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In-box: Marion County slating system works well

December 8, 2010
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Letters to the Editor

Dear editor:

I write to challenge the Indiana Lawyer’s disparagement of the Marion County unique hybrid method of trial judge selection. The Superior Court reorganization, finally passed in 1976, was the result of a three-year effort by a diverse group of lawyers.

The group wanted to stop the wipeout of trial judges in winner take all general elections, but did not want to isolate trial judges from the public they serve. Both political parties accepted the concept of a split Republican/Democrat trial bench, and the reorganization statute was crafted to be able to pass the legislature and operate in multi-court urban area for both civil and criminal trial courts.

The statute has been amended and courts have been added to keep up with the increasing workload. Practicing lawyers or judges always pushed for the changes. Who can know better how to run the Marion County trial courts than those who work there?

The present system has served the public and worked well for 35 years. It has brought stability to the trial courts. It has attracted good trial judges. It has made individual judges cooperate in General Term.

Don’t be so quick to criticize thirty-five years of success!

Douglass R. Shortridge

President 1974, Indianapolis Bar Association

Carmel

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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