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Commission sends finalists letter to governor

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A 60-day clock has started for Gov. Mitch Daniels to choose the next Indiana Supreme Court justice, after three names were officially sent to him Thursday afternoon.

The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission a week ago selected two judges and one appellate attorney – Boone Circuit Judge Steven David, Marion Superior Judge Robyn Moberly, and Bingham McHale attorney Karl Mulvaney – from nine semi-finalists vying for a vacancy on the state’s highest court. The seat opens once Justice Theodore Boehm retires Sept. 30.

After a full day of interviews July 30, the seven-member commission chaired by Chief Justice Randall Shepard made its selection based on those 30-minute interviews and the previous ones earlier in July, when all 34 initial applicants were interviewed.

By law, the commission must send an evaluation report to the governor for official consideration. Now that that’s happened, Daniels has 60 days to name the next justice. This will be the Republican governor’s first appointment to the high court and the first new justice since 1999. If he doesn’t meet that deadline, the chief justice then would choose from the same three finalists.

The four-page letter says the commission members considered each applicant’s legal education, writings, reputation in the practice, commitment to the profession and to public service, financial interests, and other pertinent information members considered important. They also interviewed references and reviewed recommendation letters, as well as initiating independent inquiries about the candidates, the letter says.

Written by Chief Justice Shepard, the letter includes a brief summary of each finalist and indicates why the commission chose that particular person.

• Judge David has “proven himself utterly indefatigable in the service and leadership of his fellow citizens. ‘We’ve got a good thing here,’ he said in speaking about Indiana’s legal system. The Commission regards him as a leading part of the reason that this is so.”

• “Asked where we need to do better, Judge Moberly offered a new idea for helping citizens who don’t have a lawyer and also spoke convincingly about the need to manage change in the court system. She has proven her own bona fides on these counts. As a prominent practitioner wrote to us: ‘Judge Moberly would bring an exceptional intellect, a wonderful understanding of the purpose and significance of the law, and great personal skills and character to our highest Court.’”

• "Other attorneys seek out Karl Mulvaney for advice on ethics, and they recruit him to join in representing their clients when something important and challenging is at hand. He is one of those select few about whom people use the term ‘a lawyer’s lawyer.’”

The governor’s general counsel, David Pippen, told Indiana Lawyer following the second interviews last week that interviews with Daniels would be scheduled quickly and that he didn’t expect the governor to come close to running out the 60-day clock.
 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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