American Judicature Society Elects Officers and Directors for 2008 – 2009 Term


Des Moines, Iowa – Gordon L. Doerfer of Boston, Massachusetts took office as President of the American Judicature Society at the Society’s Annual Meeting in New York on August 7. Doerfer retired last year from the bench after twenty-five years of service on the trial and appellate courts of Massachusetts. He now serves as a mediator and arbitrator on the panel of neutrals at JAMS – The Resolution Experts.

He is a member of the American Law Institute, the Institute for Judicial Administration, a fellow of the American and Massachusetts Bar Foundations, and a trustee of the Flaschner Judicial Institute. Doerfer served as the chair of the Administration of Justice Section of the Boston Bar Association and as President of the Boston Inn of Court. In addition, he is a member of the adjunct faculty of the Suffolk University Law School. He currently serves on the American Bar Association Presidential Commission on Fair and Impartial Courts.

Doerfer stated, “The American Judicature Society has a long and honored tradition, approaching 100 years, of bringing citizens, judges, lawyers and academics together to work for the improvement of our system of justice. I look forward to working with our dedicated, hard-working Board and National Advisory Council and highly professional staff to advance the mission of AJS.”

Also elected at the meeting were the Society’s officers: AJS President-Elect Carole Wagner Vallianos, attorney in private practice based in Manhattan Beach, CA; Vice-presidents George W. Madison, Executive Vice-President and General Counsel for TIAA-CREF in New York and Martin H. Belsky, Dean of the University of Akron School of Law in Akron, Ohio. Judge Peter D. Webster of the Florida First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee, Florida was elected Secretary, and William D. Johnston, attorney with Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP in Wilmington, Delaware was elected Treasurer. Dennis Courtland Hayes, Interim President and CEO of the national NAACP, headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland will serve as Chair of the National Advisory Council.

New members of the AJS Board of Directors include: Jon B. Comstock, Associate General Counsel in the Legal Department for Compliance-Data Security and Privacy at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in Bentonville, Arkansas, and Thomas C. Leighton, Vice President, Content Acquisition & Government Relations for Thomson West in Eagan, Minnesota.

For a complete list of the AJS Board members and biographies, visit the AJS website at:


Founded in 1913, The American Judicature Society is a nonpartisan organization with a national membership of judges, lawyers and other citizens interested in improving our nation’s courts and the administration of justice. The AJS mission is to ensure a fair, impartial, independent judiciary; improve the criminal justice process; educate the public; and build confidence in the justice system. For more information, please visit our website at

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