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IndyBar celebrates Judge Zore, remembers Joe Russell

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A veteran Marion Superior trial court judge and a longtime attorney whose death this year saddened the Indianapolis legal community were honored Wednesday by the Indianapolis Bar Association.

Marion Superior Judge Gerald Zore was presented with the Silver Gavel award for judicial and professional accomplishments during 39 years on the bench. C. Joseph Russell, a Krieg DeVault LLP partner who died in July, was posthumously awarded the IndyBar’s Professionalism Award.

“We were privileged to have Joe as our colleague until his untimely passing,” fellow Krieg DeVault partner Debra Daniels said of Russell in presenting the honor to his widow, Betsy Russell, also a Krieg DeVault partner.

Betsy Russell said she imagined her husband looking down approvingly on the bar’s annual Professionalism Luncheon. “Knowing my husband, he is also really liking this,” Betsy Russell said of the honor.

C. Joseph Russell was a past IndyBar president and was active in numerous professional and community associations.

Zore accepted his award with modest words of thanks, but Marion Superior Magistrate Victoria Ransberger noted Zore, who currently presides in probate court, was the longest-serving active trial court judge in Indiana. James Voyles of Voyles Zahn & Paul called Zore “a fabulous judge … and I’m proud to call him my friend.”

Indiana Supreme Court Justice Loretta Rush delivered the keynote speech at which she praised the IndyBar’s leadership and outreach initiatives that she said are exemplary to other bar associations around the state.

Rush drew on her experience going through the selection process before her appointment to the Supreme Court in stressing the importance of civility and professionalism.

Rush said her mother’s advice in dealing with difficult personalities – “a little sugar goes a long way” – turned out to be good instruction when those vetting her for the high court contacted a wide range of lawyers who came before her as a judge or who she opposed before that as an trial attorney.

“No matter how tough your cases, don’t get personal,” she counseled.

But seeing an increasing number of disciplinary complaints lodged against attorneys – up about 15 percent last year compared with the year before – is concerning, she said. “Obviously there are problems with civility and professionalism.”

Rush offered three tips for professional improvement: live a balanced life, find some mentors, and zealously protect your reputation.  
 

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  1. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  2. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  3. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  4. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  5. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

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