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Judicial Retention

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"The health of our entire legal system--both state and federal--depends on having a competent and independent state judiciary... How we choose our state judges, and how we decide whether to keep them in office or not, is of critical importance."

--the Honorable Sandra Day O'Connor
Retired Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States

Judges up for Retention in 2020

The following judges will appear on the November 2020 ballot for retention.

Indiana Supreme Court
Court of Appeals of Indiana

Justice Christopher M. Goff

Justice Christopher M. Goff

Indiana Supreme Court

Christopher M. Goff was appointed to the Indiana Supreme Court by Governor Eric J. Holcomb and took the oath of office as Indiana's 110th justice on July 24, 2017.

Justice Goff was born in Wabash, Indiana in 1972. After graduating from high school there, he attended Ball State University, graduating summa cum laude in 1994. He went on to earn his law degree at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 1996. He is also a graduate of the Indiana Judicial College and the Indiana Graduate Program for Judges.

After law school, Justice Goff developed a successful private practice while giving back to his community. His practice spanned a wide range of areas from criminal defense and domestic relations to personal injury and small... [keep reading]

 Biography
 Oral argument videos
 Written opinions
 

Judge L. Mark Bailey

Judge L. Mark Bailey

Court of Appeals of Indiana, First District

Lloyd Mark Bailey was raised on the family farm in Decatur County. He was educated in Indiana, earning a B.A. from the University of Indianapolis (1978); a J.D. from Indiana University McKinney School of Law (1982); and an M.B.A. from Indiana Wesleyan University (1999). He also completed the graduate program for Indiana Judges. Judge Bailey was appointed to the Indiana Court of Appeals by Governor Frank O'Bannon in 1998, after having served as judge of the Decatur County and Decatur Superior Courts.

During his legal career, Judge Bailey has served public interest and professional organizations in various capacities. He was the first Chairperson of the Indiana Pro Bono Commission, having been awarded the Indiana Bar Foundation's Pro Bono Publico Award and the 2002 Randall Shepard... [keep reading]

 Biography
 Oral argument videos
 Written opinions
 

Judge Melissa S. May

Judge Melissa S. May

Court of Appeals of Indiana, Fourth District

Melissa S. May was appointed to the Indiana Court of Appeals by Governor Frank O'Bannon in April of 1998. She was born in Elkhart, Indiana. She received a B.S. in criminal justice from Indiana University-South Bend and, in 1984, a J.D. from Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis. She is also a graduate of the Graduate Program for Indiana Judges.

Prior to her appointment to the Court, Judge May practiced law for fourteen years in Evansville, Indiana, where she focused on insurance defense and personal injury litigation.

Judge May has been active in local, state, and national bar associations and bar foundations. She served the Indiana Bar Association on the Board of Managers from 1992-1994, as Chair of the Litigation Section from 1998-1999, as Counsel to... [keep reading]

 Biography
 Oral argument videos
 Written opinions
 

Judge Margret G. Robb

Judge Margret G. Robb

Court of Appeals of Indiana, Fifth District

Margret G. Robb, the first woman elected Chief Judge in the 110-year history of the Court of Appeals, was appointed in July 1998 by Governor Frank O'Bannon. In 2012 she was honored, with a concurrent bi-partisan Resolution, by the Indiana Legislature. Previously she served as Founding Chair of Governor Otis Bowen's Commission on the Status of Women.

Honored for her public service, some of Judge Robb's awards include the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Distinguished Alumni, Indiana Business Journal Woman of Influence, Indiana State Bar Association "100 Years of Women in the Legal Profession," appointment to the ABA Committee responsible for accrediting law schools, and election as President of the national Council of Chief Judges of State Courts of Appeal. She holds... [keep reading]

 Biography
 Oral argument videos
 Written opinions
 

Judge Cale J. Bradford

Judge Cale J. Bradford

Court of Appeals of Indiana, Second District

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 as chief judge of the Court of Appeals for a three-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2020.

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... [keep reading]

 Biography
 Oral argument videos
 Written opinions
 

Judge Elaine B. Brown

Judge Elaine B. Brown

Court of Appeals of Indiana, Fifth District

Elaine B. Brown was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Gov. Mitch Daniels in May 2008 and was retained by statewide vote in 2010. Before joining the Court, she was a trial court judge for over 15 years and practiced law for 11 years. She is the recipient of the 2020 Indiana Lawyer Distinguished Barrister Award, an adjunct faculty member of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, a member of the Maurer School of Law Alumni Board, a 1996 graduate of the Indiana Judicial College, a 2012 graduate of the Indiana Graduate Program for Judges, and a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. She is also the Presiding Judge of the Fifth District of the Court of Appeals.

Judge Brown served as... [keep reading]

 Biography
 Oral argument videos
 Written opinions
 

Judge Elizabeth Thoman Tavitas

Judge Elizabeth Thoman Tavitas

Court of Appeals of Indiana, Third District

Elizabeth Thoman Tavitas was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Governor Eric Holcomb and began her service on August 6, 2018.

Judge Tavitas received her B.A. degree, cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame in 1985, and earned her J.D. degree from Notre Dame Law School in 1990. She was admitted to the Indiana Bar; United States District Court, Northern District of Indiana; and United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana in 1990. She is a 2007 Indiana Judicial College graduate and a graduate of the 2012 Indiana Graduate Program for Judges. Judge Tavitas is also an adjunct Law Professor at IU McKinney School of Law.

Prior to her appointment to the Court of Appeals, Judge Tavitas served for more than 12... [keep reading]

 Biography
 Oral argument videos
 Written opinions
 

About Judicial Retention

See the State Bar Association's 2020 Judicial Retention Poll results

Learn more about Indiana's Judicial Retention System

Statutes regarding retention of Appellate Judges

  • Supreme Court Justices, see Indiana Code 33-24-2
  • Court of Appeals Judges, see Indiana Code 33-25-2
  • Tax Court Judges, see Indiana Code 33-26-2

This information is prepared by the Indiana Office of Judicial Administration (IOJA). IOJA does not endorse the results of any surveys on judicial retention or the views expressed on any website outside the Indiana Judicial Branch website.