ILNews

Former Marion Superior Court judge dies

IL Staff
January 1, 2008
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A former Marion Superior Court judge and Indianapolis City-County councilor died March 5 of natural causes. Judge Z. Mae Jimison was the first African-American woman to serve as judge in Marion Superior Court.

Judge Jimison, 64, served on the bench from 1996 to 2002 and spent much of that time creating and supervising Marion County's Drug Court. In 1999, she applied to become a justice on the Indiana Supreme Court after Justice Myra C. Selby announced she would step down to return to private practice.

Following a car accident and several strokes in 2001, Jimison took medical leave for several months. When she returned, at her request she swapped her felony-court post with Judge Mark Stoner, who handled misdemeanors, because the misdemeanor court would be less stressful to run.

During her medical leave in 2001, it was discovered that three employees of Judge Jimison's felony court were accused of destroying hundreds of documents - including pleadings, minute reports, and receipts - and were fired. According to an Aug. 29, 2001, Indiana Lawyer article, her court had chronic problems with lost files, misfiled paperwork, delayed hearings, and other missteps.

Prior to becoming a judge, Jimison, a democrat, was a City-County councilor from 1992 to 1995.

Judge Jimison graduated from Ohio State University Law School, now the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, in 1977; she'd received bachelor's and master's degrees from Indiana State University.

She is survived by sons Robert and Willard, both of Indianapolis.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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