Judicial retention

Editorial: Election Day 2010 provides cause for concern

December 8, 2010
Editorial Indiana Lawyer
Here's to hoping reason and sanity will prevail, but we're not holding our breath.
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Indiana attorney is still battling merit-selection in courts

November 4, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Terre Haute attorney has been dealt another blow in his national effort to challenge judicial merit-selection systems in favor of popular elections.
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All judges up for retention to stay on bench

November 3, 2010
IL Staff
The 11 judges up for retention this year – including five on the Indiana Court of Appeals – will remain on the bench.
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State bar releases results of COA retention survey

October 13, 2010
IL Staff
If the results of the Indiana State Bar Association’s 2010 Judicial Retention Poll are any indicator of next month’s election, then the five Indiana Court of Appeals judges up for a vote will be easily retained.
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5 Court of Appeals judges up for retention

October 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
One third of the Indiana Court of Appeals judges face a retention vote this year. Read the judges’ answers to questions posed by Indiana Lawyer.
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Indiana Court of Appeals Judicial Retention Q&A

October 13, 2010
Indiana Lawyer posed 11 questions to the five Indiana Court of Appeals judges who are facing retention this year – Judges L. Mark Bailey, Melissa S. May, Margret G. Robb, Cale J. Bradford, and Elaine B. Brown.
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ISBA poll on judicial retention to be e-mailed

September 16, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A third of the Indiana Court of Appeals judges face retention this year, but before voters mark their ballots the state’s attorneys have a chance to say what they think about the five appellate judges who want to remain on the bench.
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5 appeals judges up for retention

June 3, 2010
Michael HoskinsMore

St. Joseph Bar evaluates judges

October 22, 2009
IL Staff
The St. Joseph County Bar Association has released the results of its 2009 survey evaluating Superior Court judges. This is the second time the bar association has completed and published this survey.
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Judiciary announces court reforms

September 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
he Indiana Judicial Conference unveiled its "roadmap for the future" today for the Indiana courts, which included consolidating courts and creating a uniform system to select trial judges.
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Indiana attorney fights Alaska's merit selection

July 6, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A Terre Haute attorney has filed a federal suit challenging the merit-selection system in Alaska, arguing the state bar association has unconstitutional control over the judicial nominating commission and takes away the people's right to choose their judges.
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Judicial merit-selection override a possibility

May 14, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The state's top executive has rejected the idea of scrapping merit selection in St. Joseph County, but it remains unclear whether lawmakers will attempt to override that veto during a special session.
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Governor gets judicial merit-selection bill

May 6, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Gov. Mitch Daniels received today legislation that, if signed, would toss out merit selection and retention of St. Joseph Superior judges and also create a new three-judge panel for the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Governor likely to soon get St. Joe judges bill

April 29, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Gov. Mitch Daniels will likely receive legislation today aimed primarily at scrapping judicial merit selection in St. Joseph County and creating a new Indiana Court of Appeals panel starting 2011.
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UPDATE: Committee tweaking St. Joe judges bill

April 23, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A legislative conference committee is debating what changes might be possible for a bill aimed at scrapping merit selection for St. Joseph Superior judges.
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Former justice discusses merit selection

April 22, 2009
Michael Hoskins
During a visit to South Bend today, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor pushed a message that merit selection is the best way to ensure an independent judiciary, though her words come at a time when state lawmakers are close to scrapping that very system in the county she visited.
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Senate OKs COA panel, St. Joe judge elections

April 15, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The full Senate voted today in support of legislation scrapping the St. Joseph Superior judge merit-selection system for judicial elections, and also creating a new panel for the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Senate gets St. Joe judges bill, with twist

April 8, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The full Indiana Senate will consider in the next week whether St. Joseph Superior judges should be elected or merit-selected and retained by voters. A Senate committee wants the full legislative body to consider that issue, but with a twist: An amendment has been attached to the controversial House Bill 1491.
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No vote yet on St. Joe judges bill

April 1, 2009
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana Senate committee debated this morning a bill that would make it so St. Joseph Superior judges are elected rather than chosen by merit selection and later retained by voters.
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St. Joe judges election bill hearing Wednesday

March 31, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee will meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Room 130 at the Statehouse to discuss several bills on first reading, including House Bill 1491, which would require nonpartisan elections of St. Joseph Superior judges.
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House passes St. Joseph judicial election bill

February 13, 2009
Michael Hoskins
In a historically notable vote, the Indiana House of Representatives passed a bill that would elect St. Joseph Superior judges rather than stick with a merit-selection and retention system in place for 35 years.
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St. Joseph judicial election bill out of committee

February 5, 2009
IL Staff
The bill requiring the non-partisan election of Superior Court judges in St. Joseph County has made it out of committee.
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EBA members affirm all judicial candidates

October 24, 2008
IL Staff
The Evansville Bar Association has released the results of the survey of its members regarding the retention of three Vanderburgh Superior judges running for re-election in November.
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St. Joseph Bar releases judicial evaluation

October 16, 2008
IL Staff
St. Joseph County Bar Association members have evaluated the five St. Joseph Superior judges up for retention this year - Judges Roland W. Chamblee Jr., David C. Chapleau, Jerome Frese, Jenny Pitts Manier, John M. Marnocha, Jane Woodward Miller, and Michael P. Scopelitis. All of the judges received a combined average score of either average/acceptable or above average.
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ISBA members approve judges up for retention

October 15, 2008
IL Staff
The five Indiana judges up for retention this November have received overwhelming support from Indiana State Bar Association members. The ISBA poll shows no judge or justice received less than 83 percent of "yes" votes for retention.
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  1. This guy sounds like the classic molester/manipulator.

  2. Louis D. Brandeis was born in 1856. At 9 years of age it would have been 1865. The Brandeis family did not own slaves. My source Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, by Melvin L. Urofsky.

  3. My name is Matthew Lucas Major, I recently went through a jury trial in Bloomington , In. It was the week of Feb 19-21. Although I have been incarcerated since August 5, 2014. The reason I 'am writing to you sir is on the 21 of February the jury came in with a very excessive and wrongful verdict of guilty on 6 child molesting charges against my daughter who was 9 at the time I was accused. I also had 2 other Felonies one of Intimidation and 1 of Sexual Vicarious Gratification. Judge Marc Kellam on the second day of trial gave me a not guilty on those 2 felonies. The jury was sent out during that time and when brought back Judge Kellam told them to not concern themselves with the 2 Felonies that he ruled on them. They were told to not let evidence they had already heard influence there verdicts. I never in my life touched any child sexually and definitely not with my own daughter. When I was arrested Detective Shawn Karr told me I would be convicted guilty just on my daughters word even without evidence. That's just what happened. my public defender did me so wrong he never once proved to the court and jury all the lies the child told, and Jeremy Noel my public defender could of proven the lies easily. The stories in Serenity's depositions and Forensic interview changed and were not consistent as Prosecutor Darcie Fawcett claimed they were. Yet my attorney never mentioned that. The facts that the child accused me of full penetration in her vagina and rectum was proven lies. Doctor Roberta Hibbard of Riley hospital in Indianapolis confirmed Serenity's hymen intact, no scars, no tearing, no signs of rape to her. Yet my attorney didn't use that knowledge . the DNA was all in my favor. I tell you I will spend my entire life in prison going through rape and beatings etc. even Judge Kellam abused his authority by telling the jurors to listen and believe what the prosecutors side in evidence like my daughters testimony. In one interview with the detectives my daughter got flustered with her mom and said on camera " I'm saying what you told me to mom"!! Yet Mr. Noel said nor did anything to even resemble a defense attorney. Judge Kellam allowed edited version of a taped conversation between the child and her mother. Also Judge Kellam allowed the Prosecutor too bring in to my case a knife found under my seat, the knife wasn't part of my case. She was allowed by my attorney and the judge to put a huge picture of it on the screen and huge picture of my naked privates in a full courtroom and open court. Ms. Fawcett says to jury see how easy Mr. Major could reach the knife and cut his Childs throat. Even though I had no weapons charge against these cases. This gave the jurors prejudice thought against me thinking I threatened her with that knife and how scared she would of been knowing i could get it and kill her. On my sentencing court March 19, 2014 my public defender told Judge Kellam he wish to resign from being my attorney and wished for the court to give me outside council to file a error to trial or appeal. We were denied. Now after openly knowing my public defender don't want to represent me he has to. Well when as parents we make our kids clean a room when they really don't wish to, well the child will but don't mean she will do a good job, that's where I'm at with Mr. Noel. please dont ignore mine and my families pleas for your help . we have all the legal proof you could need to prove Im innocent. Please dont make my spend years in prison innocent when you can fix this wrong. Im not saying Im a perfect man or that I was a perfect dad to my 2 children none of us are. Ive made some bad choices in life and I paid for them. But I didnt ever touch or rape my daughter . I love my children with all my heart. And now through needing attention and a ex-wife who told my granny several times she wish she could put me in prison to get me out of their lives. Well my ex finally accomplished her goal. Sad part is she is destroying our daughter with all this horrific lies and things she taught my daughter to say. My daughter will need therapist to ever hope for a chance of a normal life after what she had done to her by her mom and their side of the family. My daughter told everyone even on stand she had a dream months before i supposedly molested her in this dream I was molesting her and when I finally did it matched her dream perfectly. She admitted to watching movies about little girls being molested and watching U-Tube videos about child molesting all before it happened supposedly to her. Doesn't that sound very unusual that a non molested 9 yr old would need to know so much about being molested? The only reason I could think a 9 year old would need so much information is to be prepared to know what to say and be able to say how it felt what took place etc.. So when questioned by authorities she would be prepared. And there again sir if a parent is pre grooming a 9 year old child she would need intimate details . Like telling her daughter about a couple moles on my private area. The child admitted to sneaking my cell and looking many many times at nudes of me and my girlfriend even one where my penis was entering my girlfriends vagina. In that picture my moles are obvious. Yet when prosecutor showed everyone in court my privates and pictures of the moles she said the only way the child would know about them is if she saw them for herself. My attorney once again said nothing about the pictures my child saw. Or could a ex-wife be able to describe my moles to help her case against getting rid of me? I beg you help me. This is my very existence. Ive lost everything , a good job, a wonderful girlfriend, my freedom, but worse thing Ive lost is my children. They were my reason to get up every morning and strive to be better. The wonderful bond I had with my Serenity is gone. After this I would be afraid to even hug her for fear of what next can they do to me. I'm not afraid to tell you I sit here in this cell and try to hold back my tears. Everyone knows you cant show weakness in prison. My life has already been threatened here at Wabash Valley Prison. After only 3 days of arrival. I was tricked into signing a waiver now Im in G Block General Population with 6 child molesting felony charges. Mrs. Hart as a 18 year old I almost died hooked to machines in hospital almost 1 month and now I know that fear was childish compared to this . I cant help but put emotions in this, after all Mrs. Hart Im human and God help Me I never been more afraid in my life. I didnt hurt my little girl I didnt touch her sexually. As much as it shreds me and fills my mind what Im facing I worry more about my mom and granny because of their great love for me mam they are suffering so deeply. I aint done this things but my loved ones suffering right along beside me and If you take my case you will be in essence freeing them also. I sent momma this letter and asked her to email it to you. I'm scared I have been done so unjustly by our legal system and I need you to fix this and give me freedom. I ask you please don't just ignore my pleas. Here in America its nice to be able to trust our legal justice system, well they destroyed my and my loved ones trust in our justice system . And I'm trusting in You !!! My entire family is suffering this nightmare with me. My 77 year old granny had a stroke and isn't doing so well. My single mother that raised 3 kids alone is dying from Lupus and since my arrest has stayed so sick and weary. Our lives torn to peices by a government I was taught I could trust in. my momma has tried so many innocent project and wrongfully accused and cant get anywhere. please please help me. A quote from the late Nelson Mandela: To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, But to live in a way that respects and enhances The Freedom Of Others. I have Faith in you and your clinic to cast my chains off and give me freedom I do deserve as a wrongfully accused Man, son, brother, father, friend. Matthew Major DOC# 246179 Cause # : 53c02-1308-FA-000779 God Bless you. Please contact me with your decision so I know you made a life changing decision for me , just please at least write me so I know you care enough about your citizens to respond to cries for your help. You can speak openly with my mother Charlotte Spain (828) 476-0406: 71 Lakeview Dr. Canton, NC 28716 Thank You Matthew Major I know yall get thousands of request and inmates claiming innocence, and each person who are innocent deserve to have organizations like yours willing to fight for them and I give yall so much Thanks and I thank God everyday yall are out there caring enough to help free the innocents. Since discovering firsthand how easily lives and families can be destroyed by Poor Defense attorneys not doing their job . And Prosecutors allowed to do as they please in court

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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