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Former Allen County judge dies

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Allen County has lost a former judge who served with distinction in the military's legal arm in the 1950s and returned to serve the county's legal community for four decades as an attorney and jurist.

Senior Allen Superior Judge Vern E. Sheldon, who retired in 1998 after more than a decade on the bench, died in his home Sunday after a short illness. He was 77.

Judge Sheldon was appointed to the bench in 1985 and elected in 1990, then re-elected without opposition in 1996 before retiring two years later. Judge Sheldon worked in the court's civil division, was primarily assigned the responsibility of supervising trials of complex and delicate legal issues, and served as chief judge from 1989 to 1991.

After earning his law degree in 1956 from Indiana University in Bloomington, he worked in the Lafayette law firm of Stuart Devol Branigin & Ricks until his commission as a 1st lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General Corps of the U.S. Army in 1957. He served with distinction for three years as the post judge advocate of the Pine Bluff Arsenal Troop. After his service, he worked as a trial lawyer for the Fort Wayne law firm now known as Rothberg Logan & Warsco for 25 years. Prior to his appointment as judge, he'd also served as Allen County Bar Association president for a year.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the First Presbyterian Church, 300 W. Wayne St., Fort Wayne, with calling one hour prior. Calling will also be from 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at D.O. McComb & Sons Covington Knolls Funeral Home, 8325 Covington Road, with lodge service at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church, Franklin College, 431 Foundation, and Visiting Nurse & Hospice Home or Turnstone.
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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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