ILNews

5 Court of Appeals judges up for retention

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One third of the Indiana Court of Appeals judges face a retention vote this year, including two initially appointed within the past three years to fill vacancies on the state’s second highest court.

Voters statewide will have the chance Nov. 2 to cast a “yes” or “no” vote in deciding whether to keep some of those jurists on the bench for 10 more years to craft opinions, interpret state law, and represent the Hoosier legal world in setting judicial standards. Those facing retention this year are:
 

Mark Bailey Bailey

Judge L. Mark Bailey, a former Decatur County judge who was appointed to the appellate bench in 1998 and retained in 2000. He represents the First District, which comprises southern Indiana.


Elaine Brown Brown

Judge Elaine B. Brown, who served on the Dubois Superior Court for a total of 15 years before she was appointed to the appellate bench in May 2008. This is her first retention vote after being named to the court, and she represents the Fifth District that includes the entire state.


Cale Bradford Bradford

Judge Cale J. Bradford, who served for more than 10 years as a Marion Superior judge before being elevated to the appellate bench Aug. 1, 2007. He represents the Second District, which includes the central part of the state.


Melissa May May

Judge Melissa S. May, a former 14-year insurance defense and personal injury attorney in Evansville who was appointed to the Court of Appeals in April 1998 and then retained in 2000. She represents the Fourth District that encompasses the entire state.


Margaret Robb Robb

Judge Margret G. Robb, who was appointed to the appeals court in July 1998 after 20 years of general practice in Lafayette and service as a bankruptcy trustee for the Northern District of Indiana. Judge Robb also has served as a mediator and deputy public defender. She represents the Fifth District that includes the entire state and was last retained in 2000.

This is the first time since 2006 that five of the 15 intermediate appellate court judges have faced retention votes. None faced retention last year, and only one did so in 2008.

With Indiana requiring appellate judges to step down from active service at age 75, none of those facing retention this year would hit that mandatory retirement age and could serve at least one more term if they chose.

All point to their experience and judicial service on the bench as reasons they each should be allowed to remain on the appellate court. Together, they emphasize that more access, transparency, and efficiency through technology are key to making sure the judiciary can continue working effectively in the coming years.

“Indiana is at the forefront of efforts to make the judiciary more transparent,” the five wrote in a joint response to questions posed by Indiana Lawyer, citing the increase in webcasting and online information about cases and judges. “When we help our citizens better understand the function and operation of the appellate court system, we ultimately give them more confidence in the justice system as a whole.”

The judges answered 12 questions posed by IL.


One tool being used to help the legal community and general public keep informed about these jurists is the state judiciary’s website at www.in.gov/judiciary/retention, which was updated this summer to mirror the one created in 2008 after Senate President Pro Tem David Long urged the judiciary to provide more information about the retention process to voters.

In addition, the Indiana State Bar Association’s Improvements in the Judicial System Committee e-mailed a survey to its members statewide in September asking attorneys to take a confidential “yes” or “no” poll on whether those judges should be retained. The surveys went out five times to give everyone a chance to respond, and results were expected to be released Oct. 12 – after deadline for this story. This was the second time attorneys have received the poll by e-mail rather than traditional paper ballot; the first was in 2008, when three Indiana Supreme Court justices, one Court of Appeals judge, and the Tax Court judge were up for retention. About 8,000 members were polled two years ago and about 1,500 cast ballots, translating to an 18.5 percent response rate that overwhelmingly supported the jurists.•
 

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  1. The voices of the prophets are more on blogs than subway walls these days, Dawn. Here is the voice of one calling out in the wilderness ... against a corrupted judiciary ... that remains corrupt a decade and a half later ... due to, so sadly, the acquiescence of good judges unwilling to shake the forest ... for fear that is not faith .. http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2013/09/prof-alan-dershowitz-on-indiana.html

  2. So I purchased a vehicle cash from the lot on West Washington in Feb 2017. Since then I found it the vehicle had been declared a total loss and had sat in a salvage yard due to fire. My title does not show any of that. I also have had to put thousands of dollars into repairs because it was not a solid vehicle like they stated. I need to find out how to contact the lawyers on this lawsuit.

  3. It really doesn't matter what the law IS, if law enforcement refuses to take reports (or take them seriously), if courts refuse to allow unrepresented parties to speak (especially in Small Claims, which is supposedly "informal"). It doesn't matter what the law IS, if constituents are unable to make effective contact or receive any meaningful response from their representatives. Two of our pets were unnecessarily killed; court records reflect that I "abandoned" them. Not so; when I was denied one of them (and my possessions, which by court order I was supposed to be able to remove), I went directly to the court. And earlier, when I tried to have the DV PO extended (it expired while the subject was on probation for violating it), the court denied any extension. The result? Same problems, less than eight hours after expiration. Ironic that the county sheriff was charged (and later pleaded to) with intimidation, but none of his officers seemed interested or capable of taking such a report from a private citizen. When I learned from one officer what I needed to do, I forwarded audio and transcript of one occurrence and my call to law enforcement (before the statute of limitations expired) to the prosecutor's office. I didn't even receive an acknowledgement. Earlier, I'd gone in to the prosecutor's office and been told that the officer's (written) report didn't match what I said occurred. Since I had the audio, I can only say that I have very little faith in Indiana government or law enforcement.

  4. One can only wonder whether Mr. Kimmel was paid for his work by Mr. Burgh ... or whether that bill fell to the citizens of Indiana, many of whom cannot afford attorneys for important matters. It really doesn't take a judge(s) to know that "pavement" can be considered a deadly weapon. It only takes a brain and some education or thought. I'm glad to see the conviction was upheld although sorry to see that the asphalt could even be considered "an issue".

  5. In response to bryanjbrown: thank you for your comment. I am familiar with Paul Ogden (and applaud his assistance to Shirley Justice) and have read of Gary Welsh's (strange) death (and have visited his blog on many occasions). I am not familiar with you (yet). I lived in Kosciusko county, where the sheriff was just removed after pleading in what seems a very "sweetheart" deal. Unfortunately, something NEEDS to change since the attorneys won't (en masse) stand up for ethics (rather making a show to please the "rules" and apparently the judges). I read that many attorneys are underemployed. Seems wisdom would be to cull the herd and get rid of the rotting apples in practice and on the bench, for everyone's sake as well as justice. I'd like to file an attorney complaint, but I have little faith in anything (other than the most flagrant and obvious) resulting in action. My own belief is that if this was medicine, there'd be maimed and injured all over and the carnage caused by "the profession" would be difficult to hide. One can dream ... meanwhile, back to figuring out to file a pro se "motion to dismiss" as well as another court required paper that Indiana is so fond of providing NO resources for (unlike many other states, who don't automatically assume that citizens involved in the court process are scumbags) so that maybe I can get the family law attorney - whose work left me with no settlement, no possessions and resulted in the death of two pets (etc ad nauseum) - to stop abusing the proceedings supplemental and small claims rules and using it as a vehicle for harassment and apparently, amusement.

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