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IBA: Website to Provide Info About Appellate Judges on Retention Ballot

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Indiana’s Appellate Courts are once again providing voters with a simple avenue for learning about judges who are on the November retention ballot. A website has been created to help voters make informed decisions. The site is designed to give voters access to biographical information about the judges and details about the decisions they have made while serving on the bench. The website can be found at courts.IN.gov/retention.

In November, the following Court of Appeals Judges will appear on the retention ballot: L. Mark Bailey of the First District which includes southern Indiana, Elaine B. Brown of the Fifth District which includes the entire state, Cale J. Bradford of the Second District which includes central Indiana, Melissa S. May of the Fourth District which includes the entire state and Margret G. Robb of the Fifth District which includes the entire state.

The website is designed to be user-friendly with a number of ways for voters to learn about judges. Visitors to the site can watch appellate cases unfold first-hand. Oral argument video is webcast live and later archived. The retention website allows voters to watch those arguments. Voters can also search a database of judicial opinions. Opinions are the written decisions of a case and are available for citizens to read.

In 2008 the Appellate Courts developed a similar website after Senate President Pro Tempore David Long urged the judiciary to provide more information about the retention election to voters. Court of Appeals Judges Terry Crone and Cale Bradford (who were not on the 2008 ballot) coordinated the website creation. The Indiana Division of State Court Administration provided technical support.

Indiana selects appellate judges based on merit. The Judicial Nominating Commission interviews judicial applicants and provides the Governor with a list of three candidates. The Governor makes the final selection. Once appointed, after serving two years, a judge must stand for retention in the first general election. The voter is presented with the question “Should Justice (or Judge) Jane B. Jones be retained in office?” If the judge receives a majority of “yes” votes, the judge is retained. The judge is then on the retention ballot every 10 years.• 

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  1. Hmmmmm ..... How does the good doctor's spells work on tyrants and unelected bureacrats with nearly unchecked power employing in closed hearings employing ad hoc procedures? Just askin'. ... Happy independence day to any and all out there who are "free" ... Unlike me.

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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