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IndyBar releases judicial candidate survey results

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A Marion County Superior judge currently suspended pending final disciplinary action was overwhelmingly not recommended by her peers to be re-elected, according to a survey released by the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Judicial Excellence Committee.

Marion Superior Judge Kimberly J. Brown received just a 10 percent approval rate. Brown has been removed from the bench with pay by the Indiana Supreme Court while she awaits possible discipline for violating numerous rules of judicial conduct.

The survey was emailed Jan. 3 to 4,377 attorneys belonging to the IndyBar and Marion County Bar Association, as well as attorneys with the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office and Marion County Public Defender’s Office. By Jan. 20, the committee received 1,201 responses to the survey which asked attorneys if they would recommend 24 judicial candidates for office in 2014.

Marion County attorneys have higher confidence in Republican judicial candidates running for the bench for the first time than their Democratic counterparts, according to the survey results.

Republican non-incumbents Rom Byron, Patrick “P.J.” Dietrick and Therese A. Hannah received no less than a 76 percent approval rate. Byron received the lowest overall approval rate of Republican candidates; incumbent Judge Kurt M. Kisgruber received the highest approval rate of Republican candidates at 95.6 percent.
 
Democratic non-incumbents did not fare as well in the survey. Karen Celestino-Horseman, Angela Dow Davis, Jonathan C. Little and Todd A. Woodmansee all received less than a 53-percent approval rate. Non-incumbent Democratic candidate Mark A. Jones received the highest approval rating for either political party at 96.5 percent. Judge James B. Osborn received the highest approval rate for incumbent Democratic judges at 95.5 percent.

The committee hopes the results of the survey help voters assess the strengths of the candidates on the May 6 primary ballots. Candidate pages with more information will be posted later Wednesday at www.indyjudges.org. Complete survey results are also available on that website.  
 

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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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