ILNews

Justices decline to suspend Marion Superior judge, appoint masters

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The Indiana Supreme Court on Monday declined to suspend Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown over a 45-count disciplinary complaint lodged against her, but appointed three special masters to hear the case on an expedited basis.

The court order appoints retired Monroe Circuit Judge Viola Taliaferro to preside over a panel that will include as special masters Boone Superior Judge Rebecca S. McClure and Lake Superior Judge Sheila M. Moss.

The masters are ordered to submit a schedule within 15 days that will complete a hearing in the matter by Nov. 26 and submit a report of hearing and transcript of hearing by Dec. 30.

“Given the expedited nature of this proceeding, the parties should not request continuances or extensions of time except in emergency situations of an unforeseen and extraordinary nature,” according to the order signed by Chief Justice Brent Dickson in which all justices concurred.

Brown faces an array of accusations, including counts that her actions led to the delayed release of at least nine defendants improperly jailed from periods of 1 to 22 days, and that she created “a hostile environment for attorneys, court staff, clerks, and other court officials.” She also is accused of failing to act timely on motions before her in multiple instances and causing needless delays, among other things.

Brown's response to the suspension request from the Judicial Qualifications Commission struck a contrite, conciliatory and corrective tone and asked the justices to deny the petition for suspension and allow her to continue to preside “until an adjudication of all issues is reached.”

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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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