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Supreme Court of Indiana
Division of State Court Administration
30 S. Meridian Street, Ste 500
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Dr. Elizabeth R. Osborn
Coordinator for
Court History and
Public Education Programs


Pho: 317.233.8682
elizabeth.osborn@courts.IN.gov

Sarah Kidwell
Outreach Coordinator

Pho: 317.234.3055
sarah.kidwell@courts.IN.gov

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Outstanding Public
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from the National Council
on Public History

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Courts in the Classroom > Justice Biographies > Justice Richard Martin Givan Justice Biographies

Justice Richard Martin Givan

(Ninety-sixth Justice)

Justice Givan

Justice Givan was born June 7, 1921, in Indianapolis.277 *

He graduated from Decatur Central High School in Indianapolis in 1939.278 He received an LL.B. from Indiana University in 1951, and was admitted to the Indiana bar in 1952.279

While he was a law school student, he was assistant librarian for the Indiana Supreme Court in 1949, and then became a research assistant for the Indiana Supreme Court.280 He was appointed deputy public defender of Indiana after graduation from law school and served in that post until 1954.281 From 1954 to 1966, he was Assistant Attorney General of Indiana, pleading cases before both the Indiana and U.S. Supreme Courts.282 In 1967, he was a representative and a ranking member of the Judiciary Committee in the Indiana Legislature.283 He was elected to the Indiana Supreme Court in 1968 and served continuously until his retirement in December 1994.284 He was also chairman of the board of directors of the Indiana Judicial Conference from 1974 to 1987, served on the board of managers of the Indiana Judges Association from 1975 to 1987, and became an Indiana Judicial College graduate in 1989.285

In addition to his legal career, Justice Givan served as a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and was later a flight instructor with the Air Corps Reservists.286

A fourth generation lawyer, his great-grandfather, Noah S. Givan, was a circuit judge in Dearborn County, Indiana before 1900.287 His grandfather, Martin J. Givan, was a Dearborn County trial lawyer.288 His father, Clinton H. Givan, was a Marion County Superior Court Judge and practiced law in Indianapolis for forty years.289


* Justice Givan passed away on July 21, 2009.
277. 2 BIOGRAPHICAL DIRECTORY, supra note 255, at 155.
278. Givan Speech, supra note 196, at 5.
279. 2 BIOGRAPHICAL DIRECTORY, supra note 255, at 155.
280. Indiana Supreme Court is Reorganized, RES GESTAE, Feb. 1969, at 24, 24.
281. Givan Speech, supra note 196, at 5.
282. Id.
283. Id.
284. Id.
285. Id.
286. Indiana Supreme Court is Reorganized, supra note 280, at 24; Richard M. Givan New Chief Justice of Indiana, RES GESTAE, Dec. 1974, at 1, 1 [hereinafter Richard M. Givan].
287. Biographical Highlights of Seven Judicial Hopefuls, RES GESTAE, Aug. 1974, at 12; Richard M. Givan, supra note 286, at 1; Lawyers Polled on Judicial Retention, 28 RES GESTAE 115 (1984).
288. Biographical Highlights, supra note 287, at 12; Richard M. Givan, supra note 286, at 1; Lawyers Polled on Judicial Retention, supra note 287, at 115.
289. Biographical Highlights, supra note 287, at 12; Richard M. Givan, supra note 286, at 1; Lawyers Polled on Judicial Retention, supra note 287, at 115.

Source: Browning, Minde C., Richard Humphrey, and Bruce Kleinschmidt. "Biographical Sketches of Indiana Supreme Court Justices." Indiana Law Review: Vol. 30, No. 1, 1997. View this source in PDF format.