I've been there many times: couples arguing over child custody; people with mental illness; victims of abuse; men and women pleading their cases, wanting to be heard, needing to be understood; everyone claiming to be the innocent party deserving of the ultimate granting of favor. Regardless of the circumstances that brought me to his courtroom, however, I could rely on Judge Elgee to be attentive, to ask intelligent, thoughtful questions, to listen without prejudice and to make a considered judgment after careful review of all the information he had received. That kind of integrity is impressive anywhere, and feels particularly precious in Idaho.
Caring about the people who appear before you can't be the easiest way to perform one's duties as a judge, but Robert Elgee makes that effort while remaining fair and impartial. He took the extra steps, for example, to contact me personally several times when I was actively directing the Domestic Violence Treatment Program, to make sure the program was up to date with all state requirements and to stay fully informed about our progress.
It goes without saying that I haven't agreed with every one of Judge Elgee's decisions, but every judge will make rulings that upset someone at least half the time. More importantly, I have always been grateful that in Robert Elgee we have a judge who truly believes in the principle of justice and who works very hard to apply it fairly to all of the citizens of this district. As judges, after all, are human, we cannot ask for more.