District Judge Phillip Corley to retire this fall

After a distinguished career spanning over two decades, District Judge Phillip Corley has announced his retirement, effective September 1, 2024.

Serving as a Special Judge from 1999 to 2010 and as District Judge since 2011, Judge Corley has been a stalwart figure in the 9th Judicial District, which includes Logan and Payne counties.

Judge Corley’s journey to the bench was not a predetermined path. Reflecting on his career, he shared, “No, not really,” he said with a laugh in an interview with the Stillwater News Press earlier this year. “It really wasn’t on my mind at the time, but when Judge (Donald) Worthington approached me and asked if I would be interested, I definitely was.”

Judge Corley holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Oklahoma State University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Oklahoma. His contributions to the judiciary have been significant, and his retirement marks the end of an era for the local legal community.

In accordance with judicial procedures, the vacancy left by Judge Corley will be filled by an appointment from the governor, based on a list of names provided by the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC). The appointee will serve until the next general election, at which point they must stand for re-election to complete the remainder of the term.

The JNC is actively seeking applicants to fill the vacancy for the position. Candidates must be legal residents of Payne or Logan County and have a minimum of four years of experience as a licensed practicing attorney or a judge of a court of record in Oklahoma.


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