Hon. Wayne S. Trockman
May 2, 2012 by James F. Maguire
This is the eighteenth of our Court Times articles that highlight up close and personal a member of the Indiana Judiciary.
Vanderburgh County Superior Court, Judge Wayne S. Trockman is our judge featured in this issue. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern Indiana University and his law degree from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Judge Trockman was engaged in the private practice of law from 1985 through 1999 as a partner with Newman, Trockman, Lloyd, Flynn & Rheinlander in Evansville. He was Assistant Attorney for the City of Evansville from 1991 through 1998. Judge Trockman was appointed to the Vanderburgh Superior Court bench in December of 1998 by Governor Frank O’Bannon and was elected to a six-year term on the bench beginning 2001. He was re-elected for another six-year term beginning 2007.
Judge Trockman has been past President of the Evansville Bar Association; past President of Brooks American Inn of Court; past President of Vanderburgh County Election Board; Member Vanderburgh County Community Correction Advisory Board (1991-present); past President of Evansville Board of Park Commissioners; and, past Chairman of Vanderburgh County Law Library Foundation. Judge Trockman served as Chief Judge of Vanderburgh Superior Court from 2003 until 2008. He has also been involved in numerous community activities, including University of Southern Indiana Foundation since 1989, Pigeon Creek Greenbelt Committee since 1990, past Chairman of Mesker Park Zoo Foundation, Adath B’Nai Temple Executive Board (1991-95), (2001-present), member of the Board of Directors of Youth First, an organization committed to the needs of the youth in the community (2002-present), and member of the Board of Directors of United Caring Shelters, Inc. (over 25 years). He was also awarded the Willie Effie Thomas Human Relations Commission Award in 2001 for his lifetime commitment to human and civil rights. In 2003, Judge Trockman was awarded the Doran E. Perdue Evansville Bar Association Service Award for his community leadership and activities with the Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program (JLAP). In May, 2004, Judge Trockman was awarded the James Bethel Gresham Freedom Award by the Evansville Bar Association in recognition of his public service to the community and also received the Jefferson Award in 2004 from the American Institute for Public Service. In January 2011, Mayor Weinzapfel presented the Key to the City of Evansville to Judge Trockman for his community service and work in establishing the first certified Re-Entry Program in the State of Indiana.
Judge Trockman has involved himself in many extra-judicial activities since his appointment to the bench in 1998. He is Chairman of the Indiana Judicial Center Court Administered Alcohol and Drug Program Committee and serves as Chairman of the Problem Solving Courts Committee. He is also a member of the Board of Governors of the Indiana Judicial Center and remains active in the Evansville Bar Association where he serves on the Impaired Lawyers and Judges Committee.
Since 2006, Judge Trockman has served as Co-Chair of the Volunteer Lawyer Association of Southwest Indiana which provides pro-bono legal services to the poor in 13 counties served by the district. In 2009, Judge Trockman received The Randal T. Shepard Pro Bono Award “in recognition of extraordinary efforts toward making legal services available to persons who otherwise could not afford them.”
Judge Trockman organized and implemented the first drug treatment court in Vanderburgh County and the first certified Treatment Court in the State of Indiana and he operates Indiana’s first Certified Re-Entry Court. He was named “Judge of the Year” for 2009 by the Indiana Correctional Association. Judge Trockman was named by the Governor and Supreme Court Chief Justice to serve on the “Justice Reinvestment Steering Committee” which worked closely with the PEW Charitable Trust in creating a proposal to the Indiana General Assembly on sentencing reform. It was designed to increase public safety, reduce recidivism and break the cycle of crime with these offenders by shifting drug and alcohol addicted individuals from the Department of Corrections to Community Based Treatment Programs.
On April 12, 2011, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals presented to Judge Trockman the NADCP Community Transition Award (NADCP’s highest honor) at the ten-year anniversary Drug Treatment Court graduation.
Judge Trockman was born in Evansville and has been married to his wife, Jill, for 25 years. Judge Trockman and his wife have two sons, ages 20 and 22.
What do you like most and least about being a trial court judge?
What I like most are those opportunities to not only hold accountable, but help non-violent individuals who find themselves in the criminal justice system. I have found that the best way for me to do this is through the Drug Court, Forensic Diversion Program, and Re-Entry Court which I established in our County approximately 11 years ago. What I like least about being a trial court judge is the revolving door of crime and the domestic cases where parents lose their better judgment regarding their children’s best interests.
What was your major in college and why did you decide to study law?
My major in college was finance and the main reason I decided to study law was that I admired my father who practiced law in Evansville for over 40 years until his untimely death.
What would you do if you were not a judge?
I would return to the practice of law, which I enjoyed immensely.
Who are the people you most admire?
I admire individuals who are charitable with their time, talents and money, and who seek no recognition for what they do.
What are your hobbies or favorite leisure activities, and how did you first get involved?
I suppose that riding motorcycles has always been my favorite leisure activity. I competed in Enduro and Hare Scramble races when I was young and I enjoyed riding off-road with my children for many years. I’ve also traveled the country and through France (Normandy) by motorcycle. My other favorite hobby is restoring cars from the “glory days” of the 60’s and 70’s. I have restored two Pontiacs; one a ’67 GTO and the other a ’78 Trans Am. More than anything, I enjoy spending time with my wife and two boys who are both in college.
What are your favorite books, and have you read any recently, or are reading now, that you would recommend?
My favorite books are about U.S. history, especially World War II. I am currently reading an International Best Seller by Antony Beevor entitled D-Day.
Where did you grow up and how would you describe your childhood?
I grew up in Evansville, Indiana as one of a family of six. I am the second of four and all boys except for my sister who is the youngest. I had a wonderful childhood with a lot of good memories.
Do you have a favorite quote(s)?
My favorite quote is actually a portion of a short speech by Theodore Roosevelt which is titled “Man In The Arena” in which he speaks of those who spend themselves in a worthy cause. These “who strive valiantly, who at the best knows the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly . . .”
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
My favorite vacation spot is in Parkland near Boca Raton in southern Florida where my family goes on a regular basis to visit my sister.
Do you have a favorite meal, recipe, and restaurant?
My favorite restaurant is in Ridgway, Colorado named “True Grit.” Portions of the John Wayne movie for which it was named were filmed in front of the restaurant. I have ridden my motorcycle there a number of times.