ILNews

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. Indianapolis Bar Association President John Trimble and I are on the same page, but it is a very large page with plenty of room for others to join us. As my final Res Gestae article will express in more detail in a few days, the Great Recession hastened a fundamental and permanent sea change for the global legal service profession. Every state bar is facing the same existential questions that thrust the medical profession into national healthcare reform debates. The bench, bar, and law schools must comprehensively reconsider how we define the practice of law and what it means to access justice. If the three principals of the legal service profession do not recast the vision of their roles and responsibilities soon, the marketplace will dictate those roles and responsibilities without regard for the public interests that the legal profession professes to serve.

  2. I have met some highly placed bureaucrats who vehemently disagree, Mr. Smith. This is not your father's time in America. Some ideas are just too politically incorrect too allow spoken, says those who watch over us for the good of their concept of order.

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