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Former Jackson Circuit Judge Robert R. Brown dies

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Robert R. Brown, retired Jackson Circuit judge, died Sept. 12 at his Brownstown home. He was 78.

Brown served as judge of the Jackson Circuit Court from 1971 until his retirement in 1999. After his retirement from the bench, he served as a senior judge and certified mediator throughout southern Indiana and joined the Seymour law firm of Montgomery Elsner & Pardieck, where he successfully mediated more than 500 cases.

He had been the president of the Indiana Judges Association, a member of the Indiana Supreme Court Rules Committee, and a hearing officer of the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission, among other prominent posts in the legal community.

Judge Brown was born in Whiteland and graduated from Franklin College, where he was the president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. He was a U.S. Army veteran and earned his law degree in 1963 from Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis.

After graduating with honors, he formed the Seymour firm of Whitcomb & Brown, with Edgar D. Whitcomb, who later became secretary of state, then governor, of Indiana.

In 1965, he was appointed by Gov. Roger Branigin to serve as prosecutor of Jackson County, and was elected to that post in 1966, where he served until his election as Circuit judge of Jackson County.

He is survived by his wife, Donna; brother, William (Sue Ann) Brown, Indianapolis; sister, Sue (Don) Lockmiller, Johnson City, Tenn.; son Jeffery Brown, Seymour; son Douglas (Constance) Brown, Indianapolis; daughter Kristen (Douglas) Bryant, Greenwood; grandchildren Chad (Ashley) McCory; Robert and Andrew Brown; Blaine and Bryant Buschman; Nicole and Abigail Bryant; and great-grandchildren Madison and Camden McCory.  

A public celebration of his life will be at the Jackson County Courthouse at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 17. Full military rites will be accorded by American Legion Post 89, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1925, Disabled American Veterans 47, and Vietnam Veterans 7 of Seymour.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Jackson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) or Brownstown Presbyterian Church through Spurgeon Funeral Home, in Brownstown.
 

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  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

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