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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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