Gov. Mitch Daniels Tuesday appointed Madison Circuit Judge Rudolph Pyle III to the Indiana Court of Appeals, filling a vacancy left by Pyle’s mentor, Judge Carr Darden.
Pyle said it is an “awesome honor” to be selected as an appellate judge, and “it’s not every day you are able to walk in the steps of your mentor.”
Pyle, 42, was a law clerk for Darden from 2000 to 2004. Daniels’ last appellate appointment, Justice Mark Massa, also clerked for the man he replaced, former Chief Justice Randall Shepard.
Daniels described Pyle as a fun, energetic and competent judge. He told the story of when Daniels appointed Pyle to Madison Circuit Court in October 2009.
“When we introduced (Pyle) as Circuit judge, before we adjourned to the traditional reception and celebration, Pyle insisted on presiding on his first case,” Daniels said. Pyle adjudicated an adoption.
While Madison Circuit judge, he managed a docket of criminal and civil cases and instituted technological improvements to the courtroom. He also created a public service campaign to increase community support for jury trials.
Before becoming a judge, Pyle was a deputy prosecutor in Madison County and later was in private practice, focusing on trial and appellate advocacy. Pyle also has the distinction of being the first Indiana state trooper to be appointed to the state’s top courts, Daniels said.
Pyle was a trooper before becoming an attorney. He said that experience can give him additional perspective in criminal cases, as he will expect law enforcement to live up to their professional standards.
Pyle’s robing ceremony will be held at a later date determined by the court.
The other finalists for the COA vacancy were Marion Superior Judge Robert Altice Jr. and appellate attorney Patricia Caress McMath.