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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. Indianapolis Bar Association President John Trimble and I are on the same page, but it is a very large page with plenty of room for others to join us. As my final Res Gestae article will express in more detail in a few days, the Great Recession hastened a fundamental and permanent sea change for the global legal service profession. Every state bar is facing the same existential questions that thrust the medical profession into national healthcare reform debates. The bench, bar, and law schools must comprehensively reconsider how we define the practice of law and what it means to access justice. If the three principals of the legal service profession do not recast the vision of their roles and responsibilities soon, the marketplace will dictate those roles and responsibilities without regard for the public interests that the legal profession professes to serve.

  2. I have met some highly placed bureaucrats who vehemently disagree, Mr. Smith. This is not your father's time in America. Some ideas are just too politically incorrect too allow spoken, says those who watch over us for the good of their concept of order.

  3. Lets talk about this without forgetting that Lawyers, too, have FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND ASSOCIATION

  4. Baer filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit on April 30 2015. When will this be decided? How many more appeals does this guy have? Unbelievable this is dragging on like this.

  5. They ruled there is no absolute right to keep a license, whether it be for a lifetime or a short period of time. So with that being said, this state taught me at the age of 15 how to obtain that license. I am actually doing something that I was taught to do, I'm not breaking the law breaking the rules and according to the Interstate Compact the National Interstate Compact...driving while suspended is a minor offense. So, do with that what you will..Indiana sucks when it comes to the driving laws, they really and truly need to reevaluate their priorities and honestly put the good of the community first... I mean, what's more important the pedophile drug dealer or wasting time and money to keep us off the streets?

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