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Judicial candidates lose elections

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

Two judicial candidates who’d faced Indiana Election Commission challenges earlier this year about their names even appearing on the ballot made it to the general election, but ended up losing the races and not getting to the bench in Lake and Allen counties.

In Allen County, incumbent Superior Judge Kenneth Scheibenberger lost the election for the seat he’s held for 19 years. He was defeated by attorney Wendy Davis. Opponents had tried to get the judge removed from the ballot in September on the grounds that he’d previously been disciplined by the Indiana Supreme Court, but the Indiana Election Commission refused to remove him based on language of state statute – finding that it only applied to attorney judicial prospects, not incumbent judges.

Meanwhile in Lake County, Highland attorney William I. Fine lost his bid for the Circuit bench to succeed retiring Judge Lorenzo Arredondo. The Republican candidate lost to Democratic challenger George C. Paras, who had been the only person on the ballot following the primary election in May. No Republicans ran in the primary and Paras was the sole name on the ballot until the county’s Republican Party chair appointed Fine as the candidate. But a Lake County town official challenged that appointment, saying the chair should have held a caucus and chosen someone that way party rules dictate.

The state election commission split on whether that was permissible, and as a result Fine was removed from the ballot. But Marion Superior Judge Michael Keele overturned that commission decision and put him back on the ballot in September. The Indiana Supreme Court refused to take the case before the Court of Appeals had a chance to rule on it, and the lower appellate court declined to speed up its review of the case before the election.

Though the election is now over and Fine’s candidacy is effectively moot, Crown Point attorney Michael Back who represents the challenger Michael Lambert said it may continue because the issue is broader than Fine’s election loss and goes to whether the party chair is allowed to appoint a judicial candidate rather than holding a caucus.

Rehearing "Candidacy issues in Allen, Lake counties" IL Sept. 15-28, 2010

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  1. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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