ILNews

Second appellate judge vacancy nearing

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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Indiana Court of Appeals Judge John T. Sharpnack has officially announced his last day will be May 3, 2008, and the process to appoint a successor will begin in the coming weeks.

Judge Sharpnack plans to stay on with the appellate court as a senior judge following his leaving the bench, which comes just days before his 75th birthday and mandatory retirement. He is the second appellate judge in a year to leave the court; Judge Patrick D. Sullivan ended a 38-year career on the court July 31.

A Columbus native, Judge Sharpnack was appointed by Gov. Evan Bayh to the court in 1991 with the creation of a new fifth district. He earned his law degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1960 and worked in the antitrust division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., before returning to Columbus as a partner at Sharpnack Bigley David & Rumple.

The Judicial Nominating Commission plans to send formal notice of the vacancy within two weeks, counsel Meg Babcock said. A tentative schedule is that applications will be due Nov. 1, with first interviews scheduled Nov. 12, and second interviews Dec. 11 or 12, she said. The fifth district covers the state, and an appointee would face statewide retention votes.
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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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