Thanks from both sides of the bench | Editorial

Posted 2/12/21

Stephen W. Gillard found himself on the other side of the bench.

For a few grateful moments in Jefferson County Superior Court recently, Judge Keith Harper paused the proceedings to honor Gillard, …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Thanks from both sides of the bench | Editorial

Posted

Stephen W. Gillard found himself on the other side of the bench.

For a few grateful moments in Jefferson County Superior Court recently, Judge Keith Harper paused the proceedings to honor Gillard, who has announced his retirement as a Jefferson County Superior Court Commissioner.

Harper noted Gillard was the first court commissioner Harper picked in January 2013 when he became a judge.

“Quite frankly, I could not have picked a better court commissioner. In all respects, he’s done an outstanding job,” Harper said.

“He’s one of the kindest people that I’ve ever known,” the judge added — a patient and extremely good listener, someone honest and unbiased “in everything he does.”

Harper praised Gillard for his judicial demeanor, and noted he always strived to try to make the right decision.

“He’s humble,” Harper added, a humility that extends to realizing firstly, that one doesn’t know everything. Secondly comes the desire to work extra hard to know enough to make the right decision.

None of us can do that right perfectly every time, Harper added, that’s why there are Courts of Appeals.

“This has been the best eight years of my service as a lawyer,” Gillard said. He thanked Harper for support, his help, and answers to “stupid questions.”

Gillard said he was most appreciative of learning balance, and mercy, from Harper.

The outgoing court commissioner then thanked the courthouse staff, and those currently practicing law in Jefferson County 

“We have a great bunch of lawyers here,” Gillard added before apologizing for talking too long.

The comment, fittingly, brought some leeway from the bench.

“You could have taken as much time as you wanted to,” Harper said.

The courtroom was nearly empty, but two rounds of hearty applause filled the space twice. He couldn’t hear it, but others were clapping along on Zoom.

Commissioner Gillard leaves with eight years of valued service to a community that has been justly represented. We wish him and his family the best in a retirement that’s well-deserved. 

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment