Dave Bangert, writing for the Lafayette Journal & Courier, has an article on Judge Tom Busch’s announcement that he is going to be retiring as judge for the Circuit Court of Tippecanoe County. I learned a lot of what I know about practicing law from Tom. He was a partner with the firm when I signed on as an associate. I had just become partner in January of 2002 when a position on the bench opened up upon the death of Judge Heid. I still remember eating lunch at the Triple XXX Family Restaurant when Tom told us he was going to seek the position. That moment was significant for me because I felt like it’s when the training wheels came off for me as an attorney. Our other partner, Dave Luhman, was still a strong presence at the firm, but I had mostly been doing collections and work for Tom while I was an associate. When Tom left, a lot of his case load went to me directly and I didn’t have him to lean on anymore. It was scary, but it worked out.
Tom has done a great job as a judge over the years. He was a judge you wanted looking at your case, particularly if you had a novel argument or a non-routine matter to look at. He has a great curiosity about the law. (As an associate, that could be frustrating when he sent you back for the nth revision of a brief, but it’s a good quality in a lawyer or a judge!) Back in 2014, he left his position as judge of Superior Court 2 to run for the Circuit Court position which he won. When he retires at the end of the year, Governor Holcomb will fill the position. There are three years left on Judge Busch’s term, but I think there will now be an election in November which will result in a full six year term beginning January 2019. So, Governor Holcomb’s replacement will serve for a year under the governor’s appointment.
And Judge Busch will get to see more of his family which is truly far flung at this point. He’s earned it!