Commission announces second round of interviews for Kirsch vacancy

The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission will reconvene next month for a full day of interviews with the 12 candidates vying to succeed Judge James Kirsch on the Indiana Court of Appeals.

The seven-member JNC will interview the 12 semifinalists beginning at 9 a.m. June 8 in Indianapolis.

The commission this month interviewed 23 lawyers and judges who applied to succeed Kirsch, who is retiring in September. It selected 12 semifinalists to advance to a second round of interviews.

The interviews will be held in the Fuse Conference Room on the second floor of the South Tower at Capital Center in downtown Indianapolis, 201 N. Illinois St.

The interview schedule is as follows:

8 – 9 a.m.: Executive session
9 – 9:30 a.m.: Madison Circuit Judge Mark K. Dudley
9:30 – 10 a.m.: Howard Superior Judge Brant J. Parry
10 – 10:30 a.m.: Stephen R. Creason
10:45 – 11:15 a.m.: Zachary J. Stock
11:15 – 11:45 a.m.: Derek R. Molter
11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.: Marion Superior Judge Heather A. Welch
12:15-1:45 p.m.: Executive session
1:45 – 2:15 p.m.: Elizabeth C. Green
2:15 – 2:45 p.m.: Stephanie K. Bibbs
2:45 – 3:15 p.m.: Marion Superior Judge Timothy W. Oakes
3:30 – 4 p.m.: Cass Superior Judge Lisa L. Swaim
4 – 4:30 p.m.: Hamilton Circuit Judge Paul A. Felix
4:30 – 5 p.m.: Patrick W. Price

After all interviews have concluded, the commission will deliberate in a private executive session before publicly voting on three finalists. The names of those finalists will then be submitted to Gov. Eric Holcomb, who will make the final selection of Kirsch’s successor.

The governor has 60 days from receiving the list to select Indiana’s next Court of Appeals judge.

Those interested can follow @incourts on Twitter for notice before the commission vote is held publicly following deliberations.

The interviews will be open to the public, though in-person seating will be limited due to social distancing. If adjustments are necessary to accommodate social distancing measures, the public will be informed.

Kirsch, currently the third-longest serving judge on the 15-member Court of Appeals, announced his retirement in January. He told IL that he would step down from the bench in September — three months before he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 75 — but would continue to serve as a senior judge.

The JNC, led by Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush, must recruit and select candidates to fill vacancies on Indiana appellate courts.

The applications of the candidates to succeed Kirsch, as well as their writing samples, transcripts and letters of recommendations, are public record. Redacted applications are available online.

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