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Judge Duncan Leading Federal Judges Association

Judge Duncan Leading Federal Judges Association

RALEIGH – Circuit Judge Allyson K. Duncan is the new president of the Federal Judges Association (“FJA”), a voluntary group of over 1,100 judges dedicated to preserving the independence of the judiciary.

Judge Duncan, who has chambers in Raleigh, assumed the leadership post today, succeeding Ninth Circuit Judge M. Margaret McKeown of San Diego. Judge Duncan has been a member of the FJA Board of Directors and Executive Committee since 2011 and will serve a two-year term as president.

The FJA is a voluntary association of Article III judges devoted to protecting the independence of the judicial branch. Representing over 80% of the approximately 1,350 active and senior federal judges, the FJA seeks to express the views of Article III judges to other branches of government and the public whenever judicial independence is threatened. From time to time, courts must make unpopular decisions that evoke adverse reactions from the public, the legislature, and the executive branch. The FJA enables those serving in the judicial branch to defend the judiciary’s independence—independence that ultimately protects freedom for all—with a single voice, underscoring the importance of an independent judiciary to a free society even in the face of unpopular decisions. To promote judicial independence, the FJA seeks adequate compensation and support for the courts and works to educate the public about the importance of an independent judiciary and the rule of law.

Nominated by President Bush, Judge Duncan has served on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals since 2003. Prior to coming onto the federal bench, she was a partner in the Raleigh offices of Kilpatrick Stockton, LLP, and prior to that served on the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Utilities Commission, and as Legal Counsel for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, D.C. A North Carolina native, Judge Duncan received her B.A. from Hampton University in 1972 and her J.D. from the Duke University School of Law in 1975.

In addition to her service on the Court, Judge Duncan is an active member of her profession and community. She served as President of the North Carolina Bar Association 2003-2004, and is a member of the Duke University Board of Trustees (chairing the Academic Affairs Committee), the International Judicial Relations Committee of the U.S. Judicial Conference, the American Law Institute, and the Board of the Carolina Ballet.