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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Vacancy On Supreme Court 2017 - Day 2: Report On Interview #19, Hon. Christopher M. Goff

This is Prof. Joel Schumm's report on the 19th interview of Day 2

Hon. Christopher M. Goff, Wabash Superior Court (photo) (application)

In response to a question about transitioning from a small county trial court judge to the court of last resort, Judge Goff noted that people may underestimate him. He is confident is ability to get the job done. He has become accustomed to being a judge and would enjoy the opportunity to contemplate decisions more and in collaboration with four other people.

In response to a question about professional regrets, Judge Goff said he is a decider and focuses on the applicable rules when he makes decisions. He regrets that he does not have more time to thank his staff who are ones who allow him to look good and do his job well.

In response to a question about his experience as a rural county judge, Judge Goff noted the way his county has adjusted to changes in the law, like criminal justice reform, is a model for other counties.

In response to taking cases under advisement, Judge Goff said speedy justice is important and he has a list of cases he will decide each week. Complex matters may take longer. He believes he has two cases under advisement, the longest of which since February 27.

In response to a question from Mr. Young, Judge Goff discussed his work with problem-solving courts, which seek to hold people accountable while working to resolve the root causes. They are especially important in rural counties.

In response to a question about what he would ask the founding fathers, he recounted a family trip to Williamsburg and the way the country has changes since its founding. He then said, to laughter, he would ask them sometimes, “what did they mean?”

In response to a question about how he would approach a case, Judge Goff would begin with a thorough review of the record, consult with as many people as possible, and have a discussion to make sure he was reaching the correct decision. He would consult amicus brief if they were available. Following up, Mr. Feighner noted Judge Goff was the first applicant to mention amicus briefs. When asked about the weight to be given to amicus briefs, Judge Goff said the facts of the case are most important, but amicus brief could provide useful information.
In response to a question about treatment of a little person in a case with a corporation, Judge Goff responded that everyone is equal under the law.

In response to a question about administrative work and working with others, Judge Goff said he would want to take on big projects, citing his recent work on a domestic violence project, working with state court administration, SPEA, and others.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 22, 2017 12:45 PM
Posted to Vacancy on Supreme Court - 2017