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Attorney survey on Marion County judiciary begins

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Eighteen Marion County judges will be on the ballot in the May 2012 primary. The Indianapolis Bar Association is asking attorneys to voice their opinions about those jurists.

The IBA’s Judicial Excellence Political Action Committee began its evaluation today of 2012 candidates for the Marion Superior bench, asking attorneys to fill out the online survey being sent to all members of the IBA as well as those with the public defender and prosecuting attorney’s offices. The survey closes on Jan. 18.

One change this year asks attorneys to evaluate only those judges or attorneys on the ballot that they have direct experience with,  IBA president Scott Chinn explained. He encourages all attorneys to participate if they’re able.

“The public gets top vote, but really their knowledge is limited and is mostly derived from the media or public accounts of trials,” Chinn said. “With the limited information out there about these important public offices, the bar for a long time has seen the value in surveying people who know these judges the best, in order to help inform the public.”

By law, the number of Marion Superior judges facing election is split between the Republican and Democratic parties. Twenty judicial positions will be decided in 2012. Nine sitting judges from each of the two political parties will be on the ballot, and one judge from each party is retiring. On the Republican side, judges facing re-election this year include Sheila Carlisle, Michael Keele, Bob Altice, Clark Rogers, Lisa Borges, William Young, William Nelson, Reuben Hill and Carol Orbison. The Democrat judges include Heather Welch, Rebekah Pierson-Treacy, Grant Hawkins, Jose Salinas, Linda Brown, Tom Carroll, David Shaheed, Barb Crawford and John Hanley. Democrat Barb Collins and Republican S.K. Reid are retiring.

Attorneys who are not currently serving on the Marion Superior Court but  submitted their names to JEPAC for evaluation by the Jan. 6 deadline include Democrats Greg Bowes, John Boyce, John M.T. Chavis II and Mark King; and Republicans Rom Byron, Amy M. Jones, James A. Joven, Helen Marchal and Steven Rubick.

Each political party slates its list of judges to appear on the May primary ballot in Marion County, with the Republican slating convention scheduled for Jan. 28 and the Democrat slating convention scheduled for Feb. 11. The filing deadline for candidates is Feb. 13, and anyone who isn’t chosen to be on a particular slate can decide to run against the slate for the May primary election.

Non-IBA attorneys who’ve entered an appearance in the last three years and who would like to complete the survey should contact IBA director Julie Armstrong at jarmstrong@indybar.org.

In October, the St. Joseph County Bar Association released the results of its 2011 Judicial Survey that was sent to attorneys last summer. The survey included eight judges, including the three who will be up for retention election in November 2012:  Judges Jerome Frese, Jenny Pitts Manier and Margot Reagan. Full results of that survey can be found online.

The Lake County Bar Association also conducted a survey last year and released results in October. That attorney survey includes judges who aren’t on the upcoming ballot but might face a retention vote in coming years. Eight judges were included, including the four who will be on the ballot in 2012: Diane Boswell, Jeffrey Dywan, Salvador Vasquez and Jesse Villalpando.

 As in St. Joseph County, Lake County judges are chosen by a local nominating commission and selected by the governor, laterfacing a retention vote.

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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