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Masters named in Allen County judge's case

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The Indiana Supreme Court has appointed three judges to serve as masters in an Allen Superior judge's disciplinary misconduct action following an incident in another judge's courtroom.

Marion Superior Judge Sheila A. Carlisle, Vigo Circuit/Superior Judge David R. Bolk, and Lake Superior Judge Thomas P. Stefaniak were named by the high court Sept. 3 to hear and take evidence concerning charges filed against Allen Superior Judge Kenneth R. Scheibenberger.

Judge Scheibenberger is accused of violating canons that require judges to uphold the integrity of the judiciary and high standards of conduct, of not avoiding impropriety and promoting the public's confidence in the judiciary, committing conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, and committing willful misconduct of office.

The charges stem from the judge suspending his court session to go to Allen Superior Judge Frances Gull's courtroom to watch a sentencing hearing. Judge Scheibenberger sat in the back of the courtroom wearing his black judicial robe while a defendant was sentenced for a weapons violation. At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge approached the deputy prosecutor, created a disturbance, and verbally berated the defendant in front of his parents.

The masters have 30 days to submit a schedule with an anticipated hearing completion date, and according to the court docket in this matter, the submission of the masters' report should be complete by the second week of January 2009.

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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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