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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. 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

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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