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Evansville bar names Gresham award winner

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The Evansville Bar Association presented the James Bethel Gresham Freedom Award to Vanderburgh Circuit Judge Carl A. Heldt on April 29 at its annual Law Day dinner. To be considered for the award – the highest honor bestowed by the bar association – a member of the legal community must nominate the recipient. On Judge Heldt’s nomination form, a peer wrote, “Judge Heldt is the most honest, caring, hard-working, community-minded, well-respected man that I know.”

Judge Heldt has been the Vanderburgh Circuit Court judge since 1998. Prior to becoming a judge, he was in private practice for 29 years. The Evansville native served in the Indiana National Guard from 1970 to 1975 and has been an assistant city attorney, deputy prosecutor, and an assistant county attorney.

In late 2007, Judge Heldt was instrumental in obtaining approval to create the Family Law Clinic for Self-Represented Litigants. Funded by the Supreme Court and operated by the Volunteer Lawyer Program of Southwestern Indiana, the clinic assists low-income family law litigants to select, complete, and properly file necessary pleadings.  

Judge Heldt is currently the co-chair of the Evansville Bar Association Diversity Committee. Through this, he is involved in promoting diversity in Evansville’s legal community. He is also the current president of the John L. Sanders Memorial – Evansville Bar Foundation.
 
Other qualities cited in his nomination for the award include his dedication to mentoring young lawyers, his service to the community, and his charitable giving.

“Judge is very generous in his charitable giving,” his nominator wrote. “However, no one knows how much he donates each year because he strongly believes that you should donate for the good of the cause and not to receive recognition.”

The EBA established the James Bethel Gresham Freedom Award to recognize and honor people who have distinguished themselves in activities or careers that have elevated respect for the law, promoted freedom, or otherwise furthered the ideals that Law Day upholds and celebrates. The award is named in honor of James Bethel Gresham, who lived in Evansville from 1901 to 1914 and is believed to have been the first American soldier to die in combat during World War I.

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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