Civics education

At Wabash, 7th Circuit Chief Judge Wood calls for civic engagement

May 3, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite the current atmosphere where politicians decry activist judges and presidential tweets assail court rulings, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Diane P. Wood is optimistic about the future of the judiciary.
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Hoosier teams bring home We the People honors

April 28, 2017
IL Staff
Two Indiana teams triumphed at the We the People national finals this week in Washington, D.C.
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Indiana Bar Foundation gets help in Statehouse

February 8, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
A Barnes & Thornburg lobbyist is advocating for the organization as well as promoting access to justice.
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Zoeller ends public service with donation to bar foundation

January 20, 2017
IL Staff
Saying he is stepping out of public life, former Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has donated his remaining campaign funds to the Indiana Bar Foundation.
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Indianapolis attorney tapped for national mock trial board

January 4, 2017
IL Staff
Criminal defense attorney and mock trial alumnus Scott Barnhart has been elected to the board of the National High School Mock Trial Championship.
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Cathedral and Fishers take 1st place in constitutional competiton

December 15, 2016
IL Staff
Teams of middle and high schools students from Indianapolis and the surrounding area dominated the 2016 Indiana We the People State Finals.
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‘We the People’ enters high-needs schools

November 30, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Bar Foundation brings 26 teachers into civic education-focused James Madison Legacy Project.
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Allen County attorneys prep class for WTP finals

April 20, 2016
Scott Roberts
One Allen County school is getting the opportunity of a lifetime to participate in a national civics competition, and the Allen County legal community is making sure it will happen.
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IBF launches new donor society

April 6, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Bar Foundation hopes its new Keystone Society will bring in unrestricted donor dollars.
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Indiana High School Mock Trial finals this weekend

March 4, 2016
IL Staff
More than 185 high school students will get their chance to try a trial Saturday and Sunday in front of a panel of experienced judges.
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Fishers High School takes We the People crown

December 18, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Fishers High School was crowned the champion in the Indiana We the People High School competition and will represent the state at the national competition in April 2016. In the middle school competition, Brown County Junior High School in Nashville took first place for the sixth consecutive year.
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Justice Dickson honored at We the People dinner

December 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Bar Foundation used its 2015 Civics Dinner to present the President’s Award to Dickson for his many years of service to the Supreme Court, the judiciary, the legal profession and the state.
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Volunteers needed for the We the People contest

November 24, 2015
IL Staff
Indiana Bar Foundation is looking for volunteers to help with the We the People state competition.
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Indiana Bar Foundation celebrates 65th anniversary

October 7, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Bar Foundation, started in 1950, has grown over the years but its mission has always been the same – promoting civic education and improving access to justice.
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Legislature continues support of We the People program

June 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana's We the People program, a civics education curriculum that teaches elementary, middle and high school students about U.S. history and government, has received another round of funding from the Statehouse.
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Abeska: St. Joseph County Bar Foundation is hitting its stride

June 3, 2015
The St. Joseph County Bar Foundation's philanthropic efforts are made possible by support from attorneys and law firms, though fundraising remains a challenge for the board.
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Bob Woodward to speak at Indiana Bar Foundation anniversary dinner

April 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
In November, the Indiana Bar Foundation will commemorate its 65 years of ensuring that everyone has legal representation and that Hoosier students have an opportunity to learn about the Constitution and democracy.
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Mock trial volunteers needed

January 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana attorneys are being offered the opportunity to show off their judicial skills. The Indiana Bar Foundation is seeking lawyers to volunteer as judges during the 2015 Indiana High School Mock Trial Competition.
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Senate president says funding for We the People will continue

December 15, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Praising the We the People curriculum for instilling a sense of civic responsibility in the next generation, Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long pledged that state funding for the program would continue.
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Volunteers needed for civics contest and law student competitions

November 24, 2014
Volunteers are needed to help judge students learning about Democracy and studying to be future lawyers.
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Traveling Magna Carta exhibit opens Monday

September 29, 2014
IL Staff
The American Bar Association’s Magna Cart Facsimile Traveling Exhibit begins its 12-day run at the Indiana Statehouse Monday.
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Court makes available resources for Constitution Day

August 26, 2014
IL Staff
The importance of juries and how people are chosen to serve will be at the heart of discussions between students and judges as the judiciary teams up with schools to mark Constitution Day Sept. 17.
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Fishers High School captures 4th place in national civics competition

April 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Fishers High School team finished fourth in the We the People national competition, continuing Indiana’s streak of having teams place in the Top 10 among the groups representing all 50 states.
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Southern Indiana teams win championship trophies in national civics competition

April 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana high school teams swept the 2014 We the People competition, bringing home first place trophies to both Brown and Floyd counties.
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Workshop designed to help educators teach students about the courts

April 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Teachers from across the state will be getting an up-close view of the judicial system through a one-day workshop hosted by the Indiana Supreme Court and the Indiana Bar Foundation.
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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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