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 third of four profiles on the four candidates for the judgeship, which is scheduled to begin adjudicating cases July 1.
Christopher D. Kehler is a lifelong Warsaw resident who says he’s wanted to be a judge for a number of years.
“I feel as though I now have the experience necessary to be a good judge,” said Kehler, “and I would welcome the opportunity to be able to give back to the community by drawing upon my over 31 years of experience, which would help me to make well-reasoned, fair and prompt judicial decisions.”
Kehler graduated from Warsaw Community High School in 1980 and from Franklin College in 1984 bachelor’s degree in philosophy. Kehler then graduated from Valparaiso University’s School of Law in 1987. He is a certified family law mediator. “I have successfully mediated a large percentage of the over 65 cases that I have mediated to date,” he said.
Kehler commented on the need for the new court.
“The Indiana Supreme Court has determined that Kosciusko County needs an additional court because of the high volume of cases that currently exist in our courts,” he said. “Adding a fifth court will take a significant burden off of the current four courts.”
Kehler said his experience as an attorney will be vital in the new role, should he be selected.
“Kosciusko Superior Court 4 will be a domestic and family law civil court,” he said. “I believe that extensive trial experience is useful in becoming the judge that Kosciusko County deserves. Judges are required to make difficult decisions based upon the unique facts and issues of each case. The answers cannot readily be found in a book. I have over 31 years of legal experience and have litigated hundreds of trials involving custody, property division, visitation, adoptions, guardianships and child support related matters. I can draw upon my 31 years of trial experience to make well-reasoned, fair and prompt decisions.”
Kehler doesn’t discount the importance of his experience as a mediator.
“Having been a certified family law mediator, I recognize the importance of alternative dispute resolutions as an alternative to a litigious and contested trial,” he said. “I would encourage attorneys and their clients to attempt to result disputed matters by way of alternative dispute resolution, including, but not limited to, mediation and perhaps arbitration.”