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Former appellate court judge dies

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The Hon. Robert H. Staton, who was an Indiana appeals court judge for nearly 30 years, died July 18. He was 86.

Services will be in Indianapolis at 1 p.m. July 25 at Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N. Meridian St., with visitation from 4 to 8 p.m. July 24 at Leppert Mortuary, 740 E. 86th St.

Judge Staton was elected to the Indiana Appellate Court in 1970 – the last year in which judges were elected to serve in that role. Under a new amendment to the Indiana Constitution, that court in 1970 became the Court of Appeals of Indiana, and Staton was retained by election. He wrote more than 3,000 majority opinions before retiring from the court in 2000.

Before earning his law degree from Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis in 1955, Judge Staton served in World War II with the 91st Infantry Division of the Fifth Army and was attached to the 801 Special Combat Force, which specialized in reconnaissance work behind enemy lines. He achieved the rank of major and was awarded numerous medals, including a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

After law school, Staton was a deputy prosecuting attorney in Marion County, eventually holding the position of chief trial deputy prosecutor. He then entered private practice and founded the law firm of Staton & Ward.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Jane Ellen (Cox) Staton. He is survived by his two daughters who are also attorneys, Jennifer Staton Stoesz (Steven), of Carmel; and Elizabeth Staton Idleman (Scott), of Milwaukee. He has four grandchildren: Jacob Staton Stoesz, Sarah Jane Stoesz, Katherine Elizabeth Idleman, and Peter Gregory Idleman.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Honorable Robert H. Staton Intramural Moot Court Competition at IU School of Law-Indianapolis c/o IU Foundation Showalter House, PO Box 500, Bloomington, IN, 47402; or Carmel Clay Public Library Foundation, 55 4th Ave. S.E., Carmel, IN, 46032.

For more on Judge Staton, see the Aug. 3 edition of Indiana Lawyer.

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