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Court of Appeals names Nancy Vaidik as next chief judge

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The Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana has selected Judge Nancy H. Vaidik to succeed Judge Margret G. Robb as the court’s next chief judge. Vaidik’s three-year term of office will start Jan. 1, 2014.

Vaidik was appointed to the Court of Appeals in February 2000 and was retained by election in 2002 and 2012. She will be just the second woman to serve the court as chief judge, following  Robb.

Vaidik is a native of Portage and lives in Valparaiso. She has broad experience in both trial and appellate courts and in legal classrooms. As an attorney, she tried more than 75 jury trials and currently serves as national program director for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. She was judge of Porter Superior Court from 1992-2000 and before that worked as a deputy and chief deputy prosecutor in Porter County. She also founded the Porter County Victims Assistance Unit, the Porter County Sexual Assault Recovery Project and the Valparaiso University Law School Mediation Clinic. Vaidik graduated from Valparaiso University and Valparaiso University Law School.

“I’m honored by the court’s selection and proud of its work,”  Vaidik said. “I’m also proud of my home region of Northwest Indiana and look forward to serving the entire state and our court as chief judge.”

By law, the 15-member Court of Appeals elects a chief judge every three years. The chief judge represents the court at public and private events and ceremonies and serves as the court’s liaison to the legislative and executive branches.

 

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  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

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