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. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.