The Ottumwa Courier

Court Calls

April 6, 2013

The kind of judge I will be

Court calls

OTTUMWA — In the last month, my life has taken a big turn: I’ve left the role of lawyer advocate and have assumed the mantle of a district-associate judge. It’s a huge switch in perspective that causes me to draw upon the skills and experiences developed over years of being a parent, working as an attorney in southern Iowa and appearing before many judges. At my recent investiture ceremony, I reflected on the transformation, and acknowledged the many who have had a role in it. I’d like to share the following excerpt from my comments.

What kind of judge will I be? One that recognizes the strong traditions that bind us to our past, the nurturing duty we owe to our future and the reliable value of all those who walk beside us in our present journeys. I will be the kind of judge who listens and hears. A judge who applies the law fairly, consistently and equally to all. A judge who hopes that in the attempts to do these things, she will occasionally have wisdom at her disposal and one who is not too arrogant to recognize that she will make mistakes. A judge who will have the courage to correct those mistakes as quickly as possible, even if by so doing she draws attention to them.

The judges of District 8-A have placed great confidence in me by selecting me for this position. I will not be the same judge any of them are, but I will be a good fit. The block I bring to the judicial quilt of our district will have colors, textures and characteristics that I have gathered from my life experiences and from each one of these judges and their predecessors I have known. It will be a complementary block and a unifying block. I sew it with strong threads of responsibility, integrity and compassion. It has layers of history, durability of good relationships, and is inspiration to those who are looking for it.  

I really look forward to serving the people of the 8-A District as a judge.

Judge Mefford was recently selected as an associate court judge by the District 8-A district-court judges. She will regularly work in Mahaska, Poweshiek, and Appanoose Counties, along with special assignments elsewhere. She may be reached at

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