Three Indiana Judges Suspended After White Castle Brawl

Joe Vega: 106.7 WIZN. It’s the Eagles and “One Of These Nights”. Heard ZZ Top “Gimme All your Lovin'” before that. Joe Vega here with you on your Wednesday rock and ride home. Earlier, I was talking about a story out in Indiana, three judges getting arrested in a fight, and I thought this would be a fun subject to talk about with my friend, Ben Barry, from Martin, Harding and Mazzotti. Ben, how are you doing?

Attorney Barry: Joe, how are you?

Joe: I’m good. So I wanted to talk to you about this story I read online. It’s about three judges in Indiana who got into a drunken brawl at a White Castle in the middle of the night after coming back from a strip club. Two of the judges were shot. They are going to be okay but, you know, obviously, it doesn’t look good for the judges and they are all going to lose their jobs now. So, I guess, I mean, really, judges, just like us?

Attorney Barry: Yeah, judges make mistakes professionally and in their personal lives. In this particular circumstance, the Indiana Judicial Committee had basically unseated these judges because of what they believed to be, in essence, judicial misconduct and inappropriate for a judge to demonstrate the type of behavior that they were demonstrating prior to this altercation having occurred which was at 3:00 a.m. in the morning from outside of a White Castle. And, essentially, the story is that one of the judges kind of flipped the bird to a passing vehicle. That passing vehicle pulls in, a physical altercation ensues, a gun is pulled, and two of the judges are shot. Very seriously injured, so they end up in emergency surgery. And later on in, actually, I believe, in November, the decision was handed down by the Indiana Supreme Court which essentially suspended the judges. So to add insult to injury, they were found to have engaged in some judicial misconduct.

As attorneys, as an attorney, I’m held to an ethical standard. I can’t violate those ethical standards. Judges are held to a standard as well. They have to act a certain way as a judge and everybody expects them to do that. This particular state determined that they weren’t acting in that way and they removed them.

Joe: How strict is that code of conduct?

Attorney Barry: Very strict. It is ingrained in you in law school and you are constantly reminded of it in your practice as an attorney and you’re constantly reminded of it as a judge through the judiciary. But it’s very serious. It is a pillar of the practice and so adhering to the ethical standard is 100% required by the licensing agencies, the bars, and there are committees in every state that are set up to make sure that attorneys and judges are adhering to those ethical standards. It’s a very serious matter to violate ethical standards and you can be censured, you can be fined. There are a lot of different ways that the ethics committees can enforce rules.

Joe: Wow. Well, thank God that’s not true for DJs. It’s kind of expected of us, Ben.

Attorney Barry: Well, you do a fine job. I don’t think you violated any DJ ethical standards, even if there were some, so continue spinning the tunes.

Joe: All right. Thank you, Ben. Ben Barry from Martin, Harding and Mazzotti.

Attorney Barry: Thank you, Joe.

Joe: You, of course, can call Ben at any time at 1-800-LAW-1010 or go online to Mel Allen taking over from here. He’s got music from Tom Petty and Aerosmith coming up.