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Bar associations statewide mark Law Day

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In April and early May, bar associations around the state and the Indiana Supreme Court celebrated Law Day, which is officially May 1, according to the American Bar Association. This year’s theme is “Law in the 21st Century: Enduring Traditions and Emerging Challenges.”

Law Day was started by the ABA May 1, 1958, as a way to encourage the legal community to host events for the general public and to work with classrooms to explain to students of all ages how the judicial system works.

As part of the Indiana Supreme Court’s educational outreach program Courts in the Classroom, two groups of students participated in a re-enactment of Brown v. Board of Education April 30. A webcast of the event and supplementary educational materials are on the court’s website. Students from four schools and several home-school groups visited the Supreme Court at the Statehouse. Many participated by reading trial transcripts and descriptions of various players in the landmark case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States May 17, 1954.

Lake County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section organized events for April 30 for eighth-graders at eight schools in northwest Indiana. Featured speakers of the 30 volunteer attorneys included Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott, Lake Superior Judge Jeffery Dywan, and Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter. The talks centered around this year’s theme, with a focus on technology and the law, including copyright issues associated with the illegal downloading of music off the Internet. Students were also eligible to enter an essay contest about legal issues.

On May 1, the St. Joseph County Bar Association and the St. Joseph County Public Library co-sponsored a presentation of a courtroom scene from “To Kill a Mockingbird” performed by Adams High School students at the St. Joseph County Courthouse.

The presentation, which was open to the public, was part of the events to celebrate “One Book, One Michiana,” which has encouraged northern Indiana residents to read the classic novel by Harper Lee. In the past, SJCBA has had mock trials to celebrate Law Day, but it decided to work with this program for this year, according to Amy McGuire, SJCBA executive director.

The Allen County Bar Association hosted its annual Law Day luncheon, Liberty Bell Award presentation, and Volunteer Lawyer Program recognition at the Grand Wayne Center in Fort Wayne May 5. The 2010 Liberty Bell Award, which is given to non-lawyers who support social justice, was given to Rachel Tobin-Smith, executive director of Stop Child Abuse and Neglect.

The Evansville Bar Association hosted its annual mock trial presentations and lunch for students April 29, and the bar association celebrated its annual Red Mass to bless the legal community April 30. Earlier in the month, the EBA recognized Judge J. Douglas Knight, past president of the bar association and past co-chair of the Volunteer Lawyer Program of Southwestern Indiana, with the James Bethel Gresham Award. On April 21, the EBA and Volunteer Lawyer Program of Southwest Indiana recognized attorney P. Michael Mitchell of Bamberger Foreman Oswald & Hahn; Scott Wylie, who works for the Volunteer Lawyer Program of Southwest Indiana; legal secretary Teresa Koch, who works for Bamberger Foreman Oswald & Hahn; and paralegal Lauren Hall Jones.•

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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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