What happened to civility?

September 18, 2008
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We’ve got another sitting judge in trouble for his actions.

Howard Superior Judge Stephen Jessup received a public admonition after storming over to the prosecuting attorney’s office trying to find out where the deputy prosecutor was who was supposed to be in his courtroom that day and accusing the attorney of being on drugs.

He didn’t have any knowledge deputy prosecuting attorney did drugs. Reached by telephone this afternoon, Judge Jessup told Indiana Lawyer that he could not comment on specifics of the disciplinary action or the deputy prosecutor involved, though he did confirm that he's recused himself from cases involving that attorney.

Then, we have Allen Superior Judge Kenneth Schiebenberger, who went to another judge’s courtroom – while in his judicial robe – and verbally berated members of a defendant’s family at a sentencing hearing. His case is before a master’s panel appointed by the Indiana Supreme Court.

I know, I know … judges are human, but when they take on the role of judge, they are held to a high standard to be civil when working with others in the legal community. They shouldn’t interrupt business being conducted in another judge’s courtroom nor should they accuse an attorney of illicit behavior because he didn’t show up to court and sent someone else in his place.

Indiana judges are nationally recognized for their civility and have a good reputation in the legal community. Let’s try to keep it that way.

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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.