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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Vacancy On Supreme Court 2017 - Round 2: Report On Interview #8, Hon. Matthew C. Kincaid

This is Prof. Joel Schumm's report on the 8th interview of Round 2

Hon. Matthew C. Kincaid, Boone Superior Court 1 (photo) (application) (first interview)

In response to an opening question about lessons he learned from his dad, a long-time Boone County judge, Judge Kincaid emphasized not holding a grudge and the importance of poor long-time memory, always treating people with respect. When he drops his daughter off at school, his advice is to “work hard and be nice to everybody.”

In response to a question about the Court responding to changes in society, Judge Kincaid said the Court must decide the cases before it. The legislature is best positioned to respond to those changes, in statutes which the Court applies.

In response to a question about his work on judicial committees, Judge Kincaid discussed his work on the criminal instructions committee, which requires them to stay on top of the law. He has also been on the civil instructions committee and Benchbook Committee, all of which have enriched him as a judge and exposed him to judges who care deeply about the issues.

In response to a question about who he is besides a judge, Judge Kincaid noted he is a “father” and “thinker” and sometimes sits in judgment of himself - and also a “confident person.”

Responding to a question about judicial restraint, Judge Kincaid said judges need to interpret statutes and contracts as they are written. If judges are not restrained, they can do a lot more damage. He cited the importance of judicial restraint from Federalist paper 78.

In response to a case about an adoption case discussed in his application, Judge Kincaid said the father’s consent could be dispensed with and either litigating party (foster parents or grandparents) would have been a good parent. He concluded the foster parents who had cared for the child for years should continue to raise the child.

In response to a question about a time he was on the opposite side of issues from Justice David, Judge Kincaid said he seldom had disagreements, although they may handle some things differently in court. To laughter, Judge Kincaid said he tries to sneak into his seat before everyone in the Courtroom stands up. He briefly discussed an administrative issue demanding certain things of the Sheriff.

Mr. Yakym read from the preamble of the Indiana Constitution and asked if the judiciary was working to meet the objectives. Judge Kincaid said judges approach issues with humility and stick with the issues before them.

In response to a question about how he would like to be remembered in 25 years, Judge Kincaid responded that he “worked hard and was nice to everyone” and was “personally restrained and thoughtful.”

In response to a question about going outside his comfort zone, Judge Kincaid noted his involvement in community theater. He said many woman auditioned for an early production but no men did. He ended up with a role, which was fun and challenging. In the legal realm, he noted it is a challenge to maintain expertise in the wide array of areas of law.

In response to a question about preparing for the interview, Judge Kincaid said he spent an hour on Monday reviewing his materials and thought about the topics he needed to be sure to convey. He did not read the Federalist papers on the beach during spring break.

In response to a question about the loss of “visible diversity” on the Court and holding an oral argument in a place like Gary, Judge Kincaid said people view judges about how they treat lawyers and litigants. Judges “earn their stripes” by what they do.

In response to a question about getting out in the community, Judge Kincaid said he was given advice as a young lawyer that he should go somewhere if invited. He noted the importance of accessibility, commenting that Justice David often gives his cellphone number out.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 19, 2017 10:02 AM
Posted to Vacancy on Supreme Court - 2017