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Central American judge visits Indianapolis to learn about Indiana judicial system

Marilyn Odendahl
March 10, 2014
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A member of Guatemala’s judiciary is making a two-day visit to Indianapolis to learn and exchange ideas with judges, attorneys and other dignitaries.

Judge Iris Yassmin Barrios, president of one of Guatemala’s High-Risk Court Tribunals, is in the Circle City today and tomorrow, March 10 and 11, to celebrate her recognition by the U.S. Department of State as a 2014 International Women of Courage award recipient. The International Center is hosting her visit to Indianapolis.

Monday, Barrios is scheduled to meet with the Indiana Commission of Women which includes Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Margret Robb. Barrios will also have brief meetings with Indiana Supreme Court Justice Loretta Rush as well as Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and Deputy Attorney General Abigail Kuzma.

Then Barrios will observe a proceeding in the courtroom of U.S. District Court for the Southern Indiana District Judge Sarah Evans Barker.

Tuesday, Barrios will be at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law to speak with professor George Edwards and Dean Andrew Klein, along with students, alumni and faculty.

At her request to learn more about pro bono activities, Barrios will be visiting the office of the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic to observe a volunteer attorney meeting with a client.   

Barrios has made a career of taking on the most difficult and politically sensitive cases. These cases have confronted high-profile corruption, organized crime and drug trafficking, and human rights abuses that occurred during Guatemala’s 36-year internal conflict.

In 2013, Barrios served as the presiding judge in the genocide trial of former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt. This was the first time a former head of state was tried for genocide in his home country by the national judiciary.

The Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage award honors women from around the world who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women’s rights and empowerment.  
 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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