Lorri Montgomery
Director of Communications
National Center for State Courts

NYC Criminal Court chief clerk to receive 2019 Warren E. Burger Award

Williamsburg, Va., Dec. 17, 2019 — Justin Barry, chief clerk of New York City Criminal Court, is the recipient of the National Center for State Court’s 2019 Warren E. Burger Award for Excellence in Court Administration, which recognizes a court leader, other than a sitting judge, whose work has significantly contributed to improving the administration of the state courts. This award – named for the former U.S. Supreme Court chief justice who helped found NCSC – honors a person who demonstrates professional expertise, leadership, integrity, creativity, innovativeness, and sound judgment.

Barry is credited with playing a key role in reducing case backlogs, increasing trial capacity and improving disposition times as well as instituting policy reforms to modernize the New York City Criminal Court, which processes nearly 200,000 cases a year. As the court’s highest ranking non-judicial official, he prepares and implements the court’s annual multi-million-dollar budget, manages day-to-day court operations and supervises more than 1,300 employees throughout the city’s five boroughs. An attorney, he also assists the court’s administrative judge with policy matters and researches complex legal and operational initiatives, among other duties.

“I have the highest regard for Justin Barry, who is always available to troubleshoot any issues that arise,” said Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks. “Over the course of his stellar court career, Mr. Barry has led the implementation of alternative-to-incarceration courts and instituted significant improvements in the processing and adjudication of New York City’s tens of thousands of summonses for quality-of-life offenses.”

What’s more, he has played a critical role in implementing the Chief Judge’s Excellence Initiative, contributing greatly to the criminal court’s dramatic success in reducing case backlogs, increasing trial capacity and improving disposition times. Additionally, he has instituted innovative operational and policy reforms that have modernized the court and strengthened the criminal justice system.

“Justin Barry is an exceptional leader, possessing vision, knowledge, and determination to make a difference and improve the administration of justice,” said NCSC President Mary McQueen, who will present the Burger Award to him at a yet-to-be-determined date and place next year. “He has effectively served the New York City Criminal Court, implementing numerous innovative programs that improve lives. He is – and has been for many years – the person who judges and other leaders in that court turn to when they need solutions to problems and improvements to operations. He is very deserving of the Burger Award.”

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.



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