(Presiding Judge, First District)
423 State House
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Edward W. Najam, Jr., of Bloomington, Monroe County, is Presiding Judge of the First District, which includes 53 counties in central and southern Indiana. He was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Governor Evan Bayh in 1992 and retained by the electorate in 1996 and 2006. Judge Najam graduated from Indiana University High School in Bloomington, where he grew up. He attended Indiana University-Bloomington, where he earned a B.A. in political science, With Highest Distinction, in 1969. Judge Najam earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School and was admitted to the Indiana Bar in 1972.
While at I.U. he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was elected Student Body President. He was also the recipient of the Herman B Wells Senior Recognition Award for academic excellence and campus leadership, an award named for I.U.’s legendary President and University Chancellor.
After his admission to the Bar, Judge Najam served as Administrative Assistant to the Mayor of Bloomington for two years and was a practicing attorney with a general civil and trial practice for eighteen years before joining the Court.
The Indiana Supreme Court appointed Judge Najam, and he served for 10 years, as a member of the Supreme Court Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, which conducts a continuous study of the Indiana Rules of Procedure and the Indiana Rules of Evidence. As Chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the Indiana State Bar Association, Judge Najam initiated the Appellate Rules Project, which culminated in a complete revision of the Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure, the first comprehensive review of the appellate rules in 30 years.
By designation of the Chief Justice of Indiana, Judge Najam has represented the Indiana judiciary on the Indiana Department of Homeland Security Counter-Terrorism and Security Council since it was created following the events of September 11, 2001. He also serves on the Court Security Committee of the Judicial Conference of Indiana. Judge Najam was an original member of the Indiana Supreme Court Judicial Technology and Automation Committee, which initiated the Odyssey electronic case and financial management system for Indiana courts.
While in practice he was a member of the Bloomington Rotary Club and the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. He also served as a Director and President of the Monroe County YMCA. He is currently a member of the Sycamore Land Trust Advisory Board and is a Director and immediate past Chair of the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County.
Judge Najam is the author of “Public School Finance in Indiana: A Critique,” published in the Indiana Law Journal, and “Caught in the Middle: The Role of State Intermediate Appellate Courts” and “Merit Selection in Indiana: The Foundation for a Fair and Impartial Appellate Judiciary,” both of which were published in the Indiana Law Review.
Judge Najam is a graduate of the Indiana Graduate Program for judges, a member of the American, Indiana, and Monroe County Bar Associations, and a Fellow of the American, Indiana, and Indianapolis Bar Foundations. He is a member of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law Board of Visitors, a member of Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity, and an Eagle Scout.
Judge Najam has authored over 3,400 majority opinions for the Court.