Derek Molter

Courtesy photo

Judge Derek Molter

KENTLAND — Indiana Court of Appeals judge and Newton County native Derek Molter is a finalist for the Indiana Supreme Court upon the retirement of Justice Steven David.

The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission has selected Justin P. Forkner, Hon. Dana J. Kenworthy, and Hon. Derek R. Molter as the three nominees for the upcoming vacancy on the Indiana Supreme Court. Chief Justice Rush, on behalf of the Commission, will submit a report to Governor Eric Holcomb in the upcoming days. After officially receiving the list of nominees, the Governor has 60 days to make his selection.

Derek R. Molter was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Governor Eric Holcomb and began his service on October 1, 2021. Judge Molter received his B.A., with High Distinction, from Indiana University in 2004. While at I.U. he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was active in student government. He earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2007. While in law school, he was the Executive Notes & Comments Editor for the Indiana Law Journal and a member of the Order of the Coif.

According to the Indiana government’s official website, before joining the Court of Appeals, Judge Molter was a partner in the Litigation Practice Group at Ice Miller in Indianapolis. He led the appellate practice and handled appeals in state and federal courts throughout the United States. He was a member of the National Center for State Courts Lawyers Committee, the Council for Appellate Lawyers, the Indiana State Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Section Council, the Indianapolis Bar Association, and he served a term as the Newton County Bar Association president. He also represented pro bono clients defending criminal charges and pursuing discrimination, civil rights, employment, and housing claims.

Prior to joining Ice Miller, he was an attorney in Washington, D.C., at Arnold & Porter LLP. He was also a law clerk for the Honorable Theresa Springmann with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, and during law school, he worked as a legal intern for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary.

On February 28 and March 1, the Commission conducted interviews of nineteen applicants and named ten as finalists. The finalists were interviewed in person for a second time on April 5. After deliberating in an executive session, the Commission publicly voted to send the three nominees to the Governor. The Commission considered applicants’ legal education, writings, reputation in the practice of law, and other pertinent information. Applications and information about the vacancy can be found online.

According to the Indiana Constitution and state statute, the seven-member Judicial Nominating Commission must recruit and select candidates to fill vacancies on Indiana appellate courts. Details on the Commission, including membership, are online.

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