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Kevin Burke Elected President of American Judges Association

Posted: Monday, September 19, 2011

Fourth Judicial District Judge Kevin Burke has been elected president of the American Judges Association. The installation took place Thursday, September 15, at the association’s annual meeting in San Diego, CA.  Judge Burke currently serves in the Fourth Judicial District’s Family Court in Minneapolis, MN.

The American Judges Association acts to promote the effective administration of justice; to maintain the status and independence of the judiciary; to provide a forum for the continuing education of its members and the general public; and for the exchange of new ideas among all judges.

The Association has a membership of more than 3,000, which includes both present and former judges of courts of all jurisdictions in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and The Virgin Islands.

“I have been fortunate to receive many honors in my career and this is among the most special,” said Burke. “The courts in the United States and Canada are facing enormous challenges. This may well be the most difficult time for the judiciary in several generations. I know one person cannot meet those challenges successfully alone, nor even have universally accepted suggestions on how courts should respond. But I hope to make a significant contribution and the members who elected me will not be disappointed in my efforts.”

Judge Burke was appointed to the bench in 1984 and elected in 1986, 1992, 1998, 2004 and 2010. During his time on the bench he has twice served as Fourth Judicial District Chief Judge, from 1992-1996 and 2000- 2004. He served as presiding judge of the Hennepin County District Court Drug Court from 1997 – 2000. Burke has held a number of leadership positions at the state and national level, including chair of the Minnesota Conference of Chief Judges from 1991 to1996; membership on the Board of Directors of the National Center for State Courts from 1995 to 2001; and membership on the Board of Directors of the American Judicature Society from 2004 to present.

In 2003, Judge Burke was honored with the National Center for State Court’s (NCSC) William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence.  Then-president of the NCSC, Roger K. Warren said, “I don’t know of a more innovative trial judge in America, or one who has had a greater national impact.  Judge Burke is indefatigable in the pursuit of judicial reform.”