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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Vacancy On Supreme Court 2017 - Day 1: Report On Interview #2, Hon. Clayton A. Graham

This is Prof. Joel Schumm's report on the 2nd interview of Day 1

Hon. Clayton A. Graham, Marion Superior Court, Criminal Div. 7 (photo) (application)

In response to a question from Chief Justice Rush about an area that would most benefit from improvement, Judge Graham cited more traveling arguments, which would bring the Court to more communities.

In response to a question about Ms. Kitchell about temperament, Judge Graham said he believes it is important that each person be heard. If things get out of hand, he may call a recess and talk to lawyers in chambers.

In response to a question from Ms. Long about things beyond his application, his great-great grandfather was a slave. His father served in WWII under General McArthur and received a Purple Heart. He was later shot and killed when Judge Graham was seven years old. His mother raised several children and did not let them make any excuses.

In response to a question from Mr. Young about Justice Rucker, Judge Graham said he admired Justice Rucker’s compassion for humanity and the common man.

In response to a question from Chief Justice Rush about significant Supreme Court opinions for his work on the bench, Judge Graham cited an opinion in a domestic violence regarding Evidence Rule 803(4). He also cited Hitch v. State, which involved a domestic violence determination that he had made in a case and was affirmed on appeal. He viewed it as non-punitive.

In response to a question from Mr. Berger about what drew him to Indiana, Judge Graham said he received a fellowship to work for Legal Services, initially for Indianapolis but ultimately in New Jersey, and he fell in love with the city of Indianapolis and knew he wanted to return.

In response to a question from Mr. Yakym about a case where the decision was not clear, Judge Graham said he approaches cases with an open mind. He does not consider ethnicity, gender, or sexual preference. He will do further research, talk to his colleagues, or take the decision under advisement when necessary.

In response to a question from Mr. Feighner about a case where he was reversed and what he learned from it, Judge Graham said people “learn from their failures.” He said was reversed in a case where he did not allow the defendant his right to allocution. [Owens is the case.]

In response to the question about business climate, Judge Graham said commercial courts have been one of the best things for the state, allowing more expeditious resolution of cases.

In response to a question from Ms. Long about traveling oral arguments, Judge Graham said he would recommend areas that have not had an opportunity for oral arguments.

In response to a question about collegiality and team work, Judge Graham said he believes it important that judges leave their egos outside and come together to resolve a case. If they disagree, they should disagree respectfully.

In response to questions about changes over the past ten years, Judge Graham said mediation was used more. In looking to the future, Judge Graham said the biggest changes would come in technology and discussed the importance of efiling.

In response to a question about a judge he most admired, Judge Graham pointed to Justice Thurgood Marshall, a legal giant who he was able to meet. He discussed Marshall’s significant work as a lawyer arguing for the important rights of voting an education.

In response to a question about clarity of statutes, Judge Graham discussed Fry v. State, which involved bail in murder cases and overruled 150 years of precedent.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 21, 2017 10:25 AM
Posted to Vacancy on Supreme Court - 2017