Indiana Trial Judge Murielle Bright Finds Balance Between Advocacy and Neutrality in the Courtroom

SEYMOUR, Indiana – Jennings Circuit Judge Murielle Bright has always had a passion for law, growing up in a household with her attorney father. She pursued her interest by joining the pre-law society at Butler University and earning her J.D. from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 2010. Interestingly, her father had also served on the same bench as Judge Jon W. Webster before becoming a senior judge.

Initially, Judge Bright did not envision herself becoming a judge, as she enjoyed being an advocate and engaging in arguments. However, over time, she began to change her mind. According to her, the role of a judicial officer has evolved significantly since her father’s start in 1997. Courts today are more involved in community outreach, collaborating with schools, and establishing problem-solving courts.

Unlike many new judges, Bright has the unique advantage of having her father as a valuable resource and mentor. His experience and guidance have been instrumental in her career. As the latest Indiana trial judge featured in Indiana Lawyer’s Spotlight series, Bright shares her perspectives on life both on and off the bench.

When asked about a career outside of law, Bright mentions her undergraduate degree in communications and speculates about pursuing a job in the community/public relations field. As a judge, she takes pride in incorporating a personal touch into her courtroom proceedings. She emphasizes that despite the power dynamics within the courtroom, everyone involved is a person deserving of respect and dignity.

Reflecting on her experience as a judge, Bright discovered that she possesses more patience than she initially thought. However, she admits that this patience does not extend to her family, as she sets high expectations for them. Outside of her judicial duties, Bright devotes most of her time to her six children, ranging from 12-year-olds to 1-year-old twins. Family activities and their sporting events dominate her free time. Additionally, Bright enjoys running and has completed numerous half marathons. She plans to run a full marathon when she turns 40 in 2024.

In her courtroom, Bright strives to integrate her faith and beliefs, treating everyone with dignity and respect. She believes in the golden rule and acknowledges that despite differences in education and background, everyone is equal. She strives to create an environment where all individuals feel valued and heard.

Judge Murielle Bright exemplifies the evolving role of judges in today’s society. With her unique perspective and commitment to treating individuals with respect, she is making a positive impact in her community. As she continues her career on the bench, Judge Bright’s dedication to justice and empathy remains unwavering.