State Supreme Court clerk elected president of national group


CHARLESTON -- West Virginia Supreme Court Clerk Rory Perry is the new president of the National Conference of Appellate Court Clerks.

He was installed as president at the organization's 39th Annual Conference recently in Charleston, S.C.

"It's been a great help to me to call on my colleagues of the National Conference of Appellate Court Clerks to learn and to enhance my professional development," Perry said. "I am honored to have been elected president.

"Our organization is run entirely by the membership without a paid staff. A great deal of effort goes into the annual education meeting and the ongoing work of committees."

As President, Perry will be responsible for a wide range of executive duties, and will preside over the group's 40th annual conference to be held next August in Seattle.

Perry is the 14th person to serve as Clerk of Court since the state was founded in 1863. He was named Clerk in July 2000, and has been a member of the NCACC since 2003. The NCACC is made up of appellate court clerks in state and federal appellate courts across the country, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

The NCACC strives to improve the special skill and knowledge required of appellate court clerks through educational programs. It also promotes and improves the contributions of its members within the court system and provides them with the ability to share information and ideas to improve appellate court clerk practices.

In 2009, United States Supreme Court Clerk William K. Suter, told an audience gathered at a conference in Charleston that Clerk Perry is "a star, a friend, and a standout."

"He should be president of the national association," said West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Menis E. Ketchum. "He is the best clerk in the United States."

Justice Robin Davis agreed.

"Well deserved," she said.

Perry has served as chairman of the group's website committee and previously served for two years on the executive committee. He also was asked to represent the NCACC on a standards development team for case management systems; he served as program chairman in 2008 for the annual education meeting in Pittsburgh, PA; and he has spoken twice at the National Center for State Courts International Court Technology Conference.

When Perry was hired as Deputy Clerk late in 1998, his primary task was to update the Court's case management system. By January 2000, he had implemented a new system. In September 2001, West Virginia became one of only six Supreme Courts in the country to webcast oral arguments live on the Internet. In 2011, in his 10th year as Clerk, he helped the Court revise the appellate court rules, which had not been comprehensively changed in more than thirty years.

Perry also is involved in both the West Virginia Youth in Government Program and West Virginia Civics Literacy Council. During his time as Clerk, he has spoken to hundreds of capitol visitors about the history of the Court and the architecture of the court chamber. He is also a frequent speaker at continuing legal education seminars throughout the state.

Perry is a native of Huntington. He left West Virginia in the second grade and moved to South Carolina and then graduated from a Georgia high school. He moved back to West Virginia in the 1980s and attended Marshall University, where he earned an English creative writing degree and spent his summers helping his uncle, Mike Perry, at the Heritage Farm Museum. He graduated from West Virginia University College of Law in 1994. Perry is married and has an adult son.

In his spare time, Perry is a member of the International Chili Society and is an organizer of the Bramwell Oktoberfest. He also sings and plays the acoustic guitar and blues rock harmonica in the Charleston band, Red Salt.

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