Thursday, April 5, 2018
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today named District Judge Richard Darby to serve as a justice on the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
Darby, a judge for more than 30 years, succeeds former Justice Joseph Watt, who retired from the bench last year.
Darby, of Altus, has served since 1994 as district judge for the 3rd Judicial District, which includes Jackson, Kiowa, Tillman, Greer and Harmon counties. Before that, he served as a special judge and an associate district judge for Jackson County.
His duties as district judge include presiding over civil and criminal cases, assigning cases to six other judges in the district, and managing a staff of one secretary bailiff and five court reporters.
“Judge Richard Darby has demonstrated during his long career on the bench to be extremely knowledgeable of the law,” said Fallin. “He is thorough, shown by his willingness to take the time to independently research challenging legal issues before issuing an order. He is a fair, impartial, even-handed, and practical judge who will serve our state’s highest court well.”
Supreme Court justices serve on the court as long as they are able and must appear on the ballot and be retained by voters every six years, according to state statute.
Fallin selected Darby from three applicants submitted to her by the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission. The governor must choose from those three.
Applicants had to be 30 or older, and a practicing attorney or judge for at least five years.
Darby is a lifelong resident of southwest Oklahoma, and will represent the 9th district on the Supreme Court. The 9th Judicial District covers Harmon, Greer, Jackson, Kiowa, Tillman, Cotton, Comanche, Caddo and Canadian counties.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be appointed to serve on the Oklahoma Supreme Court,” Darby said. “I am ready to meet the new challenges that will come with this appointment. I pledge to be objective and open-minded, and I will apply the law fairly. I appreciate Governor Fallin’s confidence in me.”
Darby earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and his juris doctorate from the University of Oklahoma’s college of law.
Darby has been married for 36 years to Dana Darby, Ph.D, who is superintendent of Altus Christian Academy. They have two sons, Ben, a communications officer for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, and Jon, a student at Universal Technical Institute in Irving, Texas.