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Rice ready to don robes for 1st Judicial District

Only one week after the election for 1st Judicial District Criminal Court Judge, Lisa Nidiffer Rice is already preparing for the next phase of her career.
“I guess there is a mental transition,” Rice said. “You must go from advocate and litigator to criminal court judge where you must be neutral.”
But it’s a transition she feels well prepared for and one in which she feels well qualified.
“It’s thinking you have something to bring to the table,” said Rice, who will serve Washington, Carter, Unicoi and Johnson counties.“I’ve practiced in so many courts. I have been on both sides of the courtroom.”
She hopes to be able to utilize that wisdom on the bench.
Rice defeated Assistant District Attorney General Dennis Brooks in the May 6 Republican Primary with a total of 14,479 votes, making her the first female Criminal Court Judge on the 1st Judicial circuit. But while she’s pleased to provide inspiration for future would-be attorneys, she doesn’t see it as a issue.
“You can take gender out of it,” Rice said. She added that the district is blessed to already have some very good judges and she is happy to be part of it.”
What she learned from the campaign, she said, has more to do with the people she hopes to serve.
“I certainly appreciate the support of the people that I meet,” she said. “So many people worked so hard.
“What do you say to those people? Thank you is not really enough.”
As for the future, Rice said she plans to take the words of her father to heart.
“He said ‘You are serving the public,’” Rice said, and that she was not to forget it or it would be a short career.