115 West Washington Street
Suite 1080 South Tower
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Cale J. Bradford was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Governor Mitch Daniels and took his seat on August 1, 2007. Judge Bradford was selected by his colleagues to serve as chief judge from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2022.
Prior to his elevation to the Court of Appeals, Judge Bradford served for more than 10 years as Judge of the Marion Superior Court, seven years in the criminal division and three in the civil division. He was twice elected presiding judge by his colleagues.
During this tenure, Judge Bradford chaired the Marion County Criminal Justice Planning Council, a group of local elected and appointed officials who recommended ways to improve the county’s response to criminal justice problems, including jail overcrowding, staffing, and budget issues. His efforts led to the end of 30 years of federal oversight of the Marion County Jail and to security improvements at the county’s Juvenile Detention Center.
Before joining the bench, Judge Bradford served in the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office for two years, overseeing a staff of more than 100 attorneys. For five years, he was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, prosecuting major felony drug trafficking cases. He engaged in the private practice of law from 1986 to 1991, and served as both a deputy prosecutor and public defender during his career.
A native of Indianapolis, Judge Bradford received a B.A. in labor relations and personnel management from Indiana University-Bloomington in 1982 and his J.D. from the McKinney School of Law-Indianapolis in 1986. He has served as the Court of Appeals' liaison to the Indiana Judges Criminal Instructions Committee, which provides guidance to judges on jury instructions in criminal cases and is a former member of both the Indiana Judges Criminal Policy and Criminal Instructions Committees and the Board of Directors of the Indiana State Judicial Conference.
Judge Bradford is a Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Indianapolis Bar Association and teaches at various seminars on a variety of legal topics. From 2005 to 2007, Judge Bradford hosted “Off the Bench with Judge Cale Bradford,” a legal commentary program on Marion County’s government access network. He also served on the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee (JTAC), helping to draft the state judiciary’s policies on technology and electronic case management. Judge Bradford has also served over ten years as an adjunct instructor in forensic science and the law at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.
Judge Bradford is a former board member of Indianapolis’s John P. Craine House, a residential alternative to incarceration for women offenders with pre-school-aged children. He and his wife, a former full-day kindergarten teacher, have five adult children and grandchildren.