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. Based on several recent Indy Star articles, I would agree that being a case worker would be really hard. You would see the worst of humanity on a daily basis; and when things go wrong guess who gets blamed??!! Not biological parent!! Best of luck to those who entered that line of work.

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  3. Don't believe me, listen to Pacino: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6bC9w9cH-M

  4. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  5. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

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