Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Attorneys Reject Big Firm Candidate For Judicial Nominating Commission Again

Attorneys in Indiana's second judicial district continue their pattern of picking small firm candidates for the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission over big law firm candidates. Indianapolis trial lawyer Lee Christie defeated Jan Carroll, a partner at Barnes & Thornburg and spouse of 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John Tinder, for a coveted spot on the 7-member commission. Christie received 1,435 votes compared to the 1,159 votes collected by Carroll. Christie replaces Indianapolis trial attorney William Winningham, who defeated Carroll and several other candidates for a 3-year term on the Commission in 2010.

The 7-member commission is chaired by the Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court. The six other members are chosen from the state's three judicial districts, three of whom are attorneys elected by members of the bar and three of whom are citizens appointed by the governor. Big law firms are viewed by rank-and-file attorneys as exerting too much influence over the selection of judges to fill vacancies on the state's Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. The perception is that gubernatorial appointees to the Commission simply rubber stamp the candidates preferred by the governor's office, which are typically candidates preferred by the state's big law firms. Tom Rose, Molly Kitchell and Jean Northenor are the current non-attorney appointees to the Commission. Goshen attorney John Ulmer and Terre Haute attorney Stephen Williams are the two other attorney members elected to the Commission. Gov. Mike Pence, incidentally, will present his 2014 legislative agenda at a conference tomorrow hosted by one of the state's big law firms.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

She would have received 150 or so of her votes just from her own lawfirm alone! Next time she needs to do a better job of campaigning for positions like this such as lobbying her friends from Ice Miller and Faegre Baker Daniels to also turn out to vote for her.