Tuesday, September 26, 2000

Judges' right hand retires

Vivien Augur's party attracts court's cream

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Over the three decades Vivien Augur has served as secretary for Kenton Circuit judges, she has wielded a quiet but experienced influence in the court.

        That is why on Monday, judges and lawyers alike attended a reception celebrating Ms. Augur's retirement Friday.

        Several at the shindig in Circuit Judge Patricia Summe's chambers said they will miss Mrs. Augur's warmth, graciousness, cheerfulness and willingness to help others.

        Her current boss, Judge Summe, recalled how Mrs. Augur helped her as a young lawyer.

        Judge Summe began practicing law in Kenton County in 1979. Mrs. Augur was then secretary for Judge James Gilliece. Judge Summe recalled that Mrs. Augur always had tips for properly filing documents and proceeding with cases.

        Then, when Judge Summe took the bench in November 1994, Mrs. Augur became her secretary.

        “We already had a good relationship,” Judge Summe said.

        “She was wonderful. How do you say that over and over again? She knew the ropes and how things were done. I just followed the same pattern. .... The public was well served, as well as myself.”

        Also attending Monday's reception were other Kenton County judges, court clerks and young attorneys from the commonwealth attorney's and public defender's offices.

        Rob Sanders, an assistant commonwealth attorney since last year, said he'll miss Mrs. Augur during trial breaks, when she often gave him a feel for how he was doing. For example, she would tell him to keep after a witness, or note whether she trusted someone's testimony.

        “She's been nothing but supportive and encouraging since day one. She always has a kind word to say,” he said.

        Mr. Sanders' grandfather, a for mer detective, and father, a lawyer and former commonwealth attorney, also had worked with Mrs. Augur, he said.

        Mrs. Augur said she is sometimes surprised to realize that she has worked with more than one generation of lawyers. She became a secretary in the court system in 1965 and has worked for Kenton District Judge Frank Trusty.

        She said she is in store for a big change after she reports to work for the last time.

        “I will miss everybody a lot,” she said. “I'm going to have to relearn things.”

        Like how to travel. She and her husband own a metal fabrication business but plan to travel more.


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