When James E. Harper was a child, he used to sit in his mother’s court in Portage and color. On Monday morning, he was back in court as his mother, Porter Superior Judge Mary R. Harper, swore him in to the Indiana bar. Standing behind him were his father, Bob Harper, a Porter County Deputy Public Defender, and his stepfather, Porter County Superior Judge David Chidester. Judge Mary Harper said when James Harper was young, he told people, “Mom puts them in, and dad keeps them out.” Besides having his parents in the profession, his half-brother, Harold Harper, works in their father’s law firm, and his other half-brother, Jesse Harper, has gone into law. Bob Harper is not surprised by their choices.
“They’re all history buffs, and they just decided for themselves,” he said. “They (also) had lawyers all around them.” Chidester joked, “it’s too bad we weren’t all doctors.” James Harper works for a law firm in Chicago and lives in Valparaiso. James D. Wolf Jr. is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.