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Former COA chief judge, IBF founder dies

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A former chief judge of the Indiana Court of Appeals and a founder of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation died Thursday.

Judge Paul H. Buchanan Jr., 90, served nine years as chief judge of the Court of Appeals after being elected to the bench in 1971. He was active in the Indianapolis Bar Association, serving as president, at which time he helped organize the Indianapolis Bar Foundation in 1968. He served on the IBF's original board of directors until he retired from it in 1999. Judge Buchanan is also credited with helping re-start the IBF's Ask-A-Lawyer program.

The Indianapolis Bar Association created an award in 1990 named after the judge, who was a longtime supporter of the IBA and IBF.

"Judge Buchanan was the heart and soul of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation through his generous support and continuing interests in promoting a positive image for lawyers through the good work done by the foundation," said Mary Marsh, an IBA past president and 2003 recipient of the Buchanan Award, in an e-mail.

Nancy J. Gargula, president of the IBF in 1999 and 2000, said in a statement that it was Judge Buchanan's commitment and dedication to the legal profession, his leadership, and vision that led to the establishment of the IBF.

"When I look at all the Foundation has accomplished in the ensuing years, Judge Buchanan's impact on the Indianapolis community is truly remarkable," she said.

Before becoming a judge, he was a managing partner at law firm Bose Buchanan McKinney Evans; he retired from the Court of Appeals Jan. 1, 1993.

Current Court of Appeals Chief Judge John G. Baker said Judge Buchanan and another former chief judge, Jonathan Robertson, who passed away in October, were the first ones to talk with him about considering joining the Court of Appeals.

The chief judge remembered Judge Buchanan as a renaissance man, one who could discuss sports, arts, literature, and politics in any order. The chief judge worked with Judge Buchanan for nearly four years on the Court of Appeals and knew him as an interesting, accomplished gentleman.

"I think the most lasting thing I will remember about Judge Buchanan is his insistence on clarity and language," said Chief Judge Baker. "He was a wordsmith."

Chief Judge Baker alluded to Judge Buchanan's articles in "Res Gestae," which helped others refine their writing.

Judge Buchanan had a keen interest in the arts and was a collector and longtime arts community supporter. Chief Judge Baker also remembered Judge Buchanan as someone who was very proud of the judiciary, who wanted to protect its integrity and keep the court out of partisan politics.

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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