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Commission sends finalists letter to governor

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A 60-day clock has started for Gov. Mitch Daniels to choose the next Indiana Supreme Court justice, after three names were officially sent to him Thursday afternoon.

The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission a week ago selected two judges and one appellate attorney – Boone Circuit Judge Steven David, Marion Superior Judge Robyn Moberly, and Bingham McHale attorney Karl Mulvaney – from nine semi-finalists vying for a vacancy on the state’s highest court. The seat opens once Justice Theodore Boehm retires Sept. 30.

After a full day of interviews July 30, the seven-member commission chaired by Chief Justice Randall Shepard made its selection based on those 30-minute interviews and the previous ones earlier in July, when all 34 initial applicants were interviewed.

By law, the commission must send an evaluation report to the governor for official consideration. Now that that’s happened, Daniels has 60 days to name the next justice. This will be the Republican governor’s first appointment to the high court and the first new justice since 1999. If he doesn’t meet that deadline, the chief justice then would choose from the same three finalists.

The four-page letter says the commission members considered each applicant’s legal education, writings, reputation in the practice, commitment to the profession and to public service, financial interests, and other pertinent information members considered important. They also interviewed references and reviewed recommendation letters, as well as initiating independent inquiries about the candidates, the letter says.

Written by Chief Justice Shepard, the letter includes a brief summary of each finalist and indicates why the commission chose that particular person.

• Judge David has “proven himself utterly indefatigable in the service and leadership of his fellow citizens. ‘We’ve got a good thing here,’ he said in speaking about Indiana’s legal system. The Commission regards him as a leading part of the reason that this is so.”

• “Asked where we need to do better, Judge Moberly offered a new idea for helping citizens who don’t have a lawyer and also spoke convincingly about the need to manage change in the court system. She has proven her own bona fides on these counts. As a prominent practitioner wrote to us: ‘Judge Moberly would bring an exceptional intellect, a wonderful understanding of the purpose and significance of the law, and great personal skills and character to our highest Court.’”

• "Other attorneys seek out Karl Mulvaney for advice on ethics, and they recruit him to join in representing their clients when something important and challenging is at hand. He is one of those select few about whom people use the term ‘a lawyer’s lawyer.’”

The governor’s general counsel, David Pippen, told Indiana Lawyer following the second interviews last week that interviews with Daniels would be scheduled quickly and that he didn’t expect the governor to come close to running out the 60-day clock.
 

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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