court." said NCSC President Mary C. McQueen.

Judge Murphy was appointed to the Michigan Court of Appeals in 1988 after being in private practice for 17 years. He served as the Court’s Chief Judge from 2009 until 2015. During this time, Judge Murphy led a reengineering project to address budget shortfalls that redesigned the fundamental internal business operations of the Court. Under his guidance, the Michigan Court of Appeals was named a leader in automation of court business practices by the National Center for State Courts. He serves on the Executive Committee of the National Council of Chief Judges of State Courts of Appeal and was instrumental in developing a major policy paper for that organization titled: “The Role of State Intermediate Appellate Courts: Principles for Adapting to Change.”

Judge Murphy has been a member of the Open Justice Commission and the Michigan Justice Project. He is a lecturer for the Michigan Judicial Institute and is an adjunct professor at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.

NCSC presents six Distinguished Service awards annually to those who have made significant contributions to the court system and to the work of the NCSC. The awards recognize one person from each of the following categories: current of former state appellate judge; current of former state trial judge; state-level court administrator or employee; trial-level court administrator or employee; attorney or other individual not employed by the courts; and current or former international judge or court executive.

The National Center for State Courts, headquartered in Williamsburg, Va., is a nonprofit court organization dedicated to improving the administration of justice by providing leadership and service to the state courts. Founded in 1971 by the Conference of Chief Justices and Chief Justice of the United States Warren E. Burger, NCSC provides education, training, technology, management, and research services to the nation’s state courts.


National Center for State Courts, 300 Newport Avenue, Williamsburg, VA  23185-4147