Indiana Lawyer’s top story of 2018 began inside an Indianapolis bar in the cool early-morning hours of Thursday, March 15. Attorney General Curtis Hill had had a few drinks. A few too many, several witnesses would later claim.
James Sweeney was confirmed by a voice vote in a rare show of Senate bipartisanship. The next day, a Barnes & Thornburg colleague saw him at work and wondered why he was not taking at least a little time off. Sweeney said he wanted to pull his weight.
Newly-minted Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Elizabeth Tavitas has done a little bit of everything throughout her legal career. She’s been a prosecutor, a public defender, a private practitioner, a referee, a trial court judge and now, a judge on the state’s second-highest court.
Lake Superior Judge Elizabeth Tavitas was on the bench on July 18 when her phone rang with a message that would change her career. It was a call from Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, informing her that she had been selected as Indiana’s next Court of Appeals judge.
Court of Appeals Judge Michael Barnes’ career has taken him down multiple paths — including 27 years with the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office, 1½ years with Barnes & Thornburg and 18 years on the bench — and each experience exposed him to new facets of the law.
Two attorneys in private practice have been appointed by Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb to fill vacancies in northern Indiana state trial courts. Christopher Kehler will serve on the new Kosciusko Superior Court, and Benjamin Vanderpool will serve on the Wabash Superior Court.
Exactly one year to the day after she was nominated for the federal bench, Fort Wayne attorney Holly Brady was confirmed Wednesday as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. She is the first judge to join the court since May 2010 and just the second woman to serve as a judge in that district.
The Lake County Judicial Nominating Commission is seeking public comment on nearly a dozen candidates who have applied to fill an upcoming vacancy in Lake Superior Court. The commission will interview the candidates next month.
A bill requesting an additional magistrate judge to handle an increasing number of cases filed in Howard County was approved by the full Senate on Monday. That bill now joins several other counties’ similar requests for judicial help making their way to the governor’s desk.
Several bills seeking extra judicial assistance for Indiana counties struggling under overburdened caseloads have successfully made their cases to both legislative chambers. With that approval secured, the next stop is the governor’s desk.
A Lake County Superior Court judge will retire at the end of next month, prompting the Lake County Judicial Nominating Commission to begin the process of selecting his successor. The vacancy will occur April 30 when Judge William E. Davis retires from his position in Lake Superior Court, Civil Division, Room Five.