Molter selected to succeed Kirsch on COA

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Private practitioner Derek Molter has been chosen as the newest Indiana Court of Appeals judge, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Thursday.

Indiana’s governor selected Molter, a partner at Ice Miller and leader of the firm’s appellate practice, to succeed Judge James Kirsch,  who is retiring  from the 15-member Indiana Court of Appeals in September.

Molter, a native of Newton County, was selected from a pool of three finalists, which also included Madison Circuit Court Judge Mark K. Dudley and Marion Superior Judge Heather A. Welch.

Noting that the retiring Kirsch leaves “big shoes to fill,” Holcomb said he is confident that Molter will live up to it.

“(Molter) is a legal scholar in his own right and he will put his remarkable intellect to work on the Court of Appeals, where he already has a lot of experience up close and personal,” Holcomb said, adding that Molter has written countless articles and is looked at as an expert in his field.

“I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity and excited to join such a wonderful group of colleagues on the Indiana Court of Appeals,” Molter said. “It is an incredible honor to be considered and selected for this judicial position.”

The newest appellate judge graduated from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2007 and served as a judicial law clerk form now-Senior Judge Theresa Springmann of the Northern Indiana District Court. After a stint at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP in Washington, D.C., he returned to Indiana and joined Ice Miller in 2013.

Molter is the third Court of Appeals’ judge Holcomb has appointed since he was elected governor in 2016, making him the 66th judge appointed by the governor. Holcomb appointed former Lake Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Tavitas in August 2018 to replace Judge Michael Barnes and solo appellate practitioner Leanna Weissmann in September of 2020 to fill the seat vacated by now-Senior Judge John Baker.

Holcomb has also made one appointment to the Indiana Supreme Court upon elevating Christopher Goff  former Wabash Superior Court judge, to the state’s highest bench in July 2017.

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