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For Immediate Release For Further Information Contact:
November 4, 2014 Kathleen L. Arberg (202) 479-3211

            Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., today announced the appointment of James C. Duff as the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, effective January 5, 2015. He succeeds Judge John D. Bates, who has directed the agency since 2013. Mr. Duff has served as the president and CEO of the Freedom Forum and CEO of the Newseum and Newseum Institute since 2011. This is Mr. Duff’s second appointment to lead the Administrative Office. He previously served as Director from 2006 to 2011. Judge Bates will return full-time to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
            The Director of the Administrative Office is the chief administrative officer of the federal courts. He serves under the direction of the Judicial Conference of the United States, the principal policy-making body for the federal court system. The Chief Justice is the presiding officer of the Conference, which is composed of the chief judges of the 13 courts of appeals, a district judge from each of the 12 geographic circuits, and the chief judge of the Court of International Trade. The Chief Justice selects the Director.

            In announcing his selection, the Chief Justice noted, “Judge Bates has done a superb job in supporting the needs of the Judiciary in a challenging budgetary environment. As much as I appreciate his invaluable service, I understand his desire to re-dedicate his considerable energy to judicial service. On behalf of the Judiciary, I thank him for his leadership. I am delighted to welcome Jim Duff to succeed Judge Bates. Jim earned the full confidence of the Judiciary during five years of exceptional service between 2006 and 2011, and we are very fortunate that he has agreed to return.”

            Judge Bates reflected on his service with gratitude, stating, “I thank the Chief Justice for the opportunity to serve as Director. Thanks to the tireless efforts of judges, court staff, and AO personnel, we have successfully weathered several difficult challenges over the past eighteen months. It has been a privilege to be part of that collective effort, and I look forward to continuing to serve the public and the Judiciary in the future. And, I am thrilled to leave the AO in the extremely capable hands of my friend, Jim Duff.”

            Mr. Duff will be responsible for the management of the Administrative Office, which has approximately 1,000 employees, and for providing administrative support to 2,400 judicial officers, and nearly 29,000 court employees. He will serve as liaison for the judicial branch in its relations with Congress, including working with congressional committees to secure the Judiciary’s annual appropriation and executing the Judiciary’s budget.

            In accepting this appointment, Mr. Duff stated, “I am very grateful to Chief Justice Roberts for the privilege of working with our federal Judiciary again. I gained a deep respect for the outstanding men and women who serve in the judicial branch in my first job in Chief Justice Burger’s chambers nearly 40 years ago and it has only grown over the years. It is an honor to follow the excellent service of Judge Bates and Judge Hogan, and I hope my recent experience at the Newseum of educating the public about our Constitution will enhance my ability to serve the Judiciary.”

            Mr. Duff has extensive management, legislative, and litigation experience and has served under three Chief Justices. Prior to his leadership of the Freedom Forum and the Newseum, Mr. Duff served as the Director of the Administrative Office for five years. He was managing partner of the Washington, D.C., office of Baker & Donelson from 2000-2006, representing clients in various legislative, corporate, and litigation matters. Mr. Duff was Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist’s administrative assistant from 1996-2000, serving as the chief of staff at the U.S. Supreme Court, and as liaison to the other two branches of government on behalf of the Chief Justice. He began his career as an office and courtroom assistant to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, while attending law school. After graduating from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1981, Mr. Duff became an associate and then a partner at Clifford & Warnke where he practiced in antitrust litigation and legislative matters until 1991, when most of the firm merged with Howrey & Simon.

            Mr. Duff graduated from the University of Kentucky Honors Program in 1975 where he was Phi Beta Kappa, and received a J.D. from the Georgetown Law Center in 1981. He has taught constitutional law at Georgetown University, and he has served on several boards, including the Capital Hospice Foundation, the Supreme Court Historical Society, Freedom House, and the Lawyers’ Committee of the National Center for State Courts. He was appointed to the Georgetown Law Center’s Board of Visitors in 2014 and was named to the University of Kentucky Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 2012.

            Mr. Duff is married to Kathleen Gallagher Duff. They have three children, Matthew, Kaitlin, and Scott.


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