Patricia W. Griffin has served as the State Court Administrator for Delaware since 2005. At the Administrative Office of the Courts (“AOC”), she has focused on enhancing the services provided by the AOC to the Courts and others. AOC core support services include judicial budget coordination, court interpreter/language access services, human resources support, judicial education and staff training, court security, New Castle County Courthouse centralized operations (mailroom, facilities, and security), access to justice initiatives, community education and outreach, court information/news media coordination, research and analysis, Judicial Branch committee staffing and policy development, legislative support and coordination, specialty courts, grant writing, technology coordination (projects, infrastructure support, problem solving, website assistance, and process improvement), and court collections enforcement.
As State Court Administrator, she served as co-chair of the Delaware Supreme Court’s Delaware Courts: Fairness for All initiative. On the national level, she served on the Board of Directors of the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) (2009 – 2012), and currently serves as co-chair of the Access, Fairness, and Public Trust Joint Committee of the Conference of Chief Justices and COSCA, and as chair of COSCA’s Language Access Advisory Committee. She also worked closely with the National Consortium for Language Access in the Courts, serving as chair of the Executive Committee and subsequently as COSCA’s liaison to the group. With her leadership, the Consortium was named as a finalist of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government’s Innovations in Government Award in 2003.
Prior to becoming the State Court Administrator, Patricia Griffin had been the Chief Magistrate of the Justice of the Peace Court for the State of Delaware from 1993 through 2005. In that position, she was responsible for a number of important initiatives. Perhaps chief among these was the establishment of the Court’s highly successful Truancy Court, which received several national awards, including the 2003 Program of the Year and the 2004 Crystal Star Award from the National Center for Truancy and Dropout Prevention. As Chief Magistrate, she also focused on enhancing the professionalism of the Justice of the Peace Court system by creating a formal legal education program for justices of the peace, among other initiatives. In addition, she led the way in developing projects to make more efficient use of resources, such as the Videophone Court, which saves time and money for the law enforcement community and corrections by providing them with expedited access to a judge.
Patricia received the National Center for State Courts 2012 Distinguished Service Award, the “Mission” Award from the Consortium for Language Access in the Courts (2011), Hall of Fame for Delaware Women (2005), Person of the Year by the International Association for Truancy and Dropout Prevention (2004), and the Chief Justice’s Outstanding Judicial Service Award (1998).
She is a member of both the Delaware and Pennsylvania Bars and she has authored or co-authored law review articles on court interpreter issues and judicial immunity, as well as COSCA’s 2007 position paper on court interpretation and access to justice.
Prior to serving as Chief Magistrate, she was in the private practice of law in Sussex County. She has also worked for the Administrative Office of the United States Courts and as Assistant Dean at the University of North Carolina School of Law and the Washington and Lee School of Law. She graduated, cum laude, from Duke University with a B.A. degree and a J.D. degree from Washington and Lee University School of Law.