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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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  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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