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Chief justice to give his final State of the Judiciary

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Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard on Wednesday will give his annual State of the Judiciary address to a joint session of the Indiana General Assembly, the final time he will do so before retiring in March.

The chief justice is scheduled to speak at 2 p.m. Jan. 11 in the Indiana House of Representatives. The speech will be webcast live at www.in.gov/judiciary, and Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations will air the address later this week or next week.

This year’s address, titled “On the Way to Something Better,” will focus on the process of building a more unified and purposeful court system. The chief justice plans to cite fields such as family law and criminal justice to explain why the courts should not operate as a series of silos, but instead be able to continue moving toward a connected and collaborative judicial system.

Shepard has, on occasion, announced bold initiatives, but it’s unknown whether his final address will include areas he views as unfinished business that need attention.

The 2012 State of the Judiciary marks the 25th time Shepard has given the annual address. He became chief justice in March 1987. A list of the annual speeches that Shepard has delivered can be viewed online.

Shepard announced in December he plans to leave the state’s highest court, effective March 4. The application process is underway for his successor and applicants must apply by Jan. 27. The Judicial Nominating Commission will interview applicants in February and the governor will choose the next justice. Once that happens, the commission will consider which of the five justices should be the next chief justice.

 

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