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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Vacancy On Supreme Court 2017 - Round 2: Report On Interview #10, Ms. Leslie C. Henderzahs

This is Prof. Joel Schumm's report on the 10th interview of Round 2

Ms. Leslie C. Henderzahs, Fishers (photo) (application) (first interview)

In response to an opening question about the influence of social media on legal issues, Ms. Henderzahs said her firm has a policy because people in the community view lawyers as leaders. The firm has a Twitter account to promote events. Her advice to younger lawyers is not to post things that their grandmothers would not be proud of.

In response to a question about obstacles to justice, Ms. Henderzahs said we must continue to provide access to those who do not speak English. It is important to recognize that each of those lives matters, and we are going to serve those people.

In response to a question about judicial restraint, Ms. Henderzahs said “the law must be stable but cannot stand still,” quoting Roscoe Pound. When the Constitution was written, the framers could not have anticipated things like artificial intelligence.

In response to a question about a random act of kindness to someone she did not know, Ms. Henderzahs said she helped someone this morning who did not know where they were going.

In response to a question about Criminal Rule 26, Ms. Henderzahs said she likes that the power remains with the local judiciary. The focus has shifted from incarceration to rehabilitation during her time in practice, which she appreciates.

In response to a question about expanding the size of the Indiana Supreme Court, Ms. Henderzahs said she would support it if the Chief and other justices believed expansion was necessary to get the work done and noted the heavy administrative workload. She noted the ten-year anniversary of the “New Way Forward,” which provides an opportunity to consider its strategic plan.

In response to a question about her preparation for the role of a justice other than her “exemplary practice,” Ms. Henderzahs discussed the nature of the cases she has taken, starting in personal injury and more recently a number of high-profile, high-stakes cases that cannot be discussed in a publicly-posted application. Her clients in those cases have prepared her because of the commitment, discretion, and decorum required. Her clients might require a meeting at 5:30 in the morning or 10:30 at night, which she has done. In addition to the high-profile cases, she has had cases with “rooms, not boxes” of discovery. She has also handled commercial litigation cases, which she also discussed at some length.

When asked what she would do if not a lawyer, Ms. Henderzahs said she would help the elderly with exercise.

In response to a question about her preparation for the interview, Ms. Henderzahs said she had reviewed constitutional landmark opinions, read about justices, and met with each current justice. She has reviewed case law outside her practice area and met with judges to ask what they thought would be valuable. She found the application process incredibly rewarding and educational.

In response to a question about solutions to the low bar passage rate, Ms. Henderzahs said she did not see it as a problem. If law students are not putting sufficient time into preparing and understanding important legal skills, they should not be lawyers. No client wants a lawyer who does not do the job well. She also discussed placing students in job or opportunities to help them develop skills.

In response to a question from the Chief Justice about cases being heard next week (a CHINS, tax, and criminal case), Ms. Henderzahs said “on a personal basis” she would “welcome the opportunity to learn more” about the area of law in the criminal case. On an Indiana basis, she would take the CHINS case because of its broad impact, but would defer to the others on the Court.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 19, 2017 11:55 AM
Posted to Vacancy on Supreme Court - 2017