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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ind. Courts - How have the judges fared? Judge Steve David

As explained in the post earlier today headed "How Have the Judges Fared?" over the next few days the ILB is examining the records on appeal of the four trial judge semi-finalists for the Supreme Court vacancy. This feature on Judge Steve David's record, from IU Law-Indy Prof. Joel Schumm, is the first of those entries.


Judge Steve David has presided over the Boone County Circuit Court since January 1995.

Of the 33 cases reviewed by a higher court, Judge David was reversed in 6 (or 18%). The only reversal in a criminal case was Azania, a death penalty case in which he was appointed as special judge. The remaining reversals were all in civil cases.

Supreme Court

State v. Azania (2007) - “In prior proceedings, this Court affirmed Zolo Agona Azania's conviction for the 1981 murder of a Gary police officer but set aside the recommendations of two juries that he should receive the death penalty. The trial court has now ruled that, given circumstances caused by the long delay in this case, Azania's constitutional rights to a speedy trial and due process would be violated if the State continues to seek a death sentence. We find that neither the delay nor any prejudice that Azania may suffer from it violates his constitutional rights. The State may continue to seek the death penalty.” (3-2 opinion with Justices Boehm & Rucker dissenting)

Court of Appeals

Phillips v. Delks (2008) - “Because Wife did not submit any evidence in support of her request [for damage Husband allegedly caused to her credit], the trial court abused its discretion in awarding her $25,000.00. We therefore reverse the damages award.”

Paulsen v. Malone (2008) - “We conclude that the trial court lost its power to rule on the motion to correct error on July 18, 2007. As a result, the amended final judgment entered on August 3, 2007 is void. The original judgment entered on October 16, 2006 controls.”

Ind. Dep’t of Env. Mgmt v. Boone County Resource Recovery Systems (2004) - “In sum, IDEM did not abuse its broad discretion when it found that the Bankerts had knowingly and repeatedly committed environmental violations based on the evidence of violations committed by NSLI, BFI, and BCRRS. And the OEA did not err when it granted summary judgment in favor of IDEM. We hold that the trial court erred when it reversed the OEA's grant of summary judgment.”

Hudson v. Davis (2003) - “We recognize that the Hudsons face a considerable burden at trial, at which they will be required to present clear and convincing evidence rebutting the presumption of undue influence. Summary judgment, nevertheless, should not be used as an abbreviated trial, even where the proof is difficult or where the court may believe that the non-moving party will not succeed at trial.”

In re Witham Memorial Hospital (1999) - The communications between counsel for the Hospital and an investigator hired by counsel to investigate allegations against the Hospital were protected from disclosure by the attorney-client privilege and the privilege was not waived by the release of statements summarizing the results of the investigation. The trial court abused its discretion in ordering production of the report, and its order is reversed.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 22, 2010 02:20 PM
Posted to Vacancy on Supreme Ct