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Girl Scouts learn law, bar offers scholarships

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Bar Crawl is Indiana Lawyer’s section highlighting bar association news around the state. The IL strives to include bar association news and trends in its regular stories, and we would like to include more news from specialty and county bars. If you’d like to submit an update about your bar association or a photo from an event your bar association has hosted, or if you have questions about having your bar association news included in the newspaper, please send it to Jennifer Montgomery at jmontgomery@ibj.com, along with contact information for any follow-up questions at least two weeks in advance of the issue date.

Girl Scouts learn law, legal careers

About 75 Girl Scouts learned about legal issues that may affect them and heard from practicing female lawyers about what it takes to become a lawyer or a judge at the Indiana State Bar Association’s Women in the Law Committee inaugural “Lady Justice” event March 26. The event took place at Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis.

In addition to the Girl Scouts in third, fourth, and fifth grade, 23 troop leaders and parents participated in the program. About 15 attorney volunteers interacted with the girls.

The girls completed two projects, had lunch, listened to a panel discussion, and watched a mock trial. The work will culminate in the Scouts earning a badge.

One of the activities involved the girls making a bracelet out of beads, with each bead representing a civil right that they have, such as the right to counsel. Another activity involved a drawing exercise where girls drew themselves at age 15, 25, and 50, after learning about how to set goals and make smart decisions. This portion of the event also had attorneys explain to small groups of girls how to plan to become a lawyer or judge, including how to prepare for college and law school.

After the projects, the girls listened to a panel discussion of women who shared their perspectives of becoming attorneys. Patty McKinnon talked about her experience as a solo attorney in Indianapolis; and Kelly Scanlan, an associate at Bose McKinney & Evans, gave her perspective as an attorney at a large firm. Marion Superior Judge Cynthia Ayers also shared her experience of becoming a judge.

The Girl Scouts also had lunch with the volunteer judges and attorneys, and witnessed a mock trial for the Big Bad Wolf. The script for the mock trial was written by Holly Wanzer, an attorney at Jocham Harden Dimick Jackson, and a Girl Scout troop leader.

Another attorney at Wanzer’s firm, name partner Stephenie Jocham, has been credited by other organizers as the person to first suggest the idea of a Girl Scout badge about the law.

The girls will earn a “Scales of Justice” patch after completing this program.

“We didn’t want to dumb this down for the girls,” said Marion Superior Magistrate Vickie Ransberger, one of the organizers of the event. “They’re a lot more knowledgeable than some people might give them credit for. They care. They think about things that are important to them.”

Ideally, Ransberger said, the program could be replicated for Girl Scouts all over the state or even around the country. Organizers worked closely with the Girl Scout organization to make sure it had the right qualifications for a badge.

While it is not the only law-related badge for Girl Scouts, it is the only one where the girls learn about how the law affects them and how they can someday become lawyers or judges.

– Rebecca Berfanger

Johnson Co. Bar offers scholarships

The Johnson County Bar Association is awarding at least two $1,000 scholarships to local students who plan to enroll in a four-year baccalaureate program at an accredited public or private university.

Interested seniors may obtain scholarship applications by contacting Stephen L. Huddleston at 317-736-5121. Applications must be submitted by April 15 to Stephen L. Huddleston; 98 W. Jefferson St.; Franklin, IN 46131.

– IL Staff

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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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