Lorri Montgomery
Director of Communications
National Center for State Courts


Long-time New York chief judge inducted into Warren E. Burger Society

Williamsburg, Va., Nov. 14, 2018 — Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, a reformer who served at all levels of the New York State Court System for more than four decades, is being inducted into the National Center for State Courts’ Warren E. Burger Society.

The Burger Society honors individuals who have used their time, talent, and support to the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) in exceptional ways. It is named for the former chief justice of the United States who helped found NCSC in 1971. The induction ceremony takes place Nov. 15 in Washington, D.C.

Chief Judge Lippman has the distinction of serving as the longest-tenured chief administrative judge in New York state history, playing a central role in many far-reaching judicial system reforms. From 1996 to 2007, he served as chief administrative judge, from 2007 to 2009, he was the presiding judge of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, and from 2009 to 2015, chief judge of the Court of Appeals.         

During his tenure on the Court of Appeals, Chief Judge Lippman authored major decisions addressing constitutional, statutory, and common law issues shaping the law of New York, the contours of state government, and the lives of all New Yorkers. As the state’s chief judge, he championed equal access to justice issues, including leading efforts to improve funding for civil legal services.  He created human trafficking courts across New York, and he led efforts to reform New York’s juvenile justice system and bail and pre-trial justice systems. Chief Judge Lippman also created a statewide salary commission for judges, and he championed the state’s commercial division as a venue for business litigation.

He served as vice chair of NCSC’s Board of Directors, and in 2008 he received the William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence, the most prestigious award given to state court judges.

He has also received the American Bar Association’s John Marshall Award and the Mary C. McQueen Award for Excellence and Leadership in Justice System Improvement.  Chief Judge Lippman today is of counsel in the New York office of Latham & Watkins LLP, and serves as chair of the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, a commission formed to examine the future of the Riker’s Island jail facilities in the context of systemic criminal justice reform. 

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