Supreme Court Judicial District 3
Justice Noma Diane Gurich was appointed to the Supreme Court, District 3 by Governor Brad Henry on January 7, 2011 and took office on February 15, 2011. She is the third woman justice to serve on the Supreme Court of Oklahoma since statehood. Justice Gurich served as Chief Justice from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2020 following serving as Vice Chief Justice from December of 2016 until December 31, 2018.
Justice Gurich was born on September 26, 1952 in South Bend, Indiana. Although a Hoosier by birth, she is a resident of Oklahoma by choice. Justice Gurich’s great-grandparents settled near Gracemont, Oklahoma in the early 1900’s. Her grandmother and grandfather were married on December 24, 1906 in Anadarko. Her mother was born in Anadarko in 1921, attended OCW, and moved to Indiana in 1945 with her husband, a returning veteran of World War II.
Justice Gurich is a 1971 honors graduate of Penn High School in Mishawaka, Indiana. In 2012, she was honored as a Distinguished Alumni of her high school. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a minor in History and is a life member of the Indiana State University Alumni Association. In October of 2012, she was honored as a Distinguished Alumni of Indiana State. In 1978, Justice Gurich received her Juris Doctorate degree from the College of Law of the University of Oklahoma. While at OU, she was an editor of the American Indian Law Review and received the Professional Responsibility Award. In 2011, OU College of Law Chapter of the Order of the Coif academic society selected her as an honorary member. In 2016, Justice Gurich was inducted into the OU College of Law Order of the Owl Hall of Fame. She currently serves on the OU College of Law Board of Visitors.
Justice Gurich has been a judge in the state of Oklahoma for more than 34 years. She has the unique distinction of having been appointed to a judicial office by four (4) Governors of Oklahoma, after being nominated by the constitutionally-created Judicial Nominating Commission. She served as a judge on the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court for 10 years. She also served 12 ½ years as a district judge during which time she presided over nearly 200 jury trials. Since beginning her service on the Supreme Court, Justice Gurich has been retained in office twice. Prior to her judicial career, she practiced law in Oklahoma City for 10 years.
Justice Gurich is a member of the American Bar Association, Oklahoma Bar Association, Oklahoma County Bar Association, a life member of the Oklahoma Judicial Conference, and a sustaining Fellow of the Oklahoma Bar Foundation. Justice Gurich is a Master member and past President of the William J. Holloway, Jr. American Inn of Court (2007-08) and received the Holloway Award from the Inn in 2020.
Justice Gurich was awarded the 2002 Outstanding Committee Award for her work as Law Day Co-Chair for the Oklahoma County Bar the same year. In 2003, Justice Gurich received the Mona Lambird Spotlight Award from the OBA Women in Law. Justice Gurich was inducted into the Journal Record Woman of the Year Circle of Excellence in 2011 and was named the 2011 Judge of the Year from the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. In 2013, she was honored with a By-liner Award by the Oklahoma City Chapter of the Association of Women in Communications. Justice Gurich received a 2013 Valuable Volunteer Award by the Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools. In 2019, she was inducted into the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame. The 2021 Sovereignty Symposium conferred the Hodges-Lavender Award for Judicial Excellence on Justice Gurich. She was the recipient of the 2021 Oklahoma Bar Association Neil E. Bogan Award for Professionalism. Justice Gurich was nominated and inducted as a 2021 Fellow of the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers. Justice Gurich was featured as a “Woman of Influence” in Edition 34 of LUXIERE Magazine.
Justice Gurich is a member and past President (2006-07) of the Kiwanis Club of Oklahoma City. She is a volunteer for many community projects including the OKC Festival of the Arts, Kiwanis projects helping children in the community and is an annual bell ringer for the Salvation Army. Justice Gurich is an annual speaker/mentor for Girls’ State and the N.E.W. Leadership Program. Justice Gurich is an active member of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, and she has served in various leadership roles, including Chair of the Administrative Board, Chair of the Management Council and as Trustee. She is a monthly volunteer Meals on Wheels driver and TV camera operator and has served as a missionary to Russia in 1993, 1997, 2000, 2002, and 2004.