FARMINGTON – After three decades of prosecuting criminals in the courtroom, and a lot more, Davis County’s Chief Civil Division Attorney is going golfing.
He and his wife Diana have a cruise and trip planned to Brazil within the next couple of months, for starters.
But that golfing will definitely be on the agenda, McGuire said. His last day on the job was Jan. 30.
“There’s no way I can summarize everything Bill has done,” said County Attorney Troy Rawlings. “I’m overwhelmed when I think of all he’s done.”
McGuire joined the county attorney’s office on a part-time basis in 1980, but shortly after that moved full-time to the criminal division. That’s where he spent most of his career, up until moving to the civil division in 2009.
“I really did enjoy the position of prosecutor, of being in the courtroom, of battling it out” with the defense attorney, McGuire said.
“The pressure, number of cases, a jury trial, I enjoyed that, had a lot of fun with it,” he said, adding that “There are so much put in by both sides.”
McGuire often was involved with upwards of 200 cases, although that number was diminished when he was heavily involved in a major trial.
He had praise for the job juries do.
“They generally work hard to do a good job. That manifests itself in many ways. They try as hard as they can, but don’t always understand all the nuances,” McGuire said.
“You’re never able to accurately guess on jurors” as to what way they’ll decide a case, he said.
There was a death penalty case where at least one juror admitted he knew the defendant was guilty. But he didn’t believe guilt had been proven beyond reasonable doubt.
Over the years, some of the tools available to attorneys have changed.
“There used to be rows and rows of books. Now that information is on the computer. We can find information a lot faster,” he said.
“In the old days we just had to hand out a photo” for the jury to examine it. Now, that’s available electronically, McGuire said.
“You have been a tremendous asset. We as a commission appreciate your counsel, and guidance,” said County Commissioner Bret Millburn.
“To have someone with such steady legal advise” brought praise from County Commissioner John Petroff. ”He always let us make our own decisions but let us know the consequences.”
“I’ve known Bill since you were one of my heroes on the Davis High debate team,” said County Commissioner Louenda Downs.
“You have always been true to your legal oath and will be greatly missed,” she said.
“My staff has the utmost respect for you, Bill,” said County Clerk/Auditor Steve Rawlings, whose office has had a lot of interaction with McGuire over the years.
“Justice for all” was what the intent was behind proceedings in the criminal division, McGuire said. On the civil side, he said “the people working in this county try and do what is right.”
McGuire graduated with a political science degree from Brigham Young University. He also obtained his law degree there.
He and his wife live in Layton and have two sons and three daughters.
Diana McGuire spent almost 30 years teaching in the Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science Department at BYU, as both a professor and Director of the Dietetic Internship Program.
Neil Geddes has assumed McGuire’s duties as chief deputy in the county attorney’s office civil division.