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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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  1. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  2. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  3. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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