UPDATE: 5 appellate jurists seek retention

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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All of Indiana's appellate jurists facing retention this year will appear on November's ballot.

Facing a Tuesday deadline to file retention paperwork, the five jurists told Indiana Lawyer they hope to return to the Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, or Tax Court. Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard, Justices Theodore R. Boehm and Brent E. Dickson, Court of Appeals Judge Carr Darden, and Tax Court Judge Thomas G. Fisher are up for retention.

The Indiana Secretary of State's Election Division reports that all five have filed paperwork for retention, and all have confirmed they'd like to return to their respective courts, including Justice Dickson who had said he was weighing the decision.

Turning 67 this week, Justice Dickson said the fact that he will be approaching the mandatory retirement age during the next 10-year term was a key reason for questioning whether he'd stay on another term, if retained. Much of his decision-making involved primarily "husband-and-wife discussions" but also involved him consulting his faith and deciding what was the best way to continue doing what he enjoys the best.

"This seems to be where I'm supposed to be," the Gary native said about the high court. "For me and my wife, it was abundantly clear that continuing to serve, if voters choose to keep me, is the best place for me to be. This is where I can best encourage lawyers in civility and professionalism, and participate in decisions and be a voice for whatever I'm a voice for."

The same goes for Chief Justice Shepard, who said he hadn't given much thought to life after the Supreme Court at this point and is ready to continue serving.

"I will stay as long as I'm useful and I'll know when that moment arrives," he said.

If all five are retained, only Chief Justice Shepard will be able to fulfill the 10-year retention term as the others will hit the mandatory retirement age of 75.

Read more about the retention issue in the July 23-Aug. 5, 2008, edition of Indiana Lawyer.

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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.