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IBA: Indianapolis Lawyers Release Results of Judicial Candidate Peer Evaluation

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In order to assist voters in electing qualified and effective judges in the November 8 election, the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Judicial Excellence Political Action Committee has released the results of its 2012 judicial candidate peer evaluation. The Democratic and Republican Party ballots will each feature twelve candidates vying for ten Marion Superior Court judgeship opportunities on the November ballot.

“This evaluation by the candidates’ professional peers confirms for the public that we have a variety of qualified candidates from which to choose. We hope voters take into consideration the thoughts of those interacting professionally with the candidates and elect the qualified judiciary Marion County needs and deserves,” said C. Joseph Russell, chair of JEPAC.

The survey was sent to members of the Indianapolis Bar Association, attorneys in the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office and the Marion County Public Defender’s Office, as well as any other attorney who had entered an appearance in Marion County courts in the last three years. The respondents were asked to verify that they had had professional contact with the candidates they evaluated and if they had, the evaluating lawyers were to rate their experience with the candidate(s) regarding each candidate’s; (1) demonstration of sufficient legal experience to be an effective judge; (2) efficiency as an office administrator; (3) conduct appropriate for a judge; (4) knowledge of rules of evidence, procedure and substantive law; and (5) ability to be unbiased, independent and impartial. Complete details are posted at www.indyjudges.org.

The sole purpose of JEPAC is to conduct and publicize non-partisan evaluations of Marion County judicial candidates to promote the fair and effective selection of qualified judicial candidates in Marion County. The JEPAC is a bipartisan group assisted by bipartisan counsel.•

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  1. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

  2. Both sites mentioned in the article appear to be nonfunctional to date (March 28, 2017). http://indianalegalanswers.org/ returns a message stating the "server is taking too long to respond" and http://www.abafreelegalasnswers.org/ "can't find the server". Although this does not surprise me, it is disheartening to know that access to the judicial branch of government remains out of reach for too many citizens (for procedural rather than meritorious reasons) of Indiana. Any updates regarding this story?

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