Updated at 5:08 p.m.
District of Columbia Superior Court associate judges earned the fourth highest salary nationwide in 2011, according to a newly-released compilation of judicial salaries in state courts.
Superior Court associate judges have earned $174,000 annually since 2008, making them consistently among the highest paid general trial court judges in the country. From 2002 to 2005, they were the highest paid general trial court judges, and have stayed in the top four since then.
The District’s rank changes dramatically, however, when the data are adjusted to reflect cost of living. Superior Court associate judges earned an adjusted salary of $122,301, knocking them down to number 36, a reflection of the high cost of living in the Washington area.
The data were compiled by the National Center for State Courts, which surveys judicial salaries nationwide twice a year. The 2011 numbers released were for the first six months of the year.
General trial court judges in Alaska, California and Illinois earned more than Superior Court judges in 2011, according to the survey, receiving $177,888, $178,789 and $180,802, respectively. The national average pay for general trial court judges in 2011 was $120,629, up by about $600 from 2010.
In the District, like the majority of states, judicial salaries have not changed in recent years as courts have grappled with tight budgets. Only nine states – Illinois, Alaska, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Georgia, Rhode Island, Indiana, West Virginia and Montana – increased pay for general trial court judges in 2011.
Associates judges in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, who earned $184,500 in 2011, ranked seventh among judges in state supreme courts. That salary also hasn’t changed since 2008.
A court representative could not immediately be reached.