Labor and employment attorney named 2013 Legendary Lawyer

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Retired Indianapolis attorney Henry C. Ryder has been selected to receive the Indiana Bar Foundation’s 2013 Legendary Lawyer Award.

The Legendary Lawyer Award recognizes an IBF fellow whose contributions have demonstrated the highest standards of the legal profession. The honoree upholds the principles and traditions of the legal profession as well as shows compassion through community service and a legal career of 50 years or more.

Ryder practiced law for 54 years, retiring eight years ago. He specialized in representing management in labor relations and employment matters as a founding partner of Roberts & Ryder and as a partner and of counsel at Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

He retired from Barnes & Thornburg eight years ago.

After graduating from Purdue University in 1948, Ryder enrolled in the University of Michigan Law School and graduated in 1951. He served two years as an officer during the Korean War before joining the Indianapolis law firm of Buschmann Krieg DeVault and Alexander in 1953.

In 1960, Ryder and his colleague William E. Roberts founded Roberts & Ryder. They focused on the budding field of labor and employment law. Ryder’s practice included a significant presence in state and federal courts, the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, along with other state and local agencies.

Ryder’s civic activities include serving as a trustee at Purdue University and Hanover College in addition to being the first chairman and member of the IUPUI Library Advisory Board.

Ryder has recently rejuvenated efforts of the Indiana State Bar Association’s senior lawyers section. He also conceived and developed a process for preparation and preservation of oral histories of Indiana legendary lawyers and judges.

For the past 30 years, Ryder has brought James Whitcomb Riley to life by personifying the Hoosier poet in schools, libraries, service clubs and even making a regular appearance at the Indiana State Fair.

Ryder will receive the Legendary Lawyer Award at a special reception being held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Sept. 6 at Barnes & Thornburg in downtown Indianapolis. To reserve a seat, contact the IBF at 317-269-2415.

Anyone wishing to send memories or stories honoring Ryder may send them to the foundation either by email to Theresa Browning, director of development and communications, at or by mail to the Indiana Bar Foundation, 230 E. Ohio St., Suite 400, Indianapolis, IN 46204. The deadline for submissions is Aug. 30.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.