IN Brief

Molter dons robe — officially

By: - November 1, 2022 3:56 pm
supreme court

Justice Derek Molter, second from right, had his ceremonial robing ceremony Tuesday at the Indiana Statehouse. (Niki Kelly/Indiana Capital Chronicle)

Indiana Supreme Court Justice Derek Molter’s ceremonial robing ceremony Tuesday was a who’s who of jurisprudence, with a few jokes thrown in.

He is the newest member of the five-member court, appointed by Gov. Eric Holcomb. He started work Sept. 1 and has already worked on more than 100 cases.

Holcomb called Molter innovative, collaborative and a man of “irreproachable character.”

Molter’s father, Newton County Superior Court Judge Daniel Molter, administered the oath. And his grandfather unveiled his justice portrait.

Chief Justice Loretta Rush quipped that the Indiana Court of Appeals tried to deny transfer of Derek Molter, who previously served on the appellate bench.

He ended the ceremony with a speech that included how he crashed the robing ceremony of Indiana Supreme Court Justice Jeff Slaughter in 2016. Back then he didn’t know you needed an invitation. He thanked Holcomb for appointing him not once, but twice, and even joked about his short stay — about a year — on the Court of Appeals.

His three kids helped him zip up the robe and he told a story of how beautifully they behaved at a recent event. That was until Rush told one of them the wooden telephone booths were sound proof and one went inside and shrieked to test it out. Hint: not sound proof.

Derek Molter grew up on a farm in Newton County, and received a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in 2004. While there he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was active in student government. He earned his law degree from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2007. While in law school, he was the Executive Notes & Comments Editor for the Indiana Law Journal and a member of the Order of the Coif.

Before joining the Court of Appeals, he was a partner in the Litigation Practice Group at Ice Miller in Indianapolis. He led the appellate practice and handled appeals in state and federal courts throughout the United States.


Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Niki Kelly
Niki Kelly

Niki has covered the Indiana Statehouse since 1999 – including five governors. She has been honored by the Society of Professional Journalists and Hoosier State Press Association for stories on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, criminal justice issues and more. She also is a regular on Indiana Week in Review, a weekly public television rundown of news. She shifts her career to helm a staff of three and ensure Hoosiers know what’s really happening on the state level.