What happened to civility?

September 18, 2008
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We’ve got another sitting judge in trouble for his actions.

Howard Superior Judge Stephen Jessup received a public admonition after storming over to the prosecuting attorney’s office trying to find out where the deputy prosecutor was who was supposed to be in his courtroom that day and accusing the attorney of being on drugs.

He didn’t have any knowledge deputy prosecuting attorney did drugs. Reached by telephone this afternoon, Judge Jessup told Indiana Lawyer that he could not comment on specifics of the disciplinary action or the deputy prosecutor involved, though he did confirm that he's recused himself from cases involving that attorney.

Then, we have Allen Superior Judge Kenneth Schiebenberger, who went to another judge’s courtroom – while in his judicial robe – and verbally berated members of a defendant’s family at a sentencing hearing. His case is before a master’s panel appointed by the Indiana Supreme Court.

I know, I know … judges are human, but when they take on the role of judge, they are held to a high standard to be civil when working with others in the legal community. They shouldn’t interrupt business being conducted in another judge’s courtroom nor should they accuse an attorney of illicit behavior because he didn’t show up to court and sent someone else in his place.

Indiana judges are nationally recognized for their civility and have a good reputation in the legal community. Let’s try to keep it that way.
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  1. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  2. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  3. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  4. Different rules for different folks....

  5. I would strongly suggest anyone seeking mediation check the experience of the mediator. There are retired judges who decide to become mediators. Their training and experience is in making rulings which is not the point of mediation.

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