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Indiana BLE executive director resigns

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After three years of being in charge of the Indiana Board of Law Examiners, a state court staff attorney has resigned, and the search for a new leader is under way.

The Indiana Supreme Court announced recently that Linda L. Loepker resigned Dec. 6 as executive director of the state’s BLE, according to public information officer Kathryn Dolan.

Loepker has been in that post since 2007 when she replaced longtime leader Mary Place Godsey who retired after 25 years.

Dolan said that no resignation letter was submitted and she classified Loepker’s leaving as a “personnel matter” and that any other details beyond her resignation date are confidential.
 

loepker Loepker

Justice Brent Dickson, who serves as a liaison to the nine-member BLE, said the process for how the court would name a new executive director was still being established. Notice will go out inviting attorneys to apply for the position, but an exact timeline for the search had not been established by Indiana Lawyer deadline. Evansville attorney Les Shively, who serves as chair of the BLE, hopes a new leader can be found early in 2011 as the next bar exam is set for February.

Until a new executive director is found, David Remondini, the chief deputy executive director of the Indiana Division of State Court Admini-stration, is filling the spot as acting executive director. The interim role doesn’t take away from Remondini’s existing duties as second-in-charge of the court’s administrative arm, a position he’s held since February 2007 when he moved from being chief counsel for Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard.

The state BLE plays a pivotal role in the legal community, overseeing not only the admission of attorneys in Indiana through the bar exam but also administering legal intern certification and the formation and renewal of professional corporations, limited liability companies, and limited liability partnerships within the legal profession. The Committee on Character and Fitness that’s made up of more than 300 lawyers conducts personal interviews of all those applying for the Indiana bar.

Loepker didn’t return a message from Indiana Lawyer, and Dolan said she did not know Loepker’s plans for the future or how this change might impact her national affiliations with organizations and boards relating to law examiner issues.

She served at the BLE helm at a time when the board has been under fire from multiple lawsuits targeting the bar exam eligibility and administration process. At least three suits have been filed in the past two years, and one of the most notable continues in the Southern District of Indiana, challenging the BLE requirement that bar applicants answer questions about their physical and mental health information in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. That case remains pending before Judge Tanya Walton Pratt. Others have alleged the state and BLE are wrong in referring applicants to the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program for questioning and also for barring individuals who have not attended law school from taking the bar exam. Loepker has been intimately involved in the process as well as the litigation that has gone through state and federal trial and appellate courts.

Nothing filed on those pending dockets by Dec. 17 refer to Loepker’s resignation in any way, and it’s unclear at this point whether her departure might impact the timelines and procedures of the process or whether she might need to re-appear for proceedings at some point in the future.

Dolan credited Loepker with being an instrumental part of the Indiana Supreme Court’s successful effort to secure a new lease at the 30 S. Meridian building in downtown Indianapolis, where the Division of State Court Administration and many other court agencies are housed. The previous lease at the National City Center at 115 W. Washington St. expired, and Loepker negotiated a new lease at a lower cost. It is projected to save state taxpayers nearly $1.5 million over the life of the 10-year lease that began Jan. 1, 2008.•

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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

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