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. 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.

  2. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  3. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  4. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  5. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

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