Indiana’s newest Court of Appeals judge also holds the distinction of being the only official appointed twice by Gov. Mitch Daniels.
Daniels said it was three years ago Tuesday that he appointed Rudolph Pyle III to the vacancy in Madison Circuit Court. Daniels, an avid biker, joked during Pyle’s robing ceremony that his subsequent appointment of Pyle to the appellate bench had nothing to do with the judge’s past as a motorcycle instructor.
“In a close one it would have been a tie-breaker,” Daniels said. “This wasn’t a close one.”
Pyle choked back tears as he thanked his parents, Rudolph and Caroline Pyle, who performed the ceremonial robing Oct. 16. “My parents gave me the foundation for success through love, discipline and excellence,” he said.
Pyle also praised his mentor – the man he succeeded, COA Senior Judge Carr Darden – for whom Pyle was a law clerk while a student at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Darden, he said, taught him not only what it was to be a good judge, but to be a good attorney.
Darden said it’s no surprise people recognize Pyle as a young, smart, rising jurist.
“You see, I’ve been doing that for a long time,” he said.
Pyle is believed to be the first Indiana appellate judge who also clerked for the appellate bench, COA spokesman Martin DeAgostino said.
Pyle also is the first appellate judge who was an Indiana Conference for Legal Education Opportunity fellow. He also is the first appellate judge who formerly served as an Indiana State Police trooper.
COA Chief Judge Margret Robb said a cursory glance at Pyle’s resume, which also includes work as a deputy prosecutor, proves humbling. “You have a clear picture of the gifts Judge Pyle brings to the court,” she said.
But all those accomplishments, she said, “are nowhere near as important as what Judge Pyle will do in the future.”
Pyle also noted that the occasion allowed men, women and people of all races and creeds to join together in the chambers of the Indiana Supreme Court. “There are folks in this room who remember a time when that was not so,” he said.