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Indiana chief justice gets national award

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Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard is receiving a national award from the American Judicature Society for his "distinguished judicial service."

Selected by a three-judge panel from other states, Indiana's top jurist was chosen to receive the organization's sixth annual Dwight D. Opperman Award for Judicial Excellence, named in honor of the former chairman and chief executive officer of West Publishing.

Indiana Court of Appeals Chief Judge John Baker nominated him, writing in his nomination letter that Chief Justice Shepard "makes those of us from Indiana proud to be Hoosiers."

A seventh-generation Hoosier and graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School, Chief Justice Shepard started his judicial career in 1980 on the Vanderburgh Superior Court in Evansville. He joined the state Supreme Court in 1985, and then took the chief justice role 1987. He's authored more than 850 majority opinions in his time on the court and is recognized as a national authority on judicial ethics and legal professionalism, and has held leadership roles as president of the Conference of Chief Justices and the National Center for State Courts.

He will accept the award early next year.

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