Bronze 2018Federal District Judge Raymond C. McNichols (1914-1985) 

Federal District Judge Raymond C. McNichols was born June 16, 1914, in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. He was raised in Lewiston, Idaho, and graduated from the University of Idaho in 1936.

Ray McNichols married Mary Katherine on August 1, 1938, and the couple had two children; Michael E. McNichols, (Clements, Brown & McNichols, Lewiston, ID) and Kathleen Mary (McNichols) Dreps.

During and after World War II, Ray McNichols served as an aviator in the U.S. Navy, achieving the rank of Lieutenant. After leaving the service, Ray McNichols attended the University of Idaho College of Law, graduating in 1950 with his LL.B degree. He then opened a law practice in Orofino, Idaho.

On May 1, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Ray McNichols as a Federal Judge for the District of Idaho. During 17 years of full-time judicial service, Judge McNichols presided over 2,000 cases and achieved "legendary" status on the bench.

In 1981, Judge McNichols chose "Senior" judicial status. He still, however, handled cases and was active in legal affairs for the remainder of his life. In 1984, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America presented Judge McNichols with the Outstanding Federal Trial Judge Award.

On May 5, 1998, the American Inns of Courts sponsored a tribute in Lewiston, Idaho, posthumously honoring Judge McNichols, who served on the Federal Bench from 1964 to 1985.

The highlight of the ceremony was the 2nd Judicial Chapter of the American Inns of Court being officially renamed the Ray McNichols American Inns of Court.

References: "District Judge Ray C. McNichols," U.S. Courts, District of Idaho; "Idaho Federal Judge Ray McNichols Dies," Spokane Chronicle (Dec 26, 1985); and "Raymond Clyne McNichols," Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, Federal Judicial Center.

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