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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. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

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