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. 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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