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Monday, December 30, 2013

Ind. Courts - The Indiana Judicial Disciplinary Process - More on: Understanding the Role of "the Commission" and "the Panel"

Updating this ILB post from yesterday, Dec. 29th, the Judicial Qualifications Commission has a webpage listing opinions and orders in judicial disciplinary cases going back to 1986. Access it here.

The ILB has not reviewed all of these Supreme Court opinions, but has selected three which resulted in the removal of the judge to see how this might impact the ability of a removed judge to subsequently practice law in Indiana [ILB emphasis via bold in quotes below]:

In the disciplinary actions listed above, each of the judges was removed from judicial office. In Kouros, the Court declared that respondent would not lose her license to practice law. In McClain, the Court came to the conclusion that respondent should be suspended from practice for two years, without automatic reinstatement. In Edwards, the respondent was both disbarred and fined.

The Court in Kouros cites Admission and Discipline Rule 25(III)(C), which currently provides:

A judicial officer involuntarily retired by the Supreme Court shall be considered to have retired voluntarily. A judicial officer removed from office by the Supreme Court under an order of discipline, excluding retirement or disability, shall be ineligible for judicial office and, pending further order of the Supreme Court, shall be suspended from the practice of law in the State of Indiana.
The Court in McClain writes:
The Indiana Constitution requires that a "judge so removed by the Supreme Court is ineligible for judicial office and pending further order of the Court he is suspended from practicing law in this State." Ind. Const. art. 7, § 11.
However, the ILB believes this citation of authority is incorrect. The "judges" referenced in Art. 7, Sec. 11 are appellate judges. Sec. 11 deals with "Tenure of Justices of Supreme Court and Judges of the Court of Appeals."

The Court in Edwards does not cite authority.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 30, 2013 12:30 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts