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Pinched nerve causes chief justice to miss arguments, Evansville event

May 2, 2011

Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard is dealing with a painful pinched nerve in his neck but is working on managing the pain and has not been hospitalized as a result of the condition, said Supreme Court Public Information Officer Kathryn Dolan.

The chief justice had gone to an Indianapolis-area hospital because of the condition, but he was never admitted overnight. Because of the pinched nerve, he began missing work in the past few weeks, including oral arguments. Dolan said his absence from arguments had been because of travel and because of the pinched nerve.

Chief Justice Shepard was also unable to attend the Evansville Bar Association’s 100th anniversary celebration April 29. At the event, a restored Superior Court courtroom in the Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse was named the “Randall T. Shepard Courtroom.” The chief justice is an Evansville native. Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Melissa May appeared at the event on his behalf. Before being appointed to the court, Judge May practiced law for 14 years in Evansville.

Dolan said the chief justice was disappointed on a professional and personal level to not be in attendance at the event, but the condition makes it difficult for him to travel.

The chief justice has been in touch with the court via email and phone, and is able to view the oral arguments online. He will still take part in the decision making process on the arguments he missed. Dolan said Chief Justice Shepard is expected in the office this week.

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