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Interviews for next justice under way today

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One by one, attorneys are appearing before the seven-member Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission to explain why they should be the next Indiana Supreme Court justice.

Today is the first round of interviews for 19 of those interested in replacing Justice Theodore Boehm on the Supreme Court. Justice Boehm will retire in September. The remaining 15 people will be interviewed Wednesday.

Some applicants described being a justice as a calling, while others said they spent a lifetime preparing for this. Others described it more as the next logical step in their legal careers.

“It would be the honor of my life to be considered for this position,” said Morgan Superior Judge Jane Spencer Craney, the sixth person interviewed today.

Like her fellow applicants, Judge Craney delved into her experience as a trial judge and prosecutor, but also discussed her interest in being a community leader as the current justices are.

Indianapolis criminal defense attorney Monica Foster said being a justice would be “the coolest job you could have.” She found the 40 arguments she’s made before the high court to be the most exhilarating time of her career. She talked about her role representing the Mexican government and how she enjoys generally “testing the boundaries of the Constitution.”

Commission member John Trimble told her at one point that her “passion leaped off the page of her application.”

Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Elaine Brown is the only appellate court applicant. She went before the nominating commission less than three years ago when she applied for the Court of Appeals.

Only five years removed from private practice with both trial and appellate court experience, she described herself as a balanced “no-risk” choice. Judge Brown outlined specific goals if appointed: examining prison populations and sentencing, personal and social responsibility being taught in schools, and family law being less adversarial.

“This is not your father’s or grandfather’s Supreme Court. This is a supreme opportunity,” she said.

Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, spoke generally about his legislative experience and said he’d have a lot to learn.

“We as a society are separated from anarchy only by our ballot and jury box,” he said. “I can give back in both of those ways.”

Also interviewing this morning were Indianapolis attorney Ellen Boshkoff, Baker & Daniels; Fishers attorney Sean M. Clapp of Clapp Ferrucci; Hamilton Superior Judge Steven R. Nation; Zionsville attorney Yasmin L. Stump; and Indianapolis attorney Judy L. Woods.

Interviewing this afternoon are Clark Superior Judge Vicki L. Carmichael; Bloomington attorney Kiply Drew, associate general counsel at Indiana University; Allen Superior Judge Francis C. Gull; Lawrence County deputy prosecutor Christine Talley Haseman; Fountain Circuit Judge Susan Orr Henderson; Fort Wayne attorney Christine Marcuccilli, Rothberg Logan & Warsco; Pendleton attorney Bryce D. Owens; Taft Stettinius & Hollister attorney Geoffrey G. Slaughter; Miami Circuit Judge Robert A. Spahr; and Logansport attorney Donald J. Tribbett.

After the interviews are complete, the commission should decide on the semi-finalists and announce the names Wednesday or Thursday. The semi-finalists will be interviewed July 30, with the governor selecting the next justice from those three.  
 

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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