Longtime Idaho courts director takes job with national center

krodine@idahostatesman.comJuly 1, 2014 

Idaho Supreme Court, Tobias, Warren E. Burger Award

Patti Tobias, administrative director of the state courts, works in the Idaho Supreme Court building in Downtown Boise. In front of her is the national Warren E. Burger Award that was presented to her Feb. 26. The trophy portrays blindfolded Lady Justice; a friend fashioned a boa for the statue, bedecked with gold glitter because “everything needs bling,” Tobias says.

DARIN OSWALD — doswald@idahostatesman.com Buy Photo

Patti Tobias, longtime administrative director of Idaho’s court system, will be leaving at the end of August for a new position with the National Center for State Courts in Denver.

“It is very emotional leaving Idaho,” Tobias said Tuesday. “I have been here more than 20 years in this position, and it’s been a real privilege.”

Last year, the national center honored Tobias with the Warren E. Burger Award for Excellence in Court Administration. Now she will go to work at the center’s court consulting center in Denver, the city where she earned her master’s in judicial administration.

“There’s a certain symmetry to it,” she said. “I’ll work with all of the state courts, the chief justices, the court administrators, trial courts and all of the offices that interact with state courts.”

In his letter nominating Tobias for the Burger Award, Idaho Chief Justice Roger Burdick called her “an innovator, a ceaseless worker, a masterful administrator in Idaho and just as competent and important nationally."

In Idaho, Tobias oversees operation of the Idaho Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and district, magistrate and problem-solving courts throughout the state. The recruitment process to replace her starts this week, with July 28 set as the application deadline.

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