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Tippecanoe president supports local events

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Tippecanoe president supports local events

The president of the Tippecanoe County Bar Association, Randall L. Vonderheide encouraged members of that organization to attend Indiana District 4 Pro Bono Corporation’s annual meeting Oct. 27 at the Holiday Inn City Centre in Lafayette and a Nov. 4 lecture about Helen Jackson Gougar, a female lawyer from Lafayette who was the third woman to argue before the Indiana Supreme Court.

The Courts in the Classroom project of the Indiana Supreme Court also planned two events in November about Gougar. The first event was held at Tippecanoe Superior Court Nov. 5, and the second will take place at the Indiana Supreme Court’s courtroom in Indianapolis Nov. 16.

The Oct. 27 event hosted by Pro Bono District 4, which includes Tippecanoe, White, Carroll, Clinton, Montgomery, Fountain, Warren, and Benton counties, was held during the American Bar Association’s National Pro Bono Celebration, Oct. 24-30.

An afternoon CLE included an update about how the courts and legal community in Indiana have been handling mortgage foreclosure settlement conferences. Speakers for that CLE included Brian Dunkel of Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic in Indianapolis, whose attorneys have handled settlement conferences in the last year; Diane Cowger, an attorney in one of the Marion Superior courts that handles foreclosure mediations; Joe Kellogg of Homestead Consulting, which handles mortgage workout agreements under the Housing Affordable Mortgage Program; and Elizabeth Daulton, project manager for the Indiana Supreme Court’s Mortgage Foreclosure Trial Court Assistance Project.

CLE credit for that event was offered in exchange for various volunteer opportunities, including taking on a pro bono case and/or volunteering at Talk to a Lawyer programs in the Lafayette area. A program was held at Ivy Tech Oct. 28 and another is scheduled for Purdue University in April 2011.

The evening’s events included a reception, awards program, and a CLE program by Jeffrey Dible, estate and tax attorney for Frost Brown Todd. Dible’s presentation focused on his projections regarding estate tax planning issues.

The second event the president of the Tippecanoe Bar Association highlighted was a Nov. 4 lecture about Helen Gougar, who fought for her right to vote after an election board denied her that right in 1894. In 1895, Gougar was the first woman to become a member of the Tippecanoe County Bar, and she argued the same day that because she could join the bar, she was eligible to vote.

Her case, Gougar v. Timberlake, was rejected by the trial court judge, and she appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court where she again represented herself in 1897. She ultimately lost her case and died 10 years before women received the right to vote, but she was remembered for her work as a suffragette, lecturer, author, and journalist.

On Nov. 5, Gougar’s story was again told as part of the Indiana Supreme Court’s Courts in the Classroom project. That presentation to 150 students from three area schools took place at the Tippecanoe Superior Court 3. Students were also given a tour of the courthouse in Lafayette.

The program will be presented again at the Indiana Statehouse in the Supreme Court’s courtroom Nov. 16 at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. That event will include 250 students from Indianapolis area schools and is open to the public. More information about Courts in the Classroom is available at http://www.in.gov/judiciary/citc/ or by contacting Elizabeth R. Osborn, assistant to the Chief Justice for Court History and Public Education, at eosborn@courts.state.in.us.•

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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