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3 get judge, commissioner discipline case

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Disciplinary actions against a Marion County judge and his commissioner have been consolidated into one case and the Indiana Supreme Court has assigned three special judges to the proceedings.

In an order dated June 18, the court consolidated the cases against Judge Grant W. Hawkins and Master Commissioner Nancy Broyles, who've both been on Marion Superior Court's Criminal Division 5 since January 2001.

Delaware Circuit Judge Marianne L. Vorhees has been named presiding master, while Lake Superior Judge Clarence D. Murray and Elkhart Circuit Judge Terry Shewmaker will also hear and take evidence on the charges.

The Indiana Judicial Qualifications Commission filed nearly a dozen charges against each on April 9, alleging delay and dereliction of duties relating to the handling of cases.

Mostly, the 11 counts against Judge Hawkins and 10 against Commissioner Broyles deal with their involvement in a post-conviction case that resulted in an Indianapolis man being held in prison for almost two years after DNA evidence cleared him of a 1984 rape.

The charges allege that Judge Hawkins did not adequately supervise his staff and commissioner, committed conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, and did not uphold the integrity and public confidence of the judiciary by allowing delays.

Charges are similar against Commissioner Broyles, but reveal that her conduct may have delayed at least seven other post-conviction proceedings between sixth months and 28 months, and some were backdated once they were ultimately decided. The investigation shows that the part-time commissioner routinely issued final orders in post-conviction cases without obtaining Judge Hawkins' approval and signature, contrary to Indiana Codes 33-33-49-16 and 33-23-5-8.

Now, the two cases have been consolidated into No. 49S00-0804-JD-157. The masters are directed to submit a schedule within 30 days of the order and a report is expected during the first week of November.

Indiana Lawyer reported on the disciplinary actions in the April 16-29, 2008, edition, "Judge, commissioner both face charges."

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  1. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

  2. Such is not uncommon on law school startups. Students and faculty should tap Bruce Green, city attorney of Lufkin, Texas. He led a group of studnets and faculty and sued the ABA as a law student. He knows the ropes, has advised other law school startups. Very astute and principled attorney of unpopular clients, at least in his past, before Lufkin tapped him to run their show.

  3. Not that having the appellate records on Odyssey won't be welcome or useful, but I would rather they first bring in the stray counties that aren't yet connected on the trial court level.

  4. Aristotle said 350 bc: "The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of an modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.

  5. Oh yes, lifetime tenure. The Founders gave that to the federal judges .... at that time no federal district courts existed .... so we are talking the Supreme Court justices only in context ....so that they could rule against traditional marriage and for the other pet projects of the sixties generation. Right. Hmmmm, but I must admit, there is something from that time frame that seems to recommend itself in this context ..... on yes, from a document the Founders penned in 1776: " He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good."

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