At the annual meeting of the American Bar Association in August, judge William C. Carpenter, Jr. of the Superior Court of Delaware was elected chair of the National Conference of State Trial Judges (NCSTJ). The NCSTJ is the oldest and largest organization of general jurisdiction state trial judges in the nation. It acts as an advocate for issues affecting trial judges nationwide and represents their interests within the American Bar Association. The NCSTJ also provides a national forum for judges to exchange information on common issues and concerns and will assist and collaborate with other legal entities to address those issues. In accepting the position judge Carpenter stated “This is a critical time for many courts throughout the country with reduction in funding and attacks by groups who believe a court is ruling inconsistent with their political, religious or social beliefs. As such, the mission of the conference will be to not only improve the administration of justice but to promote the public’s understanding of our judicial system to ensure that the third branch of our government remains independent and is free to rule fairly and impartially.”
Judge Carpenter is the first Delaware judge to hold this leadership position, and his chairmanship will continue through the summer of 2013. His election also results in a unique situation where Delaware judges now lead two of the largest and most influential judicial conferences in the country. Chief Justice Myron T. Steele is the chair of the National Conference of Chief Justices and judge Carpenter is chair of the National Conference of State Trial Judges.