JUSTICE NOMA GURICH
SUPREME COURT OF OKLAHOMA
On February 15, 2011, Justice Noma Gurich became the 90th person since statehood (1907) to serve as a full time justice on the Supreme Court of Oklahoma, and only the third woman justice in over 100 years.
Justice Gurich has been a member of the judiciary for over 33 years. She has the distinction of being appointed to judicial positions throughout her career by 4 Oklahoma Governors. In 1988, Republican Governor Henry Bellmon appointed her to serve as Judge on the Workers’ Compensation Court (now known as the Court of Existing Claims). Governor Bellmon also appointed Gurich to serve as Presiding Judge of that court for two terms—1989-1993. In 1994, Governor David Walters re-appointed her to serve a second term on that court. In 1998, Republican Governor Frank Keating appointed Gurich to fill a vacancy on the District Court in Oklahoma County. In 2011, Governor Brad Henry appointed her to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court of Oklahoma.
Justice Gurich has been elected by voters in Oklahoma six times—the first being in 1998, when she was overwhelmingly elected to continue serving as a District Judge in Oklahoma County. She continued to serve as a District Judge and she was re-elected without opposition in 2002, 2006 and in 2010. As a member of the Supreme Court, Justice Gurich has been on the ballot for two elections: In 2012 and 2018. She was retained in office with a state wide vote of over 65%. Justice Gurich served as Vice Chief Justice in 2017-2018.
The Supreme Court is the administrative head of the judicial system in the state of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Supreme Court is the only constitutionally protected court in the state of Oklahoma. Section 4 of Article VII of the Oklahoma Constitution outlines the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma. The Supreme Court has both original and appellate jurisdiction. It is responsible for all appellate decisions except for felony and misdemeanor cases which are directly appealed to the Court of Criminal Appeals. Cases may be retained by the Supreme Court or assigned to the intermediate Court of Civil Appeals. After decision by the Court of Civil Appeals, the Supreme Court has only discretionary review.
Since 2011, the Supreme Court and the Administrative Office of the Court are located in the Oklahoma Judicial Center, 2100 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City. The Appellate Court Clerk’s Office is located in the lower level of the building. From 1917 until 2011, the Supreme Court maintained offices at the State Capitol. The ceremonial courtroom on the second floor of the State Capitol continues to be regularly used by the Supreme Court for oral argument, for the swearing in of new lawyers in the state of Oklahoma, and for other ceremonial events.
CHIEF JUSTICEJustice Gurich served as Chief Justice in 2019 and 2020. She was only the third woman to serve as Chief Justice. Justice Gurich was the second female justice to serve at Vice Chief Justice and the third female to serve as Chief Justice. Justice Gurich is the only justice who served in a leadership position for three separate courts—Workers’ Compensation Court Presiding Judge from 1989-1991; Presiding Judge of the Seventh Judicial Administrative District from 2003-2004; and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma 2019-2020.
As leader of the state judiciary in 2020, she face unprecedented challenges due to the COVID 19 pandemic and the Governor’s State of Emergency. Chief Justice Gurich secured the cooperation of both the justices of the Supreme Court and the judges of the Court of Criminal Appeals so that joint Emergency Orders were adopting to give advice and direction to district courts in all 77 counties. Her leadership was instrumental in the successful administration of an in person bar examination in July of 2020, and the swearing in ceremony held outside on the steps of the Oklahoma Judicial Center in September of 2020. Chief Justice Gurich was also responsible for the creation of the Bar Examination Advisory Committee which recommended changes to the Oklahoma Bar Exam. Those changes were adopted in June of 2020. As a result of those changes, the Uniform Bar Examination is scheduled to replace the traditional bar exam in July of 2021.
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.
Justice Gurich is Past President of the Kiwanis Club of Oklahoma City (2006-07) and has been a member since 1998. She was only the second female President in the 90 year history of the club. Gurich was a volunteer for Rebuilding Together with Christmas in April for 2001 & 2002 and a volunteer course monitor for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon for 2001 & 2002. She continues to support the OKC Marathon by hosting an annual event to cheer on runners along the course. She is an annual volunteer for the Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts. She is an annual bell ringer for the Salvation Army. Justice Gurich and her husband are active members of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. She is a volunteer Meals On Wheels driver and TV camera operator.
Noma Diane Gurich was born in South Bend, Indiana to John and Ramona Gurich. She grew up with her younger sister, Marianne, her older brother, Raymond, and a cousin, Patrick. Her brother has one son, Aaron and he has three children. Justice Gurich grew up in a rural farming community located in St. Joseph County near Mishawaka, Indiana. She attended elementary through high school in the Penn-Harris-Madison consolidated School District. She graduated from Penn High School, having participated in many activities including girls’ basketball, various clubs and concert, jazz and marching bands. She recently was awarded a 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award from her high school.
Justice Gurich is married to John E. Miley, who retired as General Counsel for the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission in 2020. He is currently working for the U.S. Department of Labor.
Justice Gurich and her husband have 4 cats: Lucky, KeiKei, Buster and Harry.
2100 N. Lincoln Blvd, Suite 1 Oklahoma City, OK 73105
The material on this website is provided for general informational purposes to permit you to learn more about Justice Noma D. Gurich and her judicial experience and qualifications. The information presented herein is not legal advice, and is subject to change without notice. The costs of the production and maintenance of this website were paid for through the personal funds of Justice Gurich. No state or federal tax dollars were used.