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UPDATE: 5 appellate jurists seek retention

January 1, 2008
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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