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Building named in honor of retiring judge

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Taking the bench on Jan. 1, 1975, Montgomery Circuit Judge Thomas K. Milligan is the second-longest serving trial judge in the state.

But as this year comes to a close, Judge Milligan is officially hanging up his robe and marking the end of his 36-year judicial career. He is one of 18 trial and appellate judges leaving the bench this year, and one of only two trial judges in the state who are now finding their names attached to a courthouse or legal services building.

County commissioners in October passed a resolution honoring the longtime judge by dedicating the Montgomery County Court Services Building at 307 Binford St. in Crawfordsville in his honor. The historic and newly renovated building that houses the probation department, some classrooms, and the soon-to-be started drug court offices will be named the Thomas K. Milligan Justice Center.

The resolution honoring him says the Waveland native has served county residents “honorably and well, while maintaining the highest standards of fairness and impartiality in the administration of justice for 36 years… (and) has demonstrated through the administration of his Court that he is one of the preeminent trial judges in the State of Indiana.” It also points out he’s particularly known for “fair and just treatment for children and their families who are most in need or in harm’s way, and that he has dutifully followed the Gentleman's Rule of his alma mater, Wabash College.”

Admitted to practice in 1967 and first elected in November 1974, Judge Milligan has been on the bench longer than any other sitting judge except for Marion Superior Judge Gerald Zore – who was appointed just before Christmas 1974 and as a result beats out his colleague in Montgomery County by just a week.

Through the years, Judge Milligan has been an advocate for youth and has worked in close contact with the Youth Service Bureau in the training of CASA workers, Teen Court, and with the schools and out-of-school suspension program. He is a member of the Indiana Juvenile Judges Association and has also held leadership officer roles with the Indiana Judges Association and served as past president of the Montgomery County Bar Association.

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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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