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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Ind. Courts - Prof. Schumm's report of Justice David's interview

Justice David

In response to the opening question, Justice David cited passion, vision, the ability to bring people to together, and inclusiveness. He said discipline and honest are important as well. He noted the Commission is selecting more than just a Chief Justice but a “chief trustee for justice” in Indiana. He said it is not about the person but the right fit for the position moving forward.

He said it’s important that the Chief has the skill set and the tools but must also have the ability to use those tools at the right time. The Chief needs to be able to make decisions but must also know when to delegate. Confidence is important but humility is even more important.

He noted the other justices were his “brothers and sister” and he would take a bullet for them.

In response to Mr. Williams’ question about leadership style, Justice David said he tries to be as inclusive as possible. He cited Ghandi--that leadership does not mean muscle but relationships. He’s not afraid to say when he needs help on an issue.

In response to Ms. Northenor’s question about changes, Justice David noted he had not had an opportunity to look at things that might need to be taken away. He would like to add or enhance the vision and inclusivity; he said we can do a better job of “listening” to lawyers and businesses to ensure such things as access to the courts. A leader should have a vision but should not be concerned about who gets credit.

In response to Mr. Ulmer’s question about administrative duties, Justice David noted it would be adding a job to an already full-time job of being a justice. He said there are certain things the Chief is responsible for, but bringing in others, as Chief Justice Dickson has done, is important and should continue. He noted that some trial judges have very good best practices, which could be used more broadly.

In response to Mr. Rose’s question about judicial philosophy, he said whenever he thinks there is one the Supreme Court justice “writes something that disappoints him.” He said their job is to be “the silent branch,” calling the balls and strikes and not setting policy. He noted the General Assembly will sometimes disagree with their opinions, which is how it should work. He has no interest to be in the legislature but has great respect for their work. His judicial role is a narrow one.

In response to Mr. Christie’s question about technology, Justice David said it important to master technology to use it for the courts but also to understand how it affects cases, citing the recent U.S. Supreme Court case [Riley v. Calif.] on cell phone privacy.

In response to Mr. Tinkey’s question about promoting justice, Justice David said it is important to be “out and about” talking to groups. He said we have missed some opportunities to partner with the legislative and executive branch. He cited the Judicial Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) as a collaboration that had worked well.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 6, 2014 02:11 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts | Schumm - Commentary