An Honor to Follow in Their Footsteps

By Doerfer, Gordon L. | Judicature, September/October 2008 | Go to article overview

An Honor to Follow in Their Footsteps


Doerfer, Gordon L., Judicature


As I looked at the list of the elected leaders of AJS I reflected on the great talent and experience they have brought to this organization, and what a great responsibility and honor it is to try to follow in their footsteps. Most recently, Jack Tunheim gave us his steady thoughtful leadership as we balanced our initiatives in forensic science and criminal justice reform with our historic focus on such issues as judicial selection and retention, judicial ethics, the jury, and increasing public understanding of the judicial system.

Since Jack's last report we have continued our close collaboration with the ABA and its new president, Tommy Wells, by taking a seat on the commission he created on fair and impartial state courts. Our editorial in this issue on the impending crisis in the funding of state courts illuminates an issue that the Commission will address.

I am happy to report that Professor Charles Geyh has agreed to serve as the successor to Professor Stephen Burbank as the chair of the AJS editorial committee. The first product of that committee appears in this issue.

AJS has many other hard working committees and I have been pleased to augment many of them with some additional appointments. To those who have already served with great distinction, many thanks. The membership of those committees and their chairs are listed on our website. We also acknowledge the unique contributions of the National Advisory Council and look to its members for continuing inspiration and suggestions and as much involvement as they can give.

We are truly blessed with an outstanding staff. Our executive vicepresident, Seth Andersen, is ably assisted in Des Moines and elsewhere by very dedicated and hard working people. This was amply illustrated by a series of events that occurred since the annual meeting in August. Seth and I made a trip to Greensboro, North Carolina, in August to meet with a variety of people in the Elon University community with whom we have a close working relationship. We also conferred with Greensboro civic leaders who have so generously sup ported our efforts there. I was also given a cordial welcome in Durham, through the courtesy and energy of NAC member Robinson Everett at Duke University School of Law . The AJS staff handled the logistics with great efficiency.

A few weeks later Seth was taken out of commission by a sudden illness and only returned recently.

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