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Panel to choose appeals court semifinalists

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Fourteen candidates for an Indiana Court of Appeals vacancy are being interviewed Wednesday, seven of whom are expected to make the initial cut this afternoon.

The Judicial Nominating Commission is meeting with the seven men and seven women who aspire to fill the vacancy that will occur when Judge Carr Darden retires from the 15-member court this summer.

The commission, chaired by Chief Justice Brent Dickson, is interviewing applicants from a district that includes Indianapolis and counties north. The district extends northwest to White County and northeast to Adams County.

Dickson opened each candidate’s 20-minute interview by asking them what they most admired about the court of appeals and what qualities they would bring if selected. The applicants include four judges, several attorneys who work in private practice, current and former prosecutors, public servants and academics.

Applicants were being interviewed in the following order: Marion Superior Judge Cynthia J. Ayers of Indianapolis; Jeffrey D. Wehmueller of Fishers; Ms. Carol Nemeth Joven of  Indianapolis; Bryce D. Owens of Pendleton; Abigail Lawlis Kuzma of Indianapolis; Brenda A. Roper of Indianapolis; Rebecca A. Trent of West Lafayette; Howard Superior Judge William C. Menges Jr., of Kokomo; Chris M. Teagle of Albany; Patricia Caress McMath of Indianapolis; Madison Circuit Judge Rudolph R. Pyle III of Anderson; Kari Evans Bennett of Noblesville; Joel M. Schumm of Indianapolis; and Marion Superior Judge Robert R. Altice Jr. of Indianapolis.

The commission will interview the seven semifinalists June 4-5. Three finalists then will be selected and their names forwarded to Gov. Mitch Daniels, who will make the appointment.


 

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