In her 22 years as an attorney, Christine Talley Haseman said she has seen too many cases in which a parent loses contact with his or her child because of mental illness.
She said this outcome isn’t necessarily good for the parent or the child. Now, as she runs for judge in Monroe County, Haseman said she has a special interest in working with people coping with mental illness.
“To me the issue is not if the parent has a mental illness, but if it’s treated,” she said. “If it’s not being treated, we want to help them get the services they need.”
Haseman works in her own private practice, dealing mostly with family law cases, and is running in the judicial race for Seat 2.
Three judicial seats in Monroe County — Seat 2, Seat 3 and Seat 8 — are up for grabs in the midterm election Nov. 6.
Seven Democrats have announced intentions to run in the primary. Two are running for Seat 3, three are running for Seat 8 and two are running for Seat 2: Haseman and Chris Gaal.
A primary on May 8 will narrow the field to one Democrat per seat. No Republicans have announced plans to run for a judicial seat, and if none do, the winning Democrat of the primary will also win the general election for their seat by default.
Haseman said what sets her apart as a candidate is her judicial experience. She served as a judge in 2008 in a one-year appointment.
She also served as a juvenile referee in Bedford, Indiana, for a little more than two years. In this position, she was essentially an unelected judge who heard cases concerning child abuse and neglect, child support and other related issues.
Haseman has also served as a hearing officer for attorney discipline cases at the request of the Indiana Supreme Court. Hearing officers, acting somewhat like a judge, hear cases and recommend the level of discipline if attorneys have erred.
Haseman was also a deputy prosecutor in Bedford from 2009-2011.
“That’s something I have — family, civil, criminal — experience in both areas,” Haseman said.
Haseman volunteers as an attorney for child advocates who work through the Court Appointed Special Advocates program.
Outside the courtroom, she is involved with the props crew for the Bloomington High School North marching band, in which her son plays in the brass section, and she is on the board of the Bloomington chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
When deciding to run for judge, Haseman looked back on her career. She said she represented about 200 kids in 22 years as an attorney. However, in just one year as a judge in 2008, Haseman said she presided over 6200 cases.
This massive difference in scope of work led her to run this year.
“I feel like I make a difference,” Haseman said. “But as a judge, I feel like I can make more of a difference across the board.”
To read about the other candidates, see our Monroe County judicial election page here.
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