2008 Warren E. Burger Award for Excellence in Court Administration Recipient

Honorable Sue K. Dosal

Sue K. Dosal, state court administrator of the Minnesota Judicial Branch, has been named the recipient of the 2008 Warren E. Burger Award by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). One of the highest awards presented by the NCSC, the Burger Award is named for the former Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court who helped found the NCSC in 1971. The award honors an individual who has made significant contributions to the improvement of state or local court operations and whose work has application to courts nationwide.

Since taking office in July 1982, Dosal has helped pass the constitutional amendment creating the Minnesota Court of Appeals and obtained funding for and oversaw the planning and construction of the Minnesota Judicial Center, which houses the state appellate courts and her office. Most recently, she was the catalyst behind the 15-year transformation of the Minnesota judicial system from 87 county-based entities — each with its own priorities, employees, and funding — to a unified system with more than 300 judges, 3,000 employees, and a nearly $300 million annual budget funded by the state legislature.

In a letter nominating Dosal for the award, former Minnesota Chief Justices Russell A. Anderson and Kathleen A. Blatz, wrote: “Sue has been central to the success of every major effort of the court system in Minnesota. On numerous occasions, we have been struck, and sometimes overwhelmed, by the lofty nature of her ideals and vision for the judicial branch.”

In addition to her work in Minnesota, Dosal had served as a member of the NCSC Board of Directors, president of the Conference of State Court Administrators, and chair of the National Court Interpreter Consortium, an organization that she helped found to ensure proper training and certification for court interpreters across the country.

Dosal also was recognized by the NCSC earlier this year with an induction into the Warren E. Burger Society, which honors individuals who have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to improving the administration of justice through extraordinary contributions of service and support to the NCSC.

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. The NCSC provides leadership, research, education and technology services to state courts and courts around the world. It also has offices in Arlington, Va., Denver, Colo., and Washington, D.C.