Upon graduation from law school, Gurich was admitted to the Oklahoma Bar on October 13, 1978. She became an associate in private practice with the firm of Cheek, Cheek and Cheek in Oklahoma City. In 1982, she became an associate with the firm of Abowitz & Welch, in Oklahoma City. Gurich later became a partner and worked there until 1988, when she began her judicial career. She was admitted to practice in all courts of Oklahoma, and the following federal courts: U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Her private practice experience included the defense of negligence and tort cases, products liability cases, anti-trust cases, securities fraud cases, contract cases, workers’ compensation and general practice.
Gurich served on the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court for ten years. Gurich was appointed by Governor Henry Bellmon to serve a six-year term in July of 1988. Governor Bellmon appointed her to the position of Presiding Judge for two terms: January 1989 until January 1, 1993. In July 1994, Judge Gurich was re-appointed to a six-year term by Governor David Walters, and served until her appointment to the district court.
While a judge on the Workers’ Compensation Court, she served as an advisory member on Legislative committees including the Special Joint Interim Study Committee on Workers’ Compensation Reform: 1989-1990 and the Workers’ Compensation Medical Cost Containment Task Force: 1992-1993. She also served on The Lieutenant Governor Fallin Commission: 1996-1997.
Gurich was also actively involved in various procedural changes and revision of Court Rules, as well as the improvement and expansion of the court facility in Tulsa. She was a frequent speaker for the Oklahoma Safety Council, continuing legal and insurance education programs, and participated in many programs sponsored by the OESC, Chambers of Commerce, and Vocational and Technical Schools throughout the state. While serving as a Workers’ Compensation Court Judge, Gurich was an organizer and participant in annual educational conferences sponsored by the Workers’ Compensation Court for the business community and for medical and vocational rehabilitation professionals.
Justice Gurich began her career as a District Judge on July 1, 1998, when she was nominated by the Judicial Nominating Commission and appointed by Governor Frank Keating to serve the remaining six-month term of a retiring district judge.
After the appointment, Gurich drew 3 opponents and was successful in winning the contested election for District Judge, Oklahoma County, Seventh Judicial District–Office No.13 (county-wide seat), in November of 1998. She was re-elected in 2002, 2006, and 2010 without opposition.
Since she began her career on the District Court bench, Gurich continued to be a frequent speaker, panelist, and the author of articles and materials for continuing legal and other legal education programs. Gurich was instrumental in the preparation and enactment of the May 2000 revision of the Local Court Rules for Oklahoma and Canadian Counties.
District Judge Gurich presided over more than 190 jury trials and decided hundreds of non-jury matters while she served on the district court bench.
Gurich served as Presiding Administrative Judge of the 7th Judicial District from January of 2003 to December 31, 2004.
As a District Judge, Gurich also served as the Presiding Judge of the 11th and 12th Multi-County Grand Juries (2007-2010). She served as a District Judge until February 15, 2011.
Justice Gurich was appointed by Governor Brad Henry on January 7, 2011 and took the oath of office on February 15, 2011. Her formal swearing in ceremony took place on March 31, 2011. She serves in Judicial District 3.