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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. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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