ILNews

Attorney killed by husband

IL Staff
August 27, 2010
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The man who committed suicide atop a parking garage in downtown Indianapolis Thursday afternoon behind Barnes & Thornburg earlier had killed his attorney wife in their Brownsburg home, police said.

Police discovered Mary Jane Frisby’s body in the home she shared with her husband, David Frisby. Police said she had been strangled.
 

Frisby-MaryJane-mug Frisby

According to the docket for Hendricks Superior Court, Mary Jane Frisby filed for divorce August 18. Frisby, 44, had worked at Barnes & Thornburg for 10 years before leaving Aug. 20. She was a former partner who practiced in the Intellectual Property Department.

“The Barnes & Thornburg family is deeply saddened by the tragic incidents that occurred Thursday, Aug. 26. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of our beloved former partner, Mary Jane Frisby. She will be missed by all of us. This is a very sad day for the firm,” the firm said in a statement.

She was scheduled to start work at Cummins on Monday in the corporate legal department. The company released a statement saying, "Everyone at Cummins is deeply saddened by the news of Mary Jane's tragic death. Mary Jane was a talented lawyer and we were looking forward to her joining our legal team. Our sympathies go out to her family and friends, especially to her two children."

Frisby was admitted to the bar in 2000 and taught two IP courses at Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis in 2004 and 2006.

“The law school community at Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis is shocked and saddened at the tragic loss of one of our well-known and well-loved graduates, who also taught as an adjunct professor here at the school. Mary Jane Frisby will be greatly missed,” the law school statement reads.

Those in the legal community were stunned to hear the news of her death.

“She was a consummate professional, who knew the issues so well to advocate for her clients but never stopped treating opposing counsel with respect,” said IP attorney Jim Dimos with Frost Brown Todd, who’d worked with Frisby on copyright cases during the past decade. “What was so refreshing about Mary Jane was that she was very knowledgeable and was willing to share that knowledge through CLE or informally between colleagues. You could always call her up and bounce ideas or issues off of her.”

U.S. District Court Senior Judge Larry McKinney couldn’t believe the news about a woman who’d interned for him a semester more than a decade ago.

“She was just excellent, so bright,” he said. “Really, Mary Jane was a scholar and excellent researcher who was really intrigued by the law and you could just tell loved it so much. This is just incomprehensible.”

Police responded to a parking garage directly behind Barnes & Thornburg around 3 p.m. Thursday after receiving several calls of shots fired. Several witnesses told police they saw an individual, who was later identified as David Frisby, on the eighth floor of the parking garage armed with two handguns.

"He fired a couple indiscriminate shots in the air" before turning a gun on himself, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police spokesman Lt. Jeff Duhamell said. After shooting himself, David Frisby fell several stories to the sidewalk below.

In Indianapolis, businesses near the shooting suicide - including Barnes & Thornburg - were temporarily on lock down until police could determine if David Frisby was acting alone. Two of David Frisby’s shots hit the external walls of Barnes & Thornburg’s building.

Laura Berry Berman, executive director of the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said “We’re deeply saddened at the loss of a prominent community leader and unfortunately this shows that domestic violence affects all individuals regardless of socio-economic status or education.”

Reflecting on what happened, Dimos said he’s proud to have been able to know and work with Mary Jane Frisby.

“This reminds all of us how life is truly so fragile,” he said.

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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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