Bar associations team up for 'Santa' program

December 17, 2010
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This post was written by reporter Rebecca Berfanger.

The Indiana State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section partnered with the James C. Kimbrough Bar Association to sponsor their first program together, “Santa’s Been Sued.” The educational program, which includes gifts for 15 underprivileged children in northwestern Indiana, will take place starting at 4:30 p.m. local time today in Lake Superior Court.

The children were chosen based on their affiliation with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana in Gary.

The court portion of the program is based on the premise that Christmas could be canceled after Ebenezer Scrooge, a fellow resident of the North Pole and represented by Charles Dickens, sued Santa Claus for property damage caused by Santa and his reindeer on Dec. 24, 2009.

Ebenezer Scrooge v. Santa Claus, No. 56Z09-TC-1670, which was “filed” in North Pole Superior Court in Iceberg, Alaska, was written by event organizers. It was also posted on the ISBA’s website.

Scrooge also claimed in his suit that he suffered from emotional distress and mental anguish as a result of Santa’s visit last year.

In the court order, dated Nov. 3, Judge Rudolph Reindeer found that Santa owed Scrooge $500. The attorneys who organized the event sought the $500 to help Santa so he could still deliver the toys to children around the world on Christmas Eve.

The Kimbrough Bar Association had received at least $700 to pay for toys for the kids, and expected at least a few more checks to come in. Anything received after the event will likely be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Gary, said Michael Tolbert, one of the event organizers and past president of the Kimbrough Bar Association, who said the event was to raise money for charity and not for either of the participating bar associations.

Tolbert also said the event was organized to serve as a positive experience for kids who usually would only be in court when something bad has happened. The visitors will also get a tour of the courthouse, see the judge’s chambers, and Lake Superior Judge William E. Davis will make an appearance in the role of Santa for the event.

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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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