A Lake County judge has banned the law firm of a legendary criminal defense attorney from his courtroom, prompting the firm's cases to be delayed as they are transferred to other courts . . .
Court officials, who are reluctant to speak publicly, say Lake Superior Court Judge Nicholas Schiralli is transferring all cases handled by the prominent law firm of Thiros & Stracci to other courts because a member of that firm was involved in having legislation passed that contributed to Schiralli not getting named to head the Lake Juvenile Court vacated last spring by Mary Beth Bonaventura . . .
The Lake County judiciary's blistering battle over who would fill the coveted seat of former Lake Juvenile Judge Bonaventura was widely reported statewide after Gov. Mike Pence chose Bonaventura last spring to become state director of the Department of Child Services.
Schiralli did not respond to repeated calls last week from The Times for comment.
James Thiros, son of renowned criminal defense attorney Nick Thiros, now deceased, declined to comment beyond confirming Schiralli is transferring the firm's cases to other courts.
It took the Indiana Supreme Court to ultimately settle the juvenile judge controversy in a decision that led to Schiralli's disqualification on the grounds he did not undergo merit selection as had other superior court judges . . .Judges can recuse themselves from hearing cases due to a conflict of interest, but I've never heard of a judge recusing himself from hearing any cases where a party is represented by a particular law firm because of past political differences with a member of that law firm.