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IBA: Gelinas and Hepler to Receive Antoinette Dakin Leach Award

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Julia Blackwell Gelinas, Partner of Frost Brown Todd LLC, and the late Deborah Hepler will be honored with the Antoinette Dakin Leach Award on October 20 from the Women and the Law Division of the Indianapolis Bar Association. The award is only presented when the Division feels an appropriate candidate is worthy of the award for her professional and personal accomplishments.
 

gelinas-julia-mug Gelinas

The award presentation will take place during a luncheon at the Skyline Club in Indianapolis on October 20 and will recognize both Gelinas and the late Deb Hepler, who passed away of breast cancer last fall. Former recipients of the award have included pioneer women in the legal profession. The award itself is named for Antoinette Dakin Leach, who was the first woman to challenge the Indiana State Bar’s denial of admission based on gender. She took the matter before the Indiana Supreme Court in 1893, and became the first woman licensed to practice law in the state of Indiana.

Gelinas practices in the area of appellate, construction, fidelity and surety and other commercial matters. She also represents lawyers before the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission, where she served as a former chair (1999-2001) and member of the Executive Committee (1991-2001). Prior to the 2009 merger of Frost Brown Todd with Indianapolis-based Locke Reynolds, Gelinas served as chair of Locke Reynolds’ Management Committee from 2000-2005, and was one of very few women to hold that title in Indianapolis. She is a well-respected national leader in the profession and a frequently requested speaker. Gelinas has been recognized as a Distinguished Fellow of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation; and is included in Indiana Super Lawyers Top 25 Female Super Lawyers list (2004-2010) and listed in Best Lawyers since 2007 for Appellate and Construction Law.


hepler-deb-BWmug Hepler

Hepler, who passed away in October 2009, is best known for founding the Protective Order Pro Bono Project of Greater Indianapolis which is now a program of the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Until her death Hepler remained actively involved with the program including providing training on ethical issues for pro bono attorneys. She graduated from Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis in 1994 and served as a clerk for U.S. District Judge Larry J. McKinney in the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. She also worked for what is today Frost Brown Todd in Indianapolis and had taught as an adjunct law professor at the Indianapolis law school. At the time of her death, she was general counsel for the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.

Hepler was a member of the boards for the Indiana Coalition against Domestic Violence, Indiana Legal Services Inc., and the Domestic Violence Network of Greater Indianapolis. She was also on the board of the Carmel Community Players. She was a Distinguished Fellow of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation and former chair of the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Women and the Law Division.

In recognition of her efforts in the fight against domestic violence, she was selected to receive the 2005 Alumna of the Year from the Indiana University School of Law Alumni Network, the 2005 Chancellor’s Community Award for Excellence in Civil Engagement, and the 2001 Prelude to Light Award by the Domestic Violence Network of Greater Indianapolis.

Other trailblazers who have received the award include 1990 recipient Hon. Judge V. Sue Shields, the first female Judge of the Indiana Court of Appeals; the first female trial court judge in Indiana; and the first female federal magistrate judge in Indiana. The Hon. Sarah Evans Barker, the first woman to be appointed to the United States District Court in Indiana, received the award in 1993. Hon. Myra C. Selby received the award in 1997 and was the first female justice of the Indiana Supreme Court and the first African-American member of the Court.

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  1. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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