“Members of the custodial staff at the courthouse see me working during the off hours and sometimes ask how long I will be sticking around and working on a given evening or weekend.”
The most important thing he’s learned as a judge, he said, is the need for a lot patience. “[You need] a willingness to listen carefully and think hard about the issues from multiple angles and have the courage to make decisions based upon the facts and law, decisions that often are not easy ones.”
Spahr was destined to do that.
In the eighth grade, he completed a questionnaire that was intended to suggest what careers might be appropriate to students based on their interests and personalities.
Not surprisingly, the results suggested attorney would be a good choice.
“Since my father did that,” Spahr said, “I knew what being an attorney entailed. I never waivered in my professional goals after that.”
When he was growing up, he said, one of his heroes was his great-grandfather, Russel Wildman.
“He was a farm boy who grew up near Deedsville and then practiced law in Peru for about 60 years before he died in 1978,” Spahr said. “[He] was a very, very successful attorney and was well-respected for his skills as a trial attorney throughout northern Indiana.”
In law school, Spahr was hired as a clerk by the late Charles Edwards, a solo practitioner in Spencer. Spahr was paired with him through a mentoring program for first-year law students.
That connection was “one of those funny little twists of fate,” Spahr said. “My grandfather, an obstetrician who had practiced medicine for many years in Indianapolis, had delivered all three of his children! … After my father, Mr. Edwards was the most significant mentor to me in regard to the legal profession.”