Judge is a fan of Johnny Carson

November 16, 2011
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I am about to show my age: I had to do a Google search to find out who Carnac is.

In an opinion handed down Wednesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals, Judge Michael Barnes concurred with a brief separate opinion in a case involving an inverse condemnation claim.

“I write to concur in full and to acknowledge the precedent our supreme court articulated in State v. Kimco of Evansville, Inc., 902 N.E.2d 206 (Ind. 2009). As the author of the Court of Appeals decision reversed by that opinion, one does not have to be Carnac to realize I disagree. However, our supreme court has spoken, and I concur,” wrote Barnes.

I thought “Who or what is Carnac?” I figured it had to be something well known enough for it to stand alone in the opinion, but it wasn’t ringing a bell with me. Thankfully, Google told me that it’s Carnac the Magnificent, a character Johnny Carson would play on his TV show (unless Barnes was referring to Carnac stones, but I bet they don’t psychically determine answers from sealed envelopes).

Once I learned it was a reference to the Tonight Show skit, I realized that I did know who Carnac is, I just didn’t know his name. In my defense, the show went off the air before I was allowed to stay up that late.

I like seeing judges interject a bit of their personality into their writings – it breaks up the monotony of the legal language and gives you a glimpse of who they possibly are off the bench. I deduced two things from Barnes’ writing – he watched (or at least is familiar enough with) the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and he has a sense of humor in showing how he feels about the Supreme Court’s reversal of his decision.


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.