Rock out to benefit agency

October 21, 2009
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Don’t let the name fool you: You don’t need black ties or fancy dresses to attend the first Marion County Public Defender Agency’s Public Defenders’ Ball. You just need $7 bucks and the desire to hear musicians play.

The Marion County Public Defender Agency, just like a lot of public agencies, needs money. They raise some of the needed money through bake sales and chili cook-offs, even a golf outing. Usually, the money ends up coming from people within the agency.

Assistant division chief for misdemeanors in the agency, Travis Sandifur, said the agency has a lot of fundraisers, but this is the first time they’ve had one involving a concert. The proceeds from the event will go to things not covered by their budget, such as hand sanitizer (much needed with flu season upon us), dish soap, and holiday parties, with the majority of the money going toward training.

The idea started for the ball out small. Sandifur knew one of their paralegals was in a band and thought he could play at a party. Then Sandifur realized attorney Megan von Ruhtenburg’s husband is a musician in a local band and the idea grew from there to go from a party to a concert at a music venue.

Von Ruhtenburg knows the owner of Radio Radio, a hip little venue in Fountain Square on the southeast side of Indianapolis, and the Public Defender’s Ball was born.

The fundraiser went from a couple musicians with ties to the agency to a line up of well-known local acts - Joe Welch from the Born Again Floozies; Vess Von Ruhtenberg of the Pieces, and the Lemonheads; DJ Rusty Redenbacher of the Mudkids; Pravada; Andrew Bean and the Lady Apollo with special guest Sandifur; and Bullworth. If you’re on Facebook, you can view info on the event.  Radio Radio’s Web site also has information up.

Doors open at 7 p.m. with the music getting started at 8 p.m. Oct. 23.

Sandifur said they haven’t gotten the word out too much, except through Facebook. He’s already sold more than 50 pre-sale tickets and is hoping that at least 150 people make it out for the fundraiser.

“We could always use more money. I don’t think there will ever be enough benefits,” he said.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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