McGuire retiring from bench

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 8, 2014

Covington County District Judge “Trippy” McGuire notified Chief Justice Roy Moore Friday of his plan to retire, effective April 1, 2014.

McGuire said Friday he has agonized over his decision for months. When he weighed both sides of his decision, family won.



“It’s all about love,” he said.

McGuire, who has served as district judge since 1993, said his decision was prompted by a desire to spend more time with his father, who is 94 and resides in Florala Health and Rehab, and with his wife and daughters.

McGuire said he decided he wanted to be a juvenile judge while in law school, when he also worked with youth in his church.

“I loved evidence,” he said. “That was my favorite part of the law. But I also loved working with kids. I decided I wanted to be a juvenile judge. That was my dream, but how many people get to live it out?”

Both the blessing of the job and leaving his work family behind made the decision to leave difficult, he said.

“I work with some magnificent people,” he said. “They are like family. Some days, the job is just the pits; there are horrible days. But the people I work with made it worthwhile.”

In his letter to the chief justice, McGuire said, “During these 21 years, I have experienced high points such as serving my fellow judges as president of both the Alabama District Judges’ Association and the Alabama Juvenile Judges’ Association. I have also experienced the constant pressure of a heavy, hectic caseload, which a 2008 survey of statewide judges revealed was the 12th heaviest weighted caseload of any district judge in the state.

“I have also experienced the satisfaction of seeing many troubled youth and adults turning their lives around for the better, while disappointingly watching others pursue destructive lifestyles, despite overwhelming preventive efforts on the part of many.”

Gov. Robert Bentley will appoint a successor to finish McGuire’s unexpired term. McGuire was last re-elected in 2010, and ran unopposed.

McGuire also serves as a director of the Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation; a director of Mizell Memorial Hospital; and the Mizell Memorial Hospital Foundation. He is a past president of the Opp Rotary Club, where he was named a Paul Harris Fellow and received the district governor’s service award for his many years as adviser to the Interact Club.

He and his wife, Margaret, have two married daughters. He is a member and deacon of the Opp Church of Christ.