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State Court Administrator Dan Becker has announced he will be retiring May 1, after 21 years of service.
Speaking before the Utah Courts' annual judicial conference in Park City, Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Matthew B. Durrant said Utah's judicial system has become widely respected throughout the country for its quality of judges, governance, and administration. "We are fortunate to live and work in a judicial system that is truly a national model," Durrant said in a news release.
Durrant attributed this to three things: quality judges who are chosen through a non-partisan, merit-based process that is as exacting and rigorous as any in the country; Utah's unique courts governance structure through the Utah Judicial Council; and the 21 years of leadership Becker has provided. "The consensus nationally is that Utah has the best court administrator in the country," Durrant said.
A nationwide search for a new court administrator will be conducted in November and December. Interviews will be conducted by the Utah Judicial Council's Management Committee, which will select three finalists to send to the Utah Supreme Court chief justice, who will select a nominee. By state statute, the nominee must be confirmed upon the concurrence of the Utah Supreme Court.
Becker said he was grateful for the Utah Supreme Court's confidence in him over the years.
"The Supreme Court took a chance when they hired a young man from North Carolina in 1995," Becker said. "I was honored to be appointed, and even more honored to have had the opportunity to serve so long. Utah has one of the finest court systems in the country, and I'm very proud to have been a part of the very fine work being done every day by our judges and staff."
"Utah's court system is the international gold standard," for state court systems, said Mary C. McQueen, president of the National Center for State Courts.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert lauded Becker's commitment to the Utah courts. "We are better off because of Dan's 21 years of dedicated service," Herbert told judges. "Utah's court system is second to none in the nation, largely because of individuals such as Dan who work with diligence and devotion."
From 1984 to 1995, Becker worked for the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts serving in the positions of: deputy director (1993-1995); court services administrator (1986-1993); and assistant to the director (1984-1986). He also held the position of trial court administrator for the Fourteenth Judicial District of North Carolina, and assistant director of operations for the Georgia Administrative Office of the Courts.
Becker was the recipient of the 2006 Warren E. Burger Award for Excellence in Judicial Administration, and has been appointed twice by President Barack Obama to the board of directors of the State Justice Institute, and became its acting chairman earlier this year. He holds a B.A. and M.P.A. from Florida Atlantic University.