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IndyBar Election Season Round-Up

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iba-office-politics-fbox.gifNews and commentary on the upcoming election are nearly impossible to escape at this point. Take a break from the non-stop back and forth political banter with several upcoming election-related non-partisan events and programs.

Election Law Spotlight

The Government Practice section is sponsoring two upcoming continuing legal education programs that put the spotlight on the timely topic of election law. Both programs include one hour of continuing legal education credit and will take place at the IndyBar Education Center. Visit www.indybar.org for full details on each program and online registration.

The first, “Home is NOT Just ‘Where the Heart is’: Running for Office in the Age of Residency Challenges,” addresses the election law issue of the moment: candidate residency. Indiana, in particular, has been at the top of the list in bringing national attention to this, ironically, most local of issues. Andrew Mallon of Drewry Simmons Vornehm LLP will address the ins and outs of Indiana political residency law and the legal arguments that fuel this potent political phenomenon. This program will be held Thursday, September 20 from noon to 1 p.m.

The second will center around “Hot Topics in Election Law,” including voter identification, voting centers, electronic voting machines and much more. N. Davey Neal, Chief of Staff for Indiana’s Secretary of State Connie Lawson, will shed light on what the state’s Chief Election Officer is doing to ensure the integrity of Indiana’s voting process in this important year. This program will be held Thursday, October 4 from noon to 1 p.m.

Volunteer at the November Election

Take an active role in this year’s election by volunteering as an inspector, clerk or judge at the polls on November 6. To work a poll in Marion County, volunteers must be registered voters and live in Marion County. Volunteers must also attend a training session regardless of previous volunteer experience or training sessions attended in the past.

The Government Practice Section will host a free volunteer training session on Thursday, October 11 from 9 a.m. to noon. Featuring Marion County Clerk Beth White, the program will also include three free hours of continuing legal education credit and a light breakfast. Registration for the training is accessible at www.indybar.org.

Let’s Educate Fellow Voters

A recent survey unveiled that two-thirds of Americans can’t name one United States Supreme Court Justice. Imagine the results of that survey if that question were taken down to a local level. How many Hoosiers could name a state Supreme Court Justice, an appellate judge, a superior court judge? While judicial retention votes are unlikely to be the most exciting part of November’s General Election, any step toward educating the public on the judiciary is a positive one.

Spurred by an effort to educate Indiana voters, the Division of State Court Administration created www.in.gov/judiciary/retention, a site meant to share relevant information on the six Indiana appellate court judges who will be up for retention vote this November with the public. Voters will decide “yes” or “no” on whether to retain each judge, and the site includes helpful information, including biographies and judicial opinions, to assist voters in making an informed decision. Of the six judges, four are IndyBar members—Justice Steven David, Judge John Baker, Judge Nancy Vaidik and Judge Paul Mathias.•

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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