Lorri Montgomery
Director of Communications
National Center for State Courts

Rhode Island judge receives award from national court organization

Williamsburg, VA (March 24, 2014) -- Rhode Island Judge Edward C. Clifton is the recipient of the National Center for State Courts’ 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 date and location of the award presentation are being finalized.

Judge Clifton is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts, an association managed by NCSC. In 2012, Judge Clifton was elected the consortium’s president/moderator.

“Judge Clifton’s commitment to the justice system and his vision to improve access and fairness in the courts continues to make a positive difference in the nation’s court community. His contributions of innovation, experience, and expertise provide leadership that helps our courts work more efficiently,” said NCSC President Mary C. McQueen.

Judge Clifton has served as an Associate Justice on the Rhode Island Superior Court for nearly 20 years. He also presided over the Providence County Adult Drug Court from 1998 to 2004, which was the first adult drug court in the state. He is a member of the Rhode Island Supreme Court’s Permanent Committee on Women & Minorities, and was one of the original incorporators of the Thurgood Marshall Law Society of Rhode Island, Inc. From 2003 – 2006, he served on the Magistrate/Judge Selection Panel for the U.S. District Court – District of Rhode Island. 

Judge Clifton serves on the Board of Trustees of Roger Williams University School of Law. He also co-chairs of the Black Philanthropy Initiative, a fund at the Rhode Island Foundation. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2005 recipient of the Neil J. Houston, Jr. Award from Justice Assistance for service to the criminal justice profession.

He received his juris doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles, (U.C.L.A.) in 1975.  Prior to law school, he completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in psychology, following his service from 1966-68 in the United States Army.

The National Center for State Courts, headquartered in Williamsburg, Va., is a nonprofit court reform 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