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Delaware County's first public defender dies

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A former Delaware County Circuit judge and the first public defender in that county died Monday.

Judge James Joseph Jordan, 77, served as a public defender, prosecutor, and judge during his legal career. He was Delaware County's first public defender from 1960 to 1961. He worked as a deputy prosecutor before leaving for private practice, and returned to the prosecutor's office when he was elected Delaware County Prosecutor in 1974. He served as prosecutor until 1979, when he opened his own private law practice.

Judge Jordan served as a master commissioner under Delaware Circuit Judge Richard Dailey for 19 years. In 1998, then-Gov. Frank O'Bannon named him to complete the term of a Circuit judge who had died. Judge Jordan was on the bench of Circuit Court 4 through December 2002. He then worked as a senior judge until his death.

The judge was a member of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, Indiana State Bar Association and Muncie Bar Association.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth M. Jordan; children, Eleanor M. Jordan, Naperville, Ill.; Eric R. (Marian) Jordan, South Elgin, Ill.; Mark W. (Brenda) Jordan, Westfield, Ind.; Margaret R. (John) Ridenour, South Bend; John M. (Carrie) Jordan, Indianapolis; Joseph P. (Don Diforio) Jordan, Stamford, Conn.; Martha K. (Lee) Jarvis, St. Cloud, Fla.; Perry T. (Jeannie) Jordan, Albion. He is also survived by his sister, JoAnn Phillips, nine grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

A calling will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and one hour before services at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the Meeks Mortuary and Crematory, Washington St. Chapel, 415 E. Washington St., Muncie. Burial will follow in Elm Ridge Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his name to the Salvation Army, Muncie Mission, the American Cancer Society, and the American Heart Association.

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  1. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  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.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  4. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

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