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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. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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