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Governor appoints 2 to St. Joseph Superior bench

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has made his first two judicial appointments, naming Elizabeth C. Hurley and Steven L. Hostetler to the St. Joseph Superior bench to replace two judges retiring this year.

Hurley takes over for St. Joseph Superior Judge Roland W. Chamblee, who retired March 31. Hostetler will replace St. Joseph Superior Chief Judge Michael P. Scopelitis when he retires June 3.

“I’m pleased to appoint Elizabeth Hurley to the St. Joseph Superior Court where she has already proven to be a valuable part of the court system,” Pence said in a statement. “She has the character, life experiences and professional skills that make her a good fit for the position. Undoubtedly, Judge Hurley will continue to be a strong leader when she assumes her new role as Superior Court Judge.”

Hurley became a magistrate in the St. Joseph Circuit Court in January 2012 after serving nine years in the county prosecutor’s office working with child support, family violence, and major crimes divisions. She serves on the Violence Fatality Review Team, Bench and Bar Committee and Civility Subcommittee of the St. Joseph County Bar Association.

Hurley earned her J.D. from University of Notre Dame Law School after graduating cum laude with a B.A. from Villanova University.

On April 3, St. Joseph Circuit Judge Michael Gotsch announced the appointed of Andre B. Gammage as magistrate judge to replace Hurley. Gammage will assume his new duties May 3. He is the managing partner of Gammage & Berger and also serves as an administrative law judge for the Department of Code Enforcement for the city of South Bend. Gammage was a finalist to take over for both Chamblee and Scopelitis.

Hostetler is an attorney at Thorne Grodnik LLP in Elkhart, where he practices in civil litigation and represents businesses and financial institutions. He earned his Juris Doctor from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 1983.

“Steven Hostetler is a man of integrity whose legal experience and knowledge of the law, combined with his extensive pro bono work and volunteerism in the community, make him the right choice to serve as a judge in St. Joseph County Superior Court,” Pence said.

Hostetler is active in the Salvation Army of St. Joseph County and is a member of the Indiana State and St. Joseph County bar associations.•

  - IL Staff

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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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