WARSAW — Almost exactly a year removed from the signing by Gov. Eric Holcomb to establish a fifth court in Kosciusko County, four candidates are finishing up the application process and awaiting news on who will be given the gavel of Kosciusko Superior Court 4.
The following is the first of four profiles on the four candidates for the judgeship, which is scheduled to begin adjudicating cases July 1.
Local attorney Robert J. Bishop has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Toledo, earned in 1991, the same year he was admitted to the Indiana Bar.
Bishop joined the Kosciusko Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in 2006 as deputy prosecuting attorney in charge of the Child Support Division.
Bishop practiced law in Allen County before taking his position in Kosciusko County. He also has experience as a public defender in misdemeanor and juvenile courts. He has also worked extensively in the area of Children In Need of Services, representing parents and children, and is a certified family law mediator.
“From my early years as an attorney in Allen County, serving as a Judge Pro Tempore when the regular judge was not available, I have wanted to serve as a judge,” Bishop said. “I believe the candidate for judge should be able to show they have worked toward that goal as part of their career. I have worked as a practicing attorney, as a mediator, public defender and as a deputy prosecutor. I have also worked as a servant leader in the legal community as a member of the Indiana Legislature’s Child Custody and Support Advisory Committee, and as a trainer for the Indiana Prosecuting Attorney’s Council. I have filled my career with opportunities to make me, and others, better attorneys.”
Bishop has served as president of the Wayne Township Advisory Board and is currently president of the Warsaw Breakfast Optimists.
Bishop acknowledged the need for an additional court in the county.
“The Kosciusko County courts have been high on the list of counties for some time, and recent years have seen an additional uptick in numbers,” Bishop said. “There is an old adage that justice delayed is not justice at all. It is my hope that the new court will bring down the length of time it takes to resolve cases.”
Bishop puts a premium on his experience as an attorney when it comes to filling a judicial role.
“Having a broad depth of practice over the years is a crucial requirement for anyone seeking to serve as a judge,” he said. “For the past 13 years, I have served the residents of Kosciusko County as its child support deputy prosecutor. And while not every case is successful, the federal performance measures for child support offices indicate this office has excelled above the state and national averages. I intend to bring that level of service to the position of judge, should I be selected.”
Bishop said that while at some level, the position of judge has changed over the years with so many cases being decided outside of the courtroom, “it is still the role of the judge to resolve those conflicts that the parties cannot work out. I look forward to both roles of assisting in reaching resolution and, when needed, donning the black robe and making a ruling.”