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Fund supports diversity in profession

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A celebration of former Indiana Chief Justice Randall Shepard on Thursday set the stage for the launch of a fund in his name that will continue his legacy of promoting diversity.

Several hundred people attended a gala in Shepard’s honor that also included announcement of the creation of the Randall T. Shepard Fund for Diversity in the Legal Profession, sponsored by the Indiana Bar Foundation.

The fund will further efforts that Shepard championed. Those include diversity initiatives of state and local bar associations and supporting the goals of the Indiana Conference for Legal Education Opportunity and those of the Indiana Supreme Court’s Commission on Race and Gender Fairness.

The ICELO program annually supports an incoming law school class of about 30 fellows with stipends, mentoring and networking opportunities. Shepard urged creation of the program, which was signed into law in 1997 by former Gov. Frank O’Bannon.

Indiana Bar Foundation president Charles Dunlap said a fundraising goal of $150,000 has been established. Former Supreme Court Justice Myra Selby, now a partner with Ice Miller, and Rod Morgan, past president of the Indiana Bar Association, are co-chairing the fundraising drive.

“This fund is an inspiring tribute to someone who has done so much to open the doors to the profession,” said Selby, who served with Shepard on the bench from 1995-2000 and now chairs the Commission on Race and Gender Fairness.

Morgan, a partner at Bingham Greenebaum Doll, said the fund in Shepard’s name was fitting. He said Shepard’s record “shows his commitment to making our legal system better in the state of Indiana.”

Shepard said Thursday that he was humbled by an honor that will further his legacy of promoting diversity.

“To gather with a purpose beyond tribute – that of building our profession’s long-term commitment to equal opportunity – likewise states a powerful message about Indiana lawyers,” he said.

“Indiana’s legal profession needn’t stare down at its shoes and shuffle when people talk about lawyers. Indiana lawyers have earned the right to look our fellow citizens straight on and say, ‘We have done what it lies within us to do,’” Shepard said.

Along with Selby and Morgan, numerous colleagues paid tribute to Shepard on Thursday. Among them: Margaret Marshall, retired chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court; emcees John Tinder, U.S. 7th Circuit judge, and Jan Carroll, partner with Barnes & Thornburg; Vanderburgh Superior Judge Margaret Lloyd; former ICLEO fellow and Madison Circuit Judge Rudy Pyle; and C. Erik Chickedantz, president of the Indiana State Bar Association.

“It is an honor and a privilege to manage this fund, which serves as a fitting tribute to Chief Justice Shepard and his longstanding commitment to furthering diversity in the legal profession,” Dunlap said.

Donations to the fund are tax-deductible and may be made by contacting the Indiana Bar Foundation’s director of development at 317-269-7864. Online donations may be made at www.inbf.org.

 

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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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