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Indiana Court of Appeals finalists chosen

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Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels will appoint the next member of the Indiana Court of Appeals from a list of three finalists comprised of two judges and a public defender.

Marion Superior Judge Robert R. Altice Jr., public defender Patricia Caress McMath and Madison Circuit Judge Rudolph R. Pyle III were named finalists June 4 by the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission.

The three are vying to replace Judge Carr Darden, who is retiring in July.

altice-robert-mug Altice
McMath McMath
Pyle Pyle

The commission narrowed the field from five to the three finalists after a second round of interviews on June 4. Each candidate was asked what he or she might change about the court if selected as a judge.

McMath said she would like to see the court consider methods for assisting pro se litigants and also find ways to try to shorten the 90-day period allowed for court personnel to file court records for appeal.

Altice said he would like to see appeals court panels permit more oral arguments, noting that fewer than 10 percent of appeals court cases involve oral argument, while the majority of Supreme Court cases do.

Pyle said he wouldn’t propose many changes but would consider exploring ways to compress the time allowed for filing court transcripts, and he would embrace technology to assist court proceedings.

Abigail Lawlis Kuzma, who works in the Office of the Indiana Attorney General Consumer Protection Division, and Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law professor Joel M. Schumm were the other semi-finalists for the judgeship.

The Judicial Nominating Commission sent its letter with the names of the three finalists to Daniels June 11. The governor has 60 calendar days from the date he receives the letter to make the appointment.•

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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