By D. Elizabeth Cox, Cox & Koons
Getting to know your judicial officers is crucial to a successful practice. This year, we will provide our section members with information about judicial officers that we hope will both encourage positive bench/bar relationships and help us all serve our clients better. To that end, we christen our new series on getting to know your judicial officers with Marion County Superior Court 3 Judge Gary Miller.
Judge Miller is new to Court 3 after transferring there on January 1 of this year, but he is no newbie. He most recently served in Court 21, and prior to that, he was a civil court judge in Marion Superior 5 for a number of years. Between his appointment to Court 21 and his time in Superior 5, Judge Miller was a partner at MillerMeyer LLP. Judge Miller frequently presents at CLEs regarding ethics and professional responsibility and is an adjunct professor at IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law.
We gave him a variety of questions, and he was gracious enough to give us some answers to share with our members. Check out our Q+A to get to know more about Judge Miller!
Q: Judge, going forward, who will serve as your Commissioner and will any of your court staff be the same?
A: Deb Shook will serve as my commissioner. She and I worked together when I was assigned to Civil
5. The staff of Civil 3 is completely new to the civil courts. I brought them with me from Court 21. Crystal Newport is my chief Bailiff. Robin Helton is my reporter.
Q: What do you look forward to most about the change to this court?
A: I look forward to the intellectual challenge of complex litigation. Civil court cases rarely get routine.
Q: Is there anything that you want practitioners to know about how you run your court?
A: Like other judges, I have my own idiosyncratic preferences, but practitioners should know that my staff and I are always available to answer questions about process and procedure. Important points: First, if you ask for a specific amount of time for a hearing, you will generally get it, so ask appropriately. Don’t ask for 30 minutes if it’s going to really take half a day. Second, if you don’t request a specific period of time, we will review the file and guess how much time it will take and put it in the order. If we are wrong, lawyers need to let us know in advance of the hearing.
Q: How, if at all, do you think that your experience as a solo/small firm private practice attorney has helped prepare you for your position? How do you think that experience tempers how you approach your cases and running your court?
A: I believe it is important that judges know what it is like to actually practice law. That perspective tempers the need to administer the court and its caseload with the real world experiences of the practice of law by the lawyers.
Q: What was the last book you read?
A: I Am Spartacus!: Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist. It’s the story of Kirk Douglas’s efforts to make the film Spartacus using blacklisted personnel.
Q: What was the last movie you saw? Thumbs up or thumbs down?
A: Gone Girl. Thumbs up – a more than decent translation of the well-crafted book.
Q: On a Saturday afternoon, what you would likely be found doing?
A: Watching IU basketball or seeing a movie.
A very big thank you to Judge Miller for participating! Stay tuned for more Q+As with judges as this series unfolds throughout the year.
This post was written by D. Elizabeth Cox of Cox & Koons. If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Solo/Small Firm Practice Section page, please email Rachel Beachy at firstname.lastname@example.org.