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Harrison County Superior Judge


Election preview


October 15, 2008
Attorney John Evans challenges incumbent Roger Davis in the race for Harrison County Superior Court Judge.

Roger Davis, Dem.

Personal: Davis, 54, of Corydon, who has served as superior court judge since 1997, graduated from North Harrison High School in 1977 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business at Indiana University and a Doctor of Jurispendence at Indiana University School of Law. He is married to Qudsia Davis and has two children, Shazia and Raza. Voters may contact him at rddjud@earthlink.net.

Duties of the position sought: To interpret and apply the law that governs us independently, fairly, and competently.

Why are you seeking the office? To help people and serve our community.

What qualifies you for the office? My experience as an attorney and judge.

What do you consider the top issues in the campaign? Who will best serve the people in the office of Harrison Superior Court Judge?

What do you see as the No. 1 duty of superior court judge? Harrison Superior Court has responsibility for all criminal cases in Harrison County. Competently and fairly adjudicating criminal cases is the most important and time consuming part of the responsibilities of the judge of the Harrison Superior Court.

Do you believe our court system works or does it need to be revamped? Explain your position. The court system works reasonably well. The people who run any system have a significant impact on how well it functions.

Other comments: It is an honor to serve the people of Harrison County as their judge.

John Evans

Personal: Evans, 42, of Depauw, is married to the former Beth Meisner, and has two children Megan, 10, and Gillian, 6. He attended Winter Park High School, graduating in 1984, and then earned a Bachelor of Arts in humanities (Cum Laude) in 1988 from the University of Louisville and a J.D. in 1991 from the University of Florida. He is also taking classes at Saint Meinrad School of Theology since 1995, working towards a master's of theological studies. Voters may contact him at 738-4601.

Duties of the position sought: The Harrison County Superior Court has the authority to hear any kind of case, civil or criminal. By Local Rule, it is the responsibility of the Superior Court Judge to hear all criminal cases, infraction and ordinance violations, small claims, and every sixth domestic relations case. The Superior Court Judge also serves as a Special Judge on cases where one is needed, in Clark, Floyd, Harrison, Orange, Scott, and Washington counties. The Superior Court Judge is responsible for the operation of Superior Court, including Court staff, adult probation, and public defenders.

Why are you seeking the office? I believe that by working together, we create a community better than anything we could accomplish by ourselves. We each have certain gifts and talents and a responsibility to use those to help each other. I have 17 years experience as an attorney, as well as the personal values and personality which I believe would make me the kind of judge who will positively contribute to our community.

What qualifies you for the office? For the past 17 years, I have represented businesses, governments, and individuals with all kinds of legal issues, both in court and outside of court. I have assisted towns, like drafting ordinances for the Town of Lanesville, and litigated on behalf of state government, like defending the Commonwealth of Kentucky in U.S. District Court. I have appeared in trial courts all over Southern Indiana and litigated cases in the Court of Appeals and Indiana Supreme Court. For the last five and a half years, I have represented hundreds of people in Harrison Circuit Court as the public defender. Even more important than that experience, I believe that I can respectfully and fairly decide cases based only on the facts of the particular case and the law, all while maintaining the respect and decorum this community deserves.

What do you consider the top issues in the campaign? A campaign for judge is not permitted to have 'issues' the way a campaign for president or governor or county commissioner might. The Indiana Code of Judicial Conduct describes that a candidate for judge "shall not make pledges or promises of conduct in office other than the faithful and impartial performance of the duties of the office." In addition, the Code of Judicial Conduct also provides that a judge is responsible, not only to faithfully and impartially perform his/her duties, but also to respect and honor the judicial office as a public trust and to strive to enhance and maintain confidence in our legal system. Since the office of Judge of the Harrison Superior Court is an elected office, residents have the opportunity to determine which candidate they believe will best fulfill both the duties and the responsibilities of the office.

What do you see as the No. 1 duty of superior court judge? Above all else, a judge must fairly apply the law in each case. If people under similar circumstances are treated differently, the public may lose both its respect for the rule of law and its confidence in its system of justice. Also, the Code of Judicial Conduct requires that a judge must: Be patient, dignified and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers and others with whom the judge deals in an official capacity, and shall require similar conduct of lawyers, and of staff, court officials and others subject to the judge's direction and control; Not be swayed by partisan interests, public clamor or ear of criticism; and, require order and decorum in proceedings in court.

Do you believe our court system works or does it need to be revamped? Explain your position. I believe that our system of justice is one of the best in the world, based on important, fundamental principles; ideals such as, everyone is entitled to a fair trial. Sometimes, however, we see outcomes that just don't seem right. I believe that everyone involved in a case, lawyers and judges, bear the responsibility to see that cases are handled fairly, promptly, and efficiently, so that we all may have confidence in our legal system.

Other comments: I am a member of: The Bar Associations of: Indiana, Kentucky, Florida, Louisville, and Harrison-Crawford County; St. Michael's Church, Bradford, Ind., where I teach High School Sunday School and facilitate High School Prayer Group; Ramsey Lions Club. I am a past: Volunteer Director, YMCA of Harrison County, Leadership Harrison County Graduate, and an Eagle Scout. I very much appreciate your consideration.

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