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Abrams: A New Justice Center ? ! ? !

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jeff abrams ibaThe offices of the Indianapolis Bar Association first learned of the city’s interest in pursuing a Justice Center several months ago when they expressed interest in learning more about our task force work over the last 10 years. However, when some bits and pieces were leaked to the media it was very quickly announced that a new Criminal Justice Center was being considered at a location near the Indianapolis Airport. This announcement sent shivers down the spines of our local judiciary and the Criminal Justice Section of the Indianapolis Bar Association, making it time for our Judicial Center Task Force, which has been involved for many, many years, and some executive officers, to more actively engage with representatives of the Mayor’s Office to learn all that the city had planned for this new facility in a very short period of time. We were very fortunate to have John Kautzman, who has chaired the task force on and off as interest has grown and waned, volunteer his time for this project. He took a very active role in communicating with representatives from the city of Indianapolis and the Mayor’s Office to understand what and where this facility was being proposed.

We quickly convened meetings with representatives from the city to discuss the viability of the airport and the concerns for true access to justice for our citizens. It became very clear to the representatives of the city that the airport location, while financially sound, might not be the best choice, and we encouraged them to reconsider other alternatives in the community. There were numerous meetings to understand the nuances of the project. The combination of the processing center, the jail, the criminal courts, the prosecutor’s office and the public defender’s office in one complex had substantial benefits.

It was around this time that those overseeing the redevelopment of the old GM Stamping Plant had made an announcement that there were developers looking at redeveloping the property for private use. We promptly initiated discussions to understand if there was land available at this site for a Justice Center. The location, being much closer to downtown Indianapolis, made this a very appealing choice as compared to the 12 other locations that had been considered by the city’s consultants.

During the winter months, John Kautzman and I met with different city representatives to continue to discuss and voice the concern that the airport location was flawed. We informed them there needed to be a better location closer to the downtown area in order for the Indianapolis Bar Association, on behalf of the judiciary, our Criminal Justice Section and all other attorneys and paralegals, to support the city’s efforts. Fortunately, the city acknowledged our concerns and, as we understand it, are recommending the GM Stamping Plant as a proper location for the future Criminal Justice Center.

While the IndyBar Board of Directors voted to support this location at this time, there are still a lot of questions to be asked and answers to be provided to our task force before this project can be commenced and completed for the benefit of our community. For example, there are numerous planning elements that should be considered so that it is a better functioning and operating facility for the judiciary, for attorneys and for their clients. The city has hired a consultant to assist with this process. We have been assured there will be meetings and opportunities for our members to review plans and specifications. We will be able to provide input so that if and when this project is completed, it will be a facility that is functional for all of us and continues to make a statement that Indianapolis is a phenomenal place to live and work.•

A Justice Center could be a real plum.
Stay tuned as there will be much more information to come.
Accepting a bad location we will never succumb.
But when it opens, we can proudly beat our bass drum.

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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