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Former municipal judge, legal aid counsel dies

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A former Marion Municipal Court judge and general counsel of the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society died Monday at the age of 93.

Judge Joseph Norwood Myers Sr. was an Indianapolis native who returned to the city after serving in World War II and in Korea. He took the bench of Municipal Court Room 1 in 1952 and served on it for nearly 35 years.

Earning his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1940, he practiced law in Indianapolis and was general counsel for the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society until 1950. He served on the board of directors for the organization for 35 years.

John Floreancig, general counsel at Indianapolis Legal Aid Society, said the judge was still active with the organization up until a few years ago and was a consistent supporter and donor. The judge felt strongly about giving back to the community and was very proud to be a lawyer, Floreancig said.

"He knew exactly the problems that poor folks had and also the problems of raising money, keeping the lights on, doors open, and salaries paid," he said, adding that the judge's work at ILAS gave him a great education early on in his law career.

"He was just a class act, great guy. We're going to miss him," Floreancig said.

Judge Myers was active in the legal community, belonging to the American Judicature Society; Indianapolis, Indiana, and American Bar Associations; the North American Judges Association; and the Indiana Judges Association. He was also involved with the Judicial Study Commission and served as a hearing officer for the Indiana Supreme Court's Disciplinary Commission.

The judge also involved with many community and military organizations including the Central YWCA, Shrine Royal Order of the Jesters, American Legion, and Reserve Officers Association. Judge Myers loved traveling and had visited every continent.

He is survived by his daughter, Margaret Sullivan; sister Katherine Northam Dickson; stepchildren William Calwell, Sally Calwell Gray, and Scott Calwell; and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Visitation is from 4 to 7 p.m. today at the Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Center Broad Ripple, 1305 E. Broad Ripple Ave., Indianapolis, with a memorial service at 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations made be made to the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society.

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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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