Sunday, April 22, 2012

Alan Miller's speech at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner 21 April 2012

Alan Miller's speech at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner 21 April 2012

Very early in my life, I realized that I wanted to be an attorney. Then and now, I believe an attorney’s primary job is to help people. It is this part of the job that first drew me to it and that is the most rewarding now. It did not take me long to find out that there is much more to an attorney’s job than this. One of the more important duties of the job is to ensure the quality of justice itself. It is with this duty in mind that I can unequivocally say: we can do better. My name is Alan Miller and I am running for Judge of the Dearborn Superior Court No. 2.

I am from here. I graduated from Lawrenceburg High School, went to IU, and returned home for law school over at Northern Kentucky. I married a local girl, Kyle Thayer. Our roots in this community and in this party are deep. My family has been here for generations. My great-grandmother, Charlotte Miller, was involved in the party in the 50's and 60's. My wife's family has also been here for generations. Her grandfather on one side is Charlie Thayer, the longest serving councilman in the state of Indiana. On the other side, her grandfather, Bob Wickizer, served this party as its chairman for many years.

For the past 7 years, I've been practicing law here. During that time, I've practiced family law, landlord/tenant law and small claims law, among other areas. In 2007, I was made a partner at Zerbe Garner Miller & Blondell and, since that time, I have focused my practice in the areas of criminal law and bankruptcy. It has been in my role as a criminal defense attorney that I have seen on a daily basis the inefficiency and uneven playing field on which our justice system is currently grounded. It was this inefficiency and lack of fair play that most influenced my decision to seek this office.

When I announced my candidacy for Judge, I asserted that there were substantial problems with the administration of justice in Dearborn County. Since my announcement, some encouraging changes have occurred. However, it has become apparent that some have no interest in looking inwardly to fix these problems. These individuals would rather compromise the future financial security of our county than acknowledge their role in creating these problems and working to implement solutions. In some instances, they would rather resort to the tired practice of name-calling and mud-slinging to make their arguments for maintaining the status quo, however invalid or without foundation in the real world as they may be. It is time to do things differently.

There are two specific areas where improvement is badly needed: efficiency and fairness. If you have some spare time, head down to the courthouse and watch Superior II in action. There will either be no one in the courtroom or people waiting outside for hearings, sometimes for 15, 20, as much as 30 minutes. It is not unusual to wait weeks and sometimes months for a decision from this court. These types of delays are not often seen in Judge Cleary or Judge Humphrey's courts. These delays cost all of us by way of increased staffing costs, supplies and other resources, not to mention the time wasted by those actually appearing before the court, who have taken time off of work and spent gas money to be there or to support someone who is. Such ineffiencies are not just disrespectful of those appearing before the court, they are disrespectful of the court itself. When elected, court will start on time. The docket will move along at a reasonable pace and decisions will be made in a prompt manner. The increasing role and size of the justice system, which has literally grown to the point that an additional building has been purchased to accompany it, must be slowed. Spending, which has gotten more and more out of control, year after year under the current judge, will be reined in. As a small business owner, I understand that an organized and efficient operation is instrumental to success. I will use this experience to review current spending and find places where things can be done less expensively and more efficiently.

If you're from Dearborn County, you've undoubtedly heard the stories of individuals being treated differently because of their last name, because they “know someone.” It is not uncommon to observe a party treated differently due to their name, financial history or inability to hire an attorney. Such inequality cannot be what our Founding Fathers envisioned when they laid the groundwork for our justice system.

When elected, I will treat those appearing before the court fairly and with respect. I will not place my thumb on the scales of justice to give any party an unfair advantage or impose my personal opinion upon a case. The law will be applied without regard for one's last name or lot in life. I will work to restore judicial independence and transparency, and most importantly, I will honor and support the Constitutions of the United States of America and the State of Indiana.

With your help I will restore our system of justice to one of which we can be proud; one that reflects the values of the people of this county: integrity, fairness, hard work, fiscal responsibility, personal accountability. Some of those currently in charge have lost sight of these values. Now is the time to elect someone who will work towards reestablishing the justice system we deserve. It is without reservation that I tell you: I am that candidate.

Alan Miller
Candidate for Judge of Dearborn Superior Court 2


Anonymous said...

HERE, HERE! Well said, Alan, well said. You have my vote.

Anonymous said...

Alan Miller is our guy!

independent said...

Alan - you are right- we can do better.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for presenting your argument with dignity and respect to those already in office. We do not need any political mudslinging in Dearborn County. Keep up the good work Mr. Miller, I look forward to the election.

Bobbie Ester said...

Alan Miller is a great guy! I wish him the best of luck ! Dearborn County could certainly benefit from many changes.I will be out there encouraging votes for you Alan.
Thank you for helping me and my son.

Anonymous said...

As a concerned citizen I took Mr. Miller's advice. I actually went down to Superior Court 2 in the courthouse to watch a regular day. Here is what I found.

First, Court started around 9:05. I thought that might be late, but asked around and realized that the court was making sure all of the people from the jail were present in court.

Court seemed to run pretty smoothly. There were a couple times that there were some delays, but I noticed that it was because some attorneys weren't present when a specific case was called. (I don't think that could possibly be blamed on the judge). A couple other minor delays were based on calling in people who were waiting in the hallway. I think this is because of the small courtroom with not a lot of seating. I went around and looked at the other courtrooms in the courthouse, and saw that Judge Blankenship's was much smaller than anyone else's room. Again, that doesn't seem to be her fault.

My other observations were quite different than Mr. Miller stated in his speech. I found Judge Blankenship to be very fair to all of the attorneys and the individuals that came before her. I didn't see any favoritism.

My last point to this post is fairly simple - it bothers me that Alan Miller stated in his speech that we don't need name calling and mudslinging in this campaign, but unfortunately, that is exactly what he does in his speech.

Taking his advice I went down and observed Superior Court 2 in action. What I saw was not as Mr. Miller described...I find that his general critiques and badmouthing was not supported by what I saw in court.

I am sorry Mr. Miller. You lost my vote.

adc said...

delays can be caused by attorney who are "allowed" to get away with it.
delays can be a matter of continuance after continuance.
how did you evaluate fairness?
any examples from your day in a courtroom?

Anonymous said...

competition is a good thing - perhaps it will improve her performance.

tim thomas said...

If you were arrested for dui, get someone else. This guy got my son 6 month on first time dui after paying him 1500$. Wasted my money thats for sure.