Retiring COA judge Kirsch certified as senior judge

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After serving for more than 25 years on the Indiana Court of Appeals, Judge James S. Kirsch is moving on.

The Indiana Supreme Court handed down an order Wednesday giving senior judge status to Kirsch, who announced his retirement in January. The order is effective from Oct. 2 through Dec. 31, 2022.

Derek Molter, an appellate lawyer with Ice Miller LLP, was selected by Gov. Eric Holcomb to succeed Kirsch.

Molter is Holcomb’s third COA appointee. The governor also named Judge Leanna Weissmann to the bench in 2020 and Judge Elizbeth Tavitas in 2018.

Kirsch, 74, was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Gov. Evan Bayh in 1994. He served as chief judge from 2004 to 2007 and was retained on the appellate court in 1996, 2006 and 2016.

Prior to joining the COA, Kirsch, a lifelong Indianapolis resident, was a judge on the Marion Superior Court from 1988 to 1994. He also practiced law with Kroger, Gardis & Regas in the Circle City from 1974 to 1998.

Over the span of his career, Kirsch has received numerous honors, including four Sagamore of the Wabash awards and the Hon. Paul H. Buchanan Jr. Award of Excellence.

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