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March 2006

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This article is in the news archives --- for current news go to the Third Branch News.


Judicial Conference Recognizes Director's Service to Judiciary

In a resolution presented by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., the Judicial Conference recognized “with appreciation, admiration and respect” the service of Leonidas Ralph Mecham as Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Mecham has served under three chief justices and for more than 20 years as the Administrative Office’s director, earning him the distinction of serving longer than any previous director in the agency’s history. The resolution read, in part:

“Under Ralph Mecham’s stewardship, the federal court system has flourished. Ralph Mecham has focused on enhancing support to the Judicial Conference and its committees, building relationships, and providing excellent services to judges and the courts. He has also promoted effectiveness and achievement in all Judiciary programs. Ralph Mecham’s acumen for legislative affairs greatly strengthened the Judiciary’s ability to communicate its budgetary and legislative needs to Congress and the executive branch. His success in securing adequate resources for the Judiciary in tight budgetary climates enabled federal courts to maintain high standards of service to the public while carrying out the Judiciary’s critical mission. He tirelessly pursued increases in judges’ and court executives’ pay and enhancements of benefits to ensure that the federal Judiciary can recruit and retain the best people. He created a program that enabled the Judiciary to obtain funding for new courthouses to replace aging, unsafe facilities, and he pushed to enhance judicial security.

Ralph Mecham has endeavored to reach out across the judicial family to build strong relationships and seek broad input. He championed innovations that have revolutionized court administration. His initiative to decentralize financial and management responsibilities to the courts provided judges and court managers with the flexibility they needed to address their unique requirements and priorities, and enhanced accountability and effectiveness. Recognizing early the potential benefits of new technologies, he transformed court operations through the deployment of a data communications network and numerous systems.

Ralph Mecham’s visionary leadership, deep devotion to the independence and integrity of the federal Judiciary, and unflagging spirit, drive and determination have left an enduring legacy for federal judicial administration. A man of remarkable intelligence and good humor, he has inspired others to accomplish a great deal, as well.”