Indianapolis Bar Association Judicial Survey

I recommend David J. Certo for judicial office.

David J. Certo

*Survey respondents were asked to comment only upon those candidates with whomthey have had direct professional contact within the last three years. All questions were optional.

Response Total

Total Respondents*

How would you rate David J. Certo on the following:
(Note: Total in parentheses indicates total respondents.)

This person is hard working.

This person is well-prepared.


4.3% (13)
8.6% (26)
20.8% (63)
58.4% (177)

5.0% (15)

This person is efficient at case management.


4.0% (12)
11.2% (34)
22.4% (68)
47.9% (145)
12.2% (37)
This person is ethical.


1.7% (5)
7.9% (24)
15.5% (47)
65.7% (199)
4.3% (13)
This person is impartial.


6.6% (20)
8.6% (26)
20.9% (63)
55.1% (166)
4.3% (13)
The person is correctly applies the law.


7.0% (21)
10.6% (32)
26.2% (79)
46.8% (141)
5.0% (15)
This person demonstrates the proper temperament and demeanor expected of a judge.
3.7% (11)
7.7% (23)
16.0% (48)
68.0% (204)

University of Notre Dame- Bachelor of Arts (Government & Theology, concentration in Hesburgh Program in Public Service).  Indiana University McKinney Law School- Juris Doctor, evening program.  Member of 3 national moot court traveling teams, coach of National Health Law Moot Court team, Martin-Haas prize winner for intramural moot court advocacy. University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary- pre-theology program.  University of Utah School on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependencies (attended 1997 & 1998).  Indiana Graduate Program for Judges- Class of 2009.  Indiana Judicial College-completed 2012. Indiana Judicial College Masters Program- in progress. George Mason University School of Law, Center for Law & Economics, Judicial Education Program-Completed Weeks 1 & 2 and Seminar for Judges with Environmental Jurisdiction. National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence & U.S. Department of Justice-Enhancing Judicial Skills in Domestic Violence Cases, Seminars I & II.

Judicial Experience:
Elected as the Presiding Judge for the Marion Superior Court (2013 and 2014).  Elected as Associate Presiding Judge for the Marion Superior Court (2011 and 2012).  Appointed Supervising Judge for Marion County Probation Department (2009 and 2010).  Appointed to the bench August 1, 2007, by Governor Daniels and elected to a six year term (2008-2014).  Served as presiding judge for Marion Superior Court, Criminal Division 21, hearing 4,000 civil protection order cases and violations annually.  Moved and redesigned Court 21 to improve safety for litigants, public, and staff and to increase access to services for domestic violence victims.  Assigned to the Marion County Environmental Court and the Indianapolis Community Court in 2010.  Heard environmental torts, appeals of DNR, IDEM, and ISDH orders, and ordinance violations for City of Indianapolis and Health & Hospital Corporation, as well as criminal misdemeanors in Community Court’s catchment area.

Significant Legal Accomplishments:
Received the Vietnam Veterans of America-Lawrence Chapter 295 volunteer award for legal services.  Won the Indiana Latino Coalition Against Domestic Violence 2010 Advocacy Award.  Earned a recognition award from the Protective Order Pro Bono Project in 2008. Helped Governor Daniels reform the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles as transition team director and chief legal counsel (2005-2006).  Designed and presided over the Super Bowl “Rocket Docket” for ordinance violations and injunctions.  Reorganized and presiding over Marion County’s PAIR mental health diversion program, improving defendants’ access to mental health services by opening a mental health clinic in the Court’s building.  Opened a food and clothing pantry at Court, serving approximately 300 people each month.  Presiding over Marion County’s implementation of ODYSSEY computer case management system, saving the County approximately $1million annually by eliminating the mainframe computer.  Working to open a Veterans Treatment Court for Marion County in 2014.

Other Legal Involvement:
Indiana Judicial Conference Board of Directors (2013-present).  Member, Indiana Judicial Conference Committees on Protection Orders (2008-2012) & Court Security (2013-present).  Instructor- Indiana Judicial Center Program for New Judges & annual Indiana judicial conferences on Protection Orders and Court Security.  Instructor-IMPD annual in-service training (18 sessions on protection orders and violations).  Member, Indianapolis Bar Association (Criminal & Environmental Sections). St. Thomas More Society-past president (two terms), board member.  Indianapolis Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team- judicial member, 2 years.  Volunteer Judge, moot court programs, Indiana University McKinney Law School & Indiana University Maurer Law School.  Volunteer Judge, Trial Practice classes, Indiana University McKinney Law School.  Volunteer, Mock Interview Program, Indiana University McKinney Law School.  Member, Marion Superior Court Technology Committee.

Personal Statement:
As a judge, I am committed to treating litigants and the public with dignity and respect and to enhancing access to justice.  We work with veterans, mentally ill citizens, and substance abusing individuals, helping them address the challenges that led them into legal trouble.  Our approach of treating people like neighbors is a cost-effective way to promote public safety while improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods.  My professional career has been dedicated to improving public administration, and I am thankful for the leadership opportunities I’ve used to reduce the cost and upgrade the effectiveness of Court services.  I remain dedicated to reducing crime by helping people avoid repeating the mistakes that led them to arrest.  I continue to help the Court use technology to make civil litigation easier and cheaper for litigants and lawyers.  I love my job and feel grateful for the privilege of serving our community.