This is the twenty-first of our Court Times articles that highlight up close and personal a member of the Indiana Judiciary.
Floyd County Circuit Court Judge J. Terrence “Terry” Cody is our judge featured in this issue. He received his undergraduate degree from Xavier University in Cincinnati and his law degree from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis.
Following graduation from law school in 1974, he returned to New Albany to practice law with his father, John A. Cody, Jr. until his election to the Floyd Circuit Court in November 1998. Judge Cody was re-elected without opposition in 2004 and 2010.
Judge Cody has been very active outside the courtroom as a Board Member of the Judicial Conference of Indiana where he continues to serve on the Strategic Planning Committee, the Indiana Judges Association where he served as Secretary-Treasurer, Vice-President and President, the Indiana Bar Foundation, and the Indiana State Bar Association. He served as Chair of the Indiana Supreme Court Pro Bono Committee for Judicial District 14.
In his local community, he has served as a Board Member of the Floyd County Hospital Foundation, the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana, and Goodwill BridgePoint Services; and, he has served as a Trustee of Our Lady of Providence High School. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the MacLean Foundation.
He and his wife Peggy celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary this year. It was at a wedding in Toledo in 1980 when they first met. Peggy is a native of Ashland, Ohio and attended the Katherine Gibbs School in Boston for her post-secondary education. In addition to raising their two boys, she has been for the past ten years an administrative assistant at St. Mary’s Catholic Academy, the family parish elementary school.
They have 2 sons, Patrick age 27 and Shane age 25, plus Diamond (because she’s a real jewel) their 13 year old miniature schnauzer. Patrick is also a graduate of Xavier University and currently works for GSI Commerce in Louisville. Shane received his Associates Degree in sound production and engineering from Tribecca Flashpoint Academy in Chicago.
In the past year, Peggy has become the lead groupie of the band “Houndmouth.” Shane is their drummer and sound engineer. Judge Cody proudly says that they are really quite good and in January 2013 they have two dates in Chicago and will tour with the “Drive by Truckers” band in Missouri, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana. If all goes as planned, they will be off to England and Europe in early February 2013.
What do you like most and least about being a trial court judge?
I like everything about being a trial court judge with the exception of administrative matters. I am blessed with a dedicated staff, an excellent local bar, and county commissioners and council members who support the judicial branch of our government.
What was your major in college and why did you decide to study law?
My major in college was history. I originally planned to go to graduate school and become a college-level professor. My father was a lawyer, so I had been around a law practice all my life. Sometime during my junior year I became enamored with the law and changed my career path.
What would you do if you were not a judge?
I would still be practicing law.
Who are the people you most admire?
The two people I most admire are my father, John A. Cody, Jr., who practiced law for sixty (60) years and was an outstanding practitioner and a true gentleman, and Alfred E. Smith, the former Governor of New York.
What are your hobbies and favorite leisure activities, and how did you first get involved?
I am not mechanically inclined. I am an avid golfer. I have a regular game with seven good friends. My favorite golf course is Covered Bridge owned by Fuzzy Zoeller with whom I played a lot of golf in high school.
What are you favorite books, and have you ready any recently, or are reading now, that you would recommend?
In college I was obsessed with the books written by Hermann Hesse. I tend to read about historical events and people. This year I have read December 1941 by Craig Shirley, The Battle of Midway by Craig L. Symonds, and I am currently reading 1861 the Civil War Awakening by Adam Goodheart and Face of the Enemy by J. Dobson and B. Myers.
Where did you grow up and how would you describe your childhood?
I grew up in New Albany, Indiana, the county seat of Floyd County. I am an only child and a product of a mixed marriage (political, religious, ethnic background and social status). My childhood was very traditional; two parent household, strict Catholic/Presbyterian up-bringing and the Rotary motto of “service above self.” I grew up in a two-story brick home built in 1854 literally in downtown New Albany. I still own the house. The lessons I learned carrying newspapers for 3 years have been invaluable in my adult life.
Do you have a favorite quote(s)?
On my desk is something I read every day. It was written by Lord Arthur James Balfour.
“The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity.”
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
My favored place to vacation is Destin, Florida and the surrounding area. My cousin and I own a vacation home there which our families enjoy with each other and our friends.
Do you have a favorite meal, recipe, and restaurant?
I like almost anything Italian. I have recipes for hearty soups which I make in the winter. Vin’tij Wine Boutique and Bistro in Destin, Florida is my favorite restaurant. My true talent is mixing Manhattans, Martinis and Margarita Martinis.