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McElwain Announces Retirement

By Staff reports, Constitution-Tribune
Monday, Jan 18, 2010

After nine years as a 43rd circuit court judge and a total of 31 years on the bench, Judge Warren L. McElwain has announced his retirement effective February 28, 2010.

McElwain, 62, was first elected circuit judge in 2000 and then ran unopposed when his term was up six years later. At the time of his first election he was serving as associate circuit judge in DeKalb County — a position he had held for 22 years.

As circuit judge, McElwain says he has heard many cases in Livingston County and enjoyed coming to Chillicothe. “The people are very friendly and I’ve always been impressed with how knowledgeable people in Livingston County seem to be about their elected officials,” McElwain said. He also noted that, during his years on the bench, he has enjoyed working with the Livingston County commissioners and other elected officials at the courthouse.

Looking back on his career, McElwain says a few of his cases are more memorable than others. One of those, he says, was a civil case out of Livingston County which was taken to DeKalb County on a change of venue. It involved a suit involving a dairy farmer who brought a lawsuit against a feed producer, claiming the producer sold moldy feed. The jury trial, McElwain said, lasted two weeks and involved “top-notch” lawyers from large law firms from several states. The jury ended up siding with the plaintiff in that case, McElwain said, granting the farmer a sizable award in actual and punitive damages.

McElwain’s successor will be chosen following the results of the November general 2010 election. In the meantime, Gov. Jay Nixon is expected to appoint someone to fill the vacancy created by McEwain’s retirement.

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