Lighter side of nominating commission

October 27, 2010
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Mike Hoskins wrote this blog post.

Though they were tending to an important job of choosing three finalists to possibly become the next Indiana Tax Court judge, the members of the Judicial Nominating Commission made sure to have some fun and some laughs during the interviews on Wednesday.

Before the interviews began at 9 a.m., Justice Steven David made an appearance before those seven people who in late July had suggested him to the governor as one of three names to consider for the state’s top court. Sworn in Oct. 18, the new justice came to not only to say hello and watch the process but to see if the members wanted anything – a reference to his role as the junior-ranking member of the court who typically votes and speaks first.

“Lobster,” some of the commission members said.

Later, semi-finalist Martha Wentworth mentioned in response to a question about her love for traveling that she hasn’t been to Maine but that she loves lobster. She didn’t know about the earlier lobster mention, which made commission members laugh even more.

Wentworth started her interview saying that she’d done her homework, researching the state “judiciary’s journey” by reading all of the State of the Judiciary speeches by Chief Justice Randall Shepard. Pointing that out to commission members in case they “had three or four hours to spare,” one of the commission members mentioned that’d be a good way to cure insomnia, and attorney-commissioner John Trimble patted the chief justice on the back as everyone shared in some laughter.

During the interviews, commission member Fred McCashland observed that he was impressed with Hendricks Superior Judge Karen Love’s writing style and that she could even write a textbook. While she thanked him, some other commission members asked “what subject” and McCashland responded that it’d be the “subject of her choice.”

The book topic carried over to Carol Comer, who’d mentioned during the first interview that she carried a book to read all the time and at any time might be reading four or five. That hasn’t changed, she said, in mentioning some of the titles that she was reading. She also noted that she’d just returned the previous day from a three-week vacation in Israel.

Other candidates drew some laughs, too: Melony Sacopulos raised some laughter when asking the commission if she could refer to some notes. Chief Justice Shepard pointed out it wasn’t a public political debate.

The commission also showed its light side when welcoming banking attorney Dan Carwile, who is from Evansville like members Christine Keck and Chief Justice Shepard. It’s always positive when that southern Indiana city is represented, the chief justice said to some laughs. Members also asked about Carwile’s transition as an undergraduate from religion, philosophy and English to “the dark side” of business administration and law.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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