Retiring Indiana Supreme Court Justice Brent Dickson heard his final argument at the Statehouse courtroom Thursday, where his fellow justices and those arguing and attending saluted him with a standing ovation.
Chief Justice Loretta Rush marked what she called a historic day for the court. She said as the second longest-serving justice in Indiana history, Dickson heard more than 1,400 arguments and issued more than 900 written opinions during more than 30 years on the court.
Dickson acknowledged the accolades with smiles, nods and waves, but made no comments. The acknowledgement came at the close of arguments in Jordan Pribie v. State, 12A02-1412-CR-00836. Pribie was convicted of rape, but argues he should have been able to introduce to the jury evidence of DNA from another male that was discovered in a rape kit after the victim sought medical attention.
Dickson will conclude his career as justice later this month when the court stages an event that also celebrates Indiana’s Bicentennial. The court will travel to the Historic Indiana Statehouse in Corydon April 20 to hear what will be Dickson’s final argument. The case to be argued at Corydon involves the duty of care private hosts owe to guests and arises from the death of an intoxicated birthday party guest following a fight. The case is F. John Rogers, as Personal Rep. of Paul Michalik, Deceased, and R. David Boyer, Trustee of the Estate of Jerry Lee Chambers v. Angela Martin and Brian Brothers, 02S05-1603-CT-114.
Gov. Mike Pence will select Dickson’s successor from three candidates recommended by the Judicial Nomination Commission. Those finalists are St. Joseph Superior Judge Steven L. Hostetler, Boone Superior Judge Matthew C. Kincaid, and Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP partner Geoffrey G. Slaughter. Pence’s decision must be made by May 11, but it could be announced any time prior.
Dickson officially retires April 29.