The Indiana Supreme Court has named a new chief administrative officer, succeeding the former CAO who abruptly resigned earlier this year.
The court announced via Twitter on Wednesday morning that Justin Forkner, executive director of the Office of Court Services, had been named the new CAO. Forkner succeeds Mary Willis, a former Henry County judge who became the high court’s first chief administrative officer in 2016.
Willis’ role as CAO replaced that of Lillia Judson, who retired as court administrator in late 2016 after 40 years serving the justices. Willis’ appointment as CAO came at the same time the court restructured its officers and created the Office of Judicial Administration.
Forkner, 39, will move into the CAO position effective Friday, October 26. He worked as a law clerk from 2011-2014 for former Chief Justice Randall Shepard and justices Mark Massa and Steven David. He has been with the Indiana Office of Court Services since March 2016, most recently as the executive director.
An Indianapolis native, Forkner graduated from Indiana University in 2001 with a degree in History. Upon graduation, he was commissioned into active military service as a field artillery officer in the U.S. Army, where he spent more than seven years on active duty, including tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also served five years in the Indiana Army National Guard.
Forkner graduated from the IU-McKinney School of Law in December 2010. He also has served as an administrative law judge and agency counsel for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.