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Governor names Boone Circuit judge to Indiana Supreme Court

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Gov. Mitch Daniels announced this morning his pick for the state’s highest appellate court, choosing Boone Circuit Judge Steven H. David to replace retiring Justice Theodore R. Boehm once he steps down Sept. 30. The Republican governor chose the longtime trial judge over Marion Superior Judge Robyn Moberly and Bingham McHale attorney Karl Mulvaney, who were the finalists forwarded on Aug. 5 from the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission.

While the governor’s choice shifts the court’s balance as far as prior judicial experience versus private practice background, this means the Supreme Court will remain an all-male institution. Only the Indiana and Idaho high courts do not currently have a woman justice.



The governor interviewed the three finalists during the first week of September and said he made his decision Tuesday. In making his selection, the governor said Judge David stood out for his distinguished 15 years on the trial bench, his past experience as corporate counsel, and his longtime military legal career.

“Lastly, I heard from Steve David the clearest expression of commitment to proper restraint in jurisprudence, and deep respect for the boundaries of judicial decision-making,” Daniels said at a morning news conference. “He will be a judge who interprets, rather than invents our laws.”

Judge David was one of the initial 34 applicants for the spot, 19 of which were women. Four of the nine semi-finalists brought back for second interviews were women.

The governor said he would have “liked nothing more” than to name a woman to the court, but that his decision was based on the merits. He might have used gender diversity as a “tie-breaker,” but this wasn’t a tie, he said.

“My task was to find the best person on the merits, and I’m sure I did,” Daniels said. “Now the state is going to benefit from that for years to come.”

A 1982 graduate of Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis, Judge David began on the Boone Circuit bench in 1995. He was in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps until the mid-1980s, when he began practicing in Columbus at law firm Cline King King & David. After that, he served as corporate counsel for Mayflower Transit in Carmel. Since taking the trial bench, he’s presided over all types of civil, criminal, and juvenile matters and also served as special judge by Supreme Court appointment and hearing officer or special master in attorney and judicial misconduct cases. Click here to view Judge David's application.

He’s remained in the Army Reserves and worked on reforming the treatment of detainees in Iraq in 2003, as well as serving as chief defense counsel for Guantanamo Bay detainees at one time. He retired from his military service on Sept. 1.

Standing with his wife Catheryne Pully – who is the Indiana State Bar Association’s local and specialty bar liaison - in the governor’s office this morning, Judge David said this is a continuation of a lifetime priority of public service. He hopes to add to the already-strong sense of professionalism and civility displayed by the court.

“This is an opportunity to serve in a different capacity,” he said. “Everything in my life is about public service and this is not something that I planned on doing, but something that just came along. The lesson learned is it’s OK to dream. Hard work can pay off.”

With this appointment, the governor will need to fill the Boone Circuit vacancy and name someone for the remainder of that term expiring in 2012. No timeline has yet been outlined for that process.
 

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  1. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  2. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  3. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  4. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

  5. And so the therapeutic state is weaonized. How soon until those with ideologies opposing the elite are disarmed in the name of mental health? If it can start anywhere it can start in the hoosiers' slavishly politically correct capital city.

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