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Voters decide if 3 appellate judges stay on bench

Harrison County voters will answer three ballot questions on the general election ballot on Nov. 7.
All three questions deal with the retention of members of Indiana’s judicial branch.
The first question on the ballot asks, ‘Shall Justice Frank Sullivan Jr. be retained in office?’
Incumbent Justices are subject to statewide yes-or-no votes on the question of their retention in office. With approval by the electorate, they begin 10-year terms, and after that are subject to identical retention votes every 10 years. Newly appointed justices must serve a minimum of two years before they are subject to a statewide retention vote. If approved, the justice begins a 10-year term. Justices must retire, according to current law, at the age of 75.
Frank Sullivan Jr. was appointed to the Indiana Supreme Court in 1993 by Gov. Evan Bayh. During his tenure on the court, he has authored approximately 385 majority opinions, dealing with issues of administrative, commercial, constitutional, corporate, criminal, environmental, family, real estate, tax and tort law.
Sullivan served as the Indiana State budget director from 1989 through 1992. Prior to that, he practiced law in the Indianapolis firm of Barnes & Thornburg.
Sullivan is a native of South Bend. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Indiana University School of Law and the University of Virginia School of Law. He is married to Cheryl G. Sullivan; they are the parents of three sons.
The retention question will be decided by all Indiana voters.
The second and third questions on the ballot deal with the retention of appellate court judges.
Judges serving the Indiana Appellate Court are filled by appointment of the governor from three nominees submitted by a seven-member, non-partisan Judicial Nominating Commission.
Appointed judges serve a minimum of two years before they are subject to the yes-or-no vote for retention at the next general election. Those retained in office serve for 10 years and may then run for retention for additional 10-year terms. All judges must retire at age 75.
The second question on the ballot asks ‘Shall Judge Edward W. Najam Jr. be retained in office?’
Najam currently serves as a first district judge on the Indiana Court of Appeals and has held the position since 1992.
Najam received a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1972 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in 1969.
Najam worked as an attorney in private practice from 1974 to 1992.
He has served as a chair on the Indiana State Bar Association and is a member of the American Bar Association.
Najam’s fate will be decided by voters in 53 Indiana counties, including Harrison, Crawford, Floyd and Clark, during the general election.
The third question on the ballot asks, ‘Shall Judge Patricia A. Riley be retained in office?’
Riley is a fourth district judge on the Indiana Court of Appeals. She has held the position since 1994.
Riley holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and a law degree from Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis. She belongs to the American, Indiana and Jasper County bar associations.
Riley served as judge of the Jasper Superior Court from 1990 to 1993 and was a deputy prosecutor in Marion County.
Riley’s retention will be decided by voters in all 92 counties in Indiana.

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