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Former Allen County judge dies

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Allen County has lost a former judge who served with distinction in the military's legal arm in the 1950s and returned to serve the county's legal community for four decades as an attorney and jurist.

Senior Allen Superior Judge Vern E. Sheldon, who retired in 1998 after more than a decade on the bench, died in his home Sunday after a short illness. He was 77.

Judge Sheldon was appointed to the bench in 1985 and elected in 1990, then re-elected without opposition in 1996 before retiring two years later. Judge Sheldon worked in the court's civil division, was primarily assigned the responsibility of supervising trials of complex and delicate legal issues, and served as chief judge from 1989 to 1991.

After earning his law degree in 1956 from Indiana University in Bloomington, he worked in the Lafayette law firm of Stuart Devol Branigin & Ricks until his commission as a 1st lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General Corps of the U.S. Army in 1957. He served with distinction for three years as the post judge advocate of the Pine Bluff Arsenal Troop. After his service, he worked as a trial lawyer for the Fort Wayne law firm now known as Rothberg Logan & Warsco for 25 years. Prior to his appointment as judge, he'd also served as Allen County Bar Association president for a year.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the First Presbyterian Church, 300 W. Wayne St., Fort Wayne, with calling one hour prior. Calling will also be from 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at D.O. McComb & Sons Covington Knolls Funeral Home, 8325 Covington Road, with lodge service at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church, Franklin College, 431 Foundation, and Visiting Nurse & Hospice Home or Turnstone.
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  1. Hysteria? Really Ben? Tell the young lady reported on in the link below that worrying about the sexualizing of our children is mere hysteria. Such thinking is common in the Royal Order of Jesters and other running sex vacays in Thailand or Brazil ... like Indy's Jared Fogle. Those tempted to call such concerns mere histronics need to think on this: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-12-year-old-girl-live-streamed-her-suicide-it-took-two-weeks-for-facebook-to-take-the-video-down/ar-AAlT8ka?li=AA4ZnC&ocid=spartanntp

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  3. I whole-heartedly agree with Doug Church's comment, above. Indiana lawyers were especially fortunate to benefit from Tom Pyrz' leadership and foresight at a time when there has been unprecedented change in the legal profession. Consider how dramatically computer technology and its role in the practice of law have changed over the last 25 years. The impact of the great recession of 2008 dramatically changed the composition and structure of law firms across the country. Economic pressures altered what had long been a routine, robust annual recruitment process for law students and recent law school graduates. That has, in turn, impacted law school enrollment across the country, placing upward pressure on law school tuition. The internet continues to drive significant changes in the provision of legal services in both public and private sectors. The ISBA has worked to make quality legal representation accessible and affordable for all who need it and to raise general public understanding of Indiana laws and procedures. How difficult it would have been to tackle each of these issues without Tom's leadership. Tom has set the tone for positive change at the ISBA to meet the evolving practice needs of lawyers of all backgrounds and ages. He has led the organization with vision, patience, flexibility, commitment, thoughtfulness & even humor. He will, indeed, be a tough act to follow. Thank you, Tom, for all you've done and all the energy you've invested in making the ISBA an excellent, progressive, highly responsive, all-inclusive, respectful & respected professional association during his tenure there.

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  5. Oh, and I should add ... the stigma JLAP attaches lasts forever. As my documents show, I had good reason to reject the many conflicted diagnoses for not thinking like the state wanted me to. BUT when I resisted and raised constitutional and even ADA "regarded as" arguments I was then denied licensed in Indiana for LIFE. As in until death does us part. Evidence in comments here: http://www.theindianalawyer.com/scotus-denies-cert-to-kansas-attorney-seeking-to-practice-in-indiana/PARAMS/article/40522 Resistance is futile, comrades.

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