Judge, attorneys to get national, state awards

IL Staff
January 1, 2008
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A judge and two attorneys from Indiana will receive awards for their work in the legal community and media law.

Dearborn Superior Judge G. Michael Witte will receive the Franklin N. Flaschner Award given by the National Conference on Specialized Court Judges Aug. 7 at the American Bar Association's annual meeting. The award recognizes a judge in a court of limited jurisdiction who has an excellent reputation, commitment to high ideals, and exemplary character, leadership, and competence in performing legal duties.

Judge Witte was one of the finalists considered this year to replace Judge John T. Sharpnack on the Indiana Court of Appeals after he took senior status in May. He is a graduate of the Indiana Judicial College and the Graduate Program for Indiana Judges.

Thomas A. Pyrz, executive director of the Indiana State Bar Association, will receive the National Association of Bar Executives' Bolton Award Aug. 8 during the ABA's annual meeting. The Bolton Award is presented annually to the bar executive who epitomizes the highest standard of professional excellence and is named after Fred Bolton, executive director and secretary of the Pennsylvania Bar Association from 1966-1977.

Pyrz is a past president of the National Association of Bar Executives and served on the board for six years. He is also a master fellow of the Indiana Bar Foundation and a fellow of the Indianapolis and ABA bar foundations.

Bingham McHale partner Dan Byron will receive the 2008 Lifetime Achievement in Broadcasting Award at the Indiana Broadcasters Association and Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame presentation Oct. 2. Byron is the first non-broadcaster to win this award.

The award recognizes people for especially meritorious service, contributions to or achievements in the field of broadcasting in Indiana over the course of a career, and is the highest honor given by the Indiana Broadcasters Association.

Byron led a team of West African attorneys to attempt to end impunity for violence against journalists, broadcasters, and publishers, and combat laws that limit freedom of expression. He also led the formation of Indiana's Cameras in the Courtroom pilot project, which started in 2006. Byron has served as general counsel to the Indiana Broadcasters Association since 2002.

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  1. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  2. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  3. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  4. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  5. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.