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IndyBar: Meet Antoinette Dakin Leach

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In 1893, Antoinette Dakin Leach made history as the first woman to challenge a bar admission denial based on gender. Leach’s lawyers argued in front of the Indiana Supreme Court that despite not being allowed to vote, if a woman was otherwise qualified, she could be admitted to practice law in Indiana. Although the court granted Leach a license to practice law, many male lawyers did not agree with the decision, and she was not admitted to the Indiana State Bar Association until 1909.

In addition to serving as a pioneer for women in the practice of law, Leach was also a pioneer in embracing modern technology as the first lawyer to submit typewritten filings to the court instead of writing them by hand. Leach graduated from the University of Tennessee Law School in 1884 and served as a court reporter for the Greene-Sullivan Circuit Court before gaining her Indiana law license.

Do you know the today’s Antoinette Dakin Leach?

To recognize the accomplishments of female attorneys in central Indiana, the IndyBar’s Women & the Law Division presents the Antoinette Dakin Leach Award.

Please take a moment to nominate a female attorney who has demonstrated some of the attributes of Antoinette Dakin Leach by encouraging other women in the pursuit of this honorable profession or blazing a path not taken by others. Visit indybar.org/adl for the online nomination form. The deadline for nominations is July 25, 2017. The recipient of the award will be honored at an event this fall.

Past Recipients

1990 – Hon. V. Sue Shields

1992 – Virginia Dill McCarty

1993 – Hon. Sarah Evans Barker

1995 – Shirley A. Shideler

1996 – Hon. Pamela Carter

1997 – Hon. Myra C. Selby

1998 – Francina A. Dlouhy

1999 – Mary Y. Marsh

2000 – Kristin G. Fruehwald

2001 – Ann DeLaney

2002 – Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson

2003 – Joan Fullam Irick

2004 – Hon. Betty Barteau

2005 – Deborah J. Daniels

2006 – Hon. Patricia Gifford

2007 – Denise Larue

2008 – Abby Kuzma

2009 – Monica Foster

2010 – Deborah Hepler and Julia Blackwell Gelinas

2011 – Hon. Margret Robb

2012 – Kathleen Lucas

2013 – Hon. Tanya Walton Pratt

2014 – Kerry Hyatt Blomquist

2015 – Sue Shadley

2016 – Chief Justice Loretta Rush

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  1. The voices of the prophets are more on blogs than subway walls these days, Dawn. Here is the voice of one calling out in the wilderness ... against a corrupted judiciary ... that remains corrupt a decade and a half later ... due to, so sadly, the acquiescence of good judges unwilling to shake the forest ... for fear that is not faith .. http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2013/09/prof-alan-dershowitz-on-indiana.html

  2. So I purchased a vehicle cash from the lot on West Washington in Feb 2017. Since then I found it the vehicle had been declared a total loss and had sat in a salvage yard due to fire. My title does not show any of that. I also have had to put thousands of dollars into repairs because it was not a solid vehicle like they stated. I need to find out how to contact the lawyers on this lawsuit.

  3. It really doesn't matter what the law IS, if law enforcement refuses to take reports (or take them seriously), if courts refuse to allow unrepresented parties to speak (especially in Small Claims, which is supposedly "informal"). It doesn't matter what the law IS, if constituents are unable to make effective contact or receive any meaningful response from their representatives. Two of our pets were unnecessarily killed; court records reflect that I "abandoned" them. Not so; when I was denied one of them (and my possessions, which by court order I was supposed to be able to remove), I went directly to the court. And earlier, when I tried to have the DV PO extended (it expired while the subject was on probation for violating it), the court denied any extension. The result? Same problems, less than eight hours after expiration. Ironic that the county sheriff was charged (and later pleaded to) with intimidation, but none of his officers seemed interested or capable of taking such a report from a private citizen. When I learned from one officer what I needed to do, I forwarded audio and transcript of one occurrence and my call to law enforcement (before the statute of limitations expired) to the prosecutor's office. I didn't even receive an acknowledgement. Earlier, I'd gone in to the prosecutor's office and been told that the officer's (written) report didn't match what I said occurred. Since I had the audio, I can only say that I have very little faith in Indiana government or law enforcement.

  4. One can only wonder whether Mr. Kimmel was paid for his work by Mr. Burgh ... or whether that bill fell to the citizens of Indiana, many of whom cannot afford attorneys for important matters. It really doesn't take a judge(s) to know that "pavement" can be considered a deadly weapon. It only takes a brain and some education or thought. I'm glad to see the conviction was upheld although sorry to see that the asphalt could even be considered "an issue".

  5. In response to bryanjbrown: thank you for your comment. I am familiar with Paul Ogden (and applaud his assistance to Shirley Justice) and have read of Gary Welsh's (strange) death (and have visited his blog on many occasions). I am not familiar with you (yet). I lived in Kosciusko county, where the sheriff was just removed after pleading in what seems a very "sweetheart" deal. Unfortunately, something NEEDS to change since the attorneys won't (en masse) stand up for ethics (rather making a show to please the "rules" and apparently the judges). I read that many attorneys are underemployed. Seems wisdom would be to cull the herd and get rid of the rotting apples in practice and on the bench, for everyone's sake as well as justice. I'd like to file an attorney complaint, but I have little faith in anything (other than the most flagrant and obvious) resulting in action. My own belief is that if this was medicine, there'd be maimed and injured all over and the carnage caused by "the profession" would be difficult to hide. One can dream ... meanwhile, back to figuring out to file a pro se "motion to dismiss" as well as another court required paper that Indiana is so fond of providing NO resources for (unlike many other states, who don't automatically assume that citizens involved in the court process are scumbags) so that maybe I can get the family law attorney - whose work left me with no settlement, no possessions and resulted in the death of two pets (etc ad nauseum) - to stop abusing the proceedings supplemental and small claims rules and using it as a vehicle for harassment and apparently, amusement.

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