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Dickson takes oath as Indiana chief justice

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Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson formally took the oath of office Aug. 6 before more than 300 people in the atrium of the Indiana Statehouse.

Gov. Mitch Daniels administered the oath as Dickson’s wife of 49 years, Jan Aikman Dickson, held the family Bible upon which the new chief in 1986 took the oath when he was appointed as a justice by Gov. Robert Orr. Dickson’s three adult sons and many grandchildren and family members attended.

IL_Dickson04.jpg With his wife Jan Aikman Dickson between them, Brent Dickson, right, is sworn in as Indiana chief justice by Gov. Mitch Daniels. (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

“He did not seek this position, it was thrust upon him,” Daniels said of Dickson, who was officially appointed chief justice by the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission in June. Daniels said he called Dickson and urged him to serve, adding that during a period of significant change on the court, “there was only one choice.”

Daniels said Dickson had served as a key member of a judicial “dream team” respected nationally for civility and intellectual jurisprudence. Under former Chief Justice Randall Shepard, Dickson and Justices Theodore Boehm, Robert Rucker and Frank Sullivan Jr. served together longer than any Supreme Court in the state’s history.

Dickson and Rucker are the lone remaining justices from that court. Justice Steven David replaced Boehm; Justice Mark Massa replaced Shepard; and Hamilton Superior Judge Steven Nation, Tippecanoe Superior Judge Loretta Rush, and Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP partner Geoffrey Slaughter are the finalists in the running to replace Sullivan, who retired from the court Aug. 1.

“Now, we hope we’re rebuilding another dream team for the future,” Daniels said.

Dickson noted the “approaching conclusion” of a period of change for the court, noting the court should be back to five members by October.

“Your new Indiana Supreme Court intends to continue in the traditions of the recent past,” he said, as a respected body that serves as a model for courts around the country and continues to be nonpolitical. “We are determined to wage civility at every opportunity.”

Tippecanoe County Bar Association President Patricia Truitt, a longtime friend and colleague of the Dicksons, noted that she believed Dickson to be the first chief justice who attended Purdue University as an undergraduate student – the same institution Daniels will lead when he leaves office.

Truitt was among several friends and colleagues who offered remarks during Dickson’s ceremony, over which Rucker presided. Also offering remarks were Boehm, Indiana Judges Association President Judge Robyn Moberly, and Rep. Ralph Foley, R-Martinsville.•
 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  4. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  5. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

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