The Honorable Jan R. Jurden, a Delaware native, was appointed to the Superior Court of Delaware in May 2001 and elevated to President Judge of the Superior Court on January 13, 2015.
After serving three years in the United States Army overseas, Judge Jurden received her B.A. summa cum laude from Muhlenberg College in 1985 and her J.D. from the Dickinson School of Law (now the Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University) in 1988 where she was an Articles Editor of the Law Review and a member of the Woolsack Honor Society.
She practiced law as an Associate with the law firm of Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor from 1988 to 1995 concentrating on corporate, commercial and personal injury litigation, and became a Partner in 1996. She continued her law practice at Young, Conaway until May 2001. During her 13 years at Young, Conaway, Judge Jurden litigated cases in the U.S. District Court, Delaware Supreme Court, Superior Court, Court of Chancery, Family Court and Court of Common Pleas.
Since its inception in 2008, Judge Jurden has overseen Superior Court's Mental Health Court. She oversaw the Conflict Attorney Program, providing representation for indigent defendants from 2006 to 2008. She previously served as Criminal Administrative Judge. She is a member of the Court's Complex Commercial Litigation Division.
Judge Jurden is a member of the American Bar and the Delaware State Bar Associations and the National Association of Women Judges. She is a member of the Advisory Committee on the Delaware Rules of Evidence and the Advisory Committee on Professionalism. She is a former member of the Richard S. Rodney Inn of Court.
Judge Jurden was the 2011 recipient of the Outstanding Service to the Courts and Bar Award, presented by the Delaware State Bar Association to a judge or lawyer who "by exemplary service to the Delaware Courts and the Delaware Bar has substantially assisted the Courts and the Bar and strengthened the public trust and confidence in the State's court system and the administration of justice."
She was the 2009 recipient of Sylvia H. Rambo Award presented by the Women's Law Caucus of the Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law "honoring a woman in the legal profession who has had a distinguished career and who, by example, has made the professional success of other women more likely."
She was the 1997 recipient of the Caleb R. Layton III Service Award awarded to one who "personifies the qualities of a federal practitioner, legal acumen, professional decorum and public service."
She was also the 1996 recipient of the New Lawyers Distinguished Service Award, awarded to one who, "by exemplary leadership and service dedicated to the cause of good citizenship in civic and humanitarian service over a period of less than ten years has maintained the integrity and honored recognition of the legal profession in community affairs and who, as an outstanding Delawarean, has unceasingly advanced the ideals of citizen participation and community accomplishment, thus reflecting high honor on both country and profession."
Judge Jurden's present term ends January 13, 2027.