Another judge in trouble

July 22, 2008
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Allen Circuit Court Judge Thomas Felts was arrested for suspicion of drunk driving while in Indianapolis last Friday. Judge Felts told Indiana Lawyer he regrets what’s happened.

Judges getting arrested and breaking the law isn’t anything new. Judges are human, just like the rest of us. However, after working intimately with the law day after day, knowing the consequences of drunk driving, you would think they would be even more acutely aware of their actions that break the law.

He isn’t the first one to be charged with drunk driving or public intoxication. Carroll Circuit Judge Donald Currie received a public admonition following his 2007 arrest for public intoxication.Marion Superior Judge John F. Hanley was arrested in December 2006 in Indianapolis for operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration equivalent to at least .15 gram of alcohol and later pleaded guilty to the charge. Another Marion Superior judge, Hon. Israel Nunez Cruz, was arrested in Hendricks County in June 2006 and charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Both received public reprimands.

What’s going through the minds of attorneys and judges when they get into trouble with the law? What does this do to the reputation of judges charged and/or convicted of crimes? Judge Felts is up for re-election this November. Will the general public hold this against him and other judges who have gotten into legal trouble, or will voters even remember when election time rolls around?

    Boo Hoo for Judge Felts.
    Give me a break Judge Nelson

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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues