ILNews

Governor names new Court of Appeals judge

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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Dubois Superior Judge Elaine Brown is the newest judge on the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Gov. Mitch Daniels announced this morning Judge Brown's appointment to the state's second highest appellate court, replacing Judge John Sharpnack who is taking senior status in May.

"This is a dream of a lifetime," Judge Brown said, on first reaction this morning. "I'm just so extremely honored and humbled, and can't wait to get started. It's life-changing for me."

The southern Indiana jurist has been on the bench for 15 years, but is only three years removed from active law practice since her judicial terms haven't been concurrent. She is a 1982 graduate of Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington. Among her accomplishments, Judge Brown is most proud of helping to establish a successful drug court in February 2006.

Gov. Daniels chose her from three people selected late last year by the state's Judicial Nominating Commission. In December, the commission had chosen Judge Brown, Dearborn Superior Judge G. Michael Witte, and Evansville attorney Les Shively from seven finalists. Fifteen had originally applied last fall.

Judge Brown will become one of the 15 jurists on a court responsible for more than 2,500 cases a year. The judge looks forward to using her local county experience - handling the weighted caseload of 1.5 jurists - to manage her charge of the growing appellate caseload.

The governor will be responsible for naming a replacement for the Jasper judge, whose term expires in 2010, she said.

Going to the Statehouse for the announcement this morning, Judge Brown noted that this was the fourth time she'd been there since this interview process started last fall. This time, the judge was able to smile and say "Victorious" as she walked inside, the judge said.

"You know it's going to be life-changing, so every day that the announcement doesn't come, it's wearing on you," she said, noting that she'd interviewed with the governor in late January. "It's a fabulous feeling and makes the work you've done in these six months since the beginning all that more meaningful knowing that it paid off this way. This is a real honor."
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  1. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

  2. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

  3. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

  4. I have dealt with more than a few I-465 moat-protected government attorneys and even judges who just cannot seem to wrap their heads around the core of this 800 year old document. I guess monarchial privileges and powers corrupt still ..... from an academic website on this fantastic "treaty" between the King and the people ... "Enduring Principles of Liberty Magna Carta was written by a group of 13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical king. There are two principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate to this day: "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." "To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice." Inspiration for Americans During the American Revolution, Magna Carta served to inspire and justify action in liberty’s defense. The colonists believed they were entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, rights guaranteed in Magna Carta. They embedded those rights into the laws of their states and later into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution ("no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.") is a direct descendent of Magna Carta's guarantee of proceedings according to the "law of the land." http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/

  5. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

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