Jennifer S. Henderson

Anchorage Superior Court | Third Judicial District

Jennifer S. Henderson

Judge Henderson was appointed to the Anchorage Superior Court in May of 2017. This is her first retention evaluation as a superior court judge. Judge Henderson handles primarily civil cases, and a smaller number of criminal cases on a special calendar.


Personal Statement

Since coming to Alaska in 2001, I have felt so fortunate to get to live and work in this amazing state. My work prior to becoming a judge, both as a prosecutor with the Anchorage District Attorney’s Office, and subsequently as a litigator handling a wide variety of civil and administrative matters, has provided valuable experience and preparation for my current work.

It has been an honor to serve my community, initially as a District Court Judge for four years, and more recently, as a judge on the Anchorage Superior Court for the last three years. As a Superior Court Judge, I preside over many different types of cases, including civil, family, probate, Child-In-Need-of-Aid, and criminal matters. I approach all cases that come before me with a dedication to listening impartially to the parties, to hearing the relevant evidence, and to applying the law consistently and fairly. I am committed to assuring that all people are able to access and understand what is happening in the courtroom, and ultimately able to understand the decisions that I make about their cases. I am mindful that the people who appear before me in court are there pursuing cases and/or defenses that are of the utmost importance in their lives, deserving of my time, attention, and respect. I am grateful to have this opportunity to serve the State of Alaska and its citizens, and look forward to continuing to serve the public in this manner.

Outside of work, my husband and I love sharing adventures with our two children, whether that be snow machining out to our family cabin or creating our version of the world’s most elaborate scavenger hunt.

Judge Jennifer S. Henderson Judge Jennifer S. Henderson Judge Jennifer S. Henderson
Judge Jennifer S. Henderson
Judge Jennifer S. Henderson

Performance Findings

The Council conducts a thorough performance review of each judge standing for retention. Key findings for Judge Henderson include:

  • Ratings by justice system professionals: Attorneys, law enforcement officers, and social services professionals who appeared before Judge Henderson gave her very good reviews, as did court employees. The chart shows the survey ratings received by Judge Henderson.
  • Ratings by jurors: Jurors who served in trials before Judge Henderson during 2018 and 2019 rated her 5.0 overall on a five-point scale. One juror commented, “Judge Henderson was wonderful. I appreciate how fair, patient, kind and knowledgeable [she was]. She kept us well-informed as the legal process.”
  • Professional activities: The Council’s review of Judge Henderson’s professional activities showed significant contributions to her community and to the administration of justice. Judge Henderson managed a centralized calendar to process criminal cases involving defendants whose competency to stand trial was questioned. She also presided over a mental health therapeutic court, and served as a Training Judge for magistrate judges. She made presentations to community groups about the role of a judge and other topics.
  • Other performance indicators: The Council’s review of other performance indicators, including Judge Henderson’s financial and conflict of interest statements, disqualifications from cases, and appellate reversal rates, raised no performance concerns.
  • Timeliness: Alaska law requires judges’ pay be withheld if a decision is pending longer than six months. The Council verified that Judge Henderson was paid on schedule, and she certified that she had no untimely decisions.
  • Ethics: There were no public disciplinary proceedings against Judge Henderson, and the Council’s review found no ethical concerns.
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