Law School Briefs - 1/16/13

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Law School Briefs

Law School Briefs highlights news from law schools in Indiana. While Indiana Lawyer has always covered law school news and continues to keep up with law school websites and press releases for updates, we gladly accept submissions for this section from law students, professors, alumni, and others who want to share law school-related news. If you’d like to submit news or a photo from an event, please email it to Marilyn Odendahl at, along with contact information for any follow-up questions at least two weeks prior to the issue date.

First female mayor of Gary to give MLK Lecture at Valpo

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson will present the Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture at Valparaiso University Law School. In her speech, entitled “From A Dream to a More Perfect Union,” Freeman-Wilson will discuss ways to ensure people are treated fairly regardless of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, income or abilities.

Freeman-Wilson is the first female mayor of Gary as well as the first African-American female mayor in the state of Indiana. She grew up in Gary and earned her undergraduate and law degrees at Harvard University. She has served as Lake County prosecutor, Gary city court judge and Indiana attorney general under the late Gov. Frank O’Bannon. Before being elected as mayor, she was in private practice in Gary.

The lecture will be from 4 to 5 p.m. Jan. 24 in Wesemann Hall on the Valparaiso University campus. The event is open to the public but reservations are requested. For more information, visit

New Jersey judge establishes endowment at Notre Dame

A University of Notre Dame alumnus has established an endowment to support the law school’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program. The Hon. Joseph C. and Margaret Cassini III Endowment for Excellence was created by a gift from Joseph Cassini, who earned his undergraduate, MBA and J.D. degrees from Notre Dame.

The endowment will help NDLS graduates who accept public interest and public service positions repay their student loans.

“Being able to make this gift is a fulfillment of my love to the University,” Cassini stated in a press release. “I’m thankful I can help future law students in their public service careers. This gift brings me great satisfaction.”

Cassini currently serves in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Criminal Division. He is also on the University of Notre Dame’s Law Advisory Council.

IU McKinney student groups hosting legislative panel

A legislative panel will preview the important legal issues that will be addressed during the 2013 session at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law on Jan. 22. The event is being hosted by Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity and the Black Law Students Association at I.U. McKinney School of Law.

Panelists include Brian Bosma, speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives, and Glenda Ritz, superintendent-elect of public instruction.

The event will be held in the Atrium and Wynne Courtroom, Inlow Hall, 530 W. New York St., Indianapolis. A reception will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. and the panel discussion will be from 5 to 5:55 p.m.

To RSVP, email Erin Radefeld at

IU Maurer professor’s book praised as one of 2012’s best

A book examining the death penalty written by Jody Lynee Madeira, an associate professor at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, is garnering national praise.

The Atlantic included Madeira’s “Killing McVeigh: The Death Penalty and the Myth of Closure,” on its list of the best books about justice published in 2012. The reviewer praised Madeira’s work in showing how victims in a high-profile case react to the legal process.

The book focuses on the 1995 bombing by Timothy McVeigh of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. McVeigh was convicted of the crime and executed in 2001. For her book, Madeira spent many hours interviewing survivors and victims’ families about their experience with McVeigh’s trial and execution. She concluded that victims were unable to put the tragedy behind them.•


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  1. I commend Joe for standing up to this tyrant attorney! You ask why? Well I’m one of David Steele victims. I was in desperate need of legal help to protect my child, David saw an opportunity, and he demanded I pay him $3000. Cash. As I received motions and orders from court he did nothing! After weeks of emails asking him to address the legal issues, he responded by saying he was “on vacation “and I should be so lucky to have “my attorney” reply. Finally after lie on top of lie I asked for a full refund, which he refused. He then sent me “bills” for things he never did, such as, his appearance in the case and later claimed he withdrew. He never filed one document / motion for my case! When I finally demanded he refund my money he then turn to threats which scared my family for our lives. It seem unreal we couldn’t believe this guy. I am now over $100,000 in debt digging out of the legal mess he caused my family. Later I was finally able to hire another law office. I met Joe and we worked diligently on my case. I soon learn Joe had a passion for helping people. As anyone who has been through a legal battle it is exhausting. Joe was always more than happy to help or address an issue. Joe was knowledgeable about all my concerns at the same time he was able to reduce the stress and anxieties of my case. He would stay late and come in early, he always went the extra mile to help in any way he could. I can only imagine what Joe and his family has been through, my prayers go out to him and all the victims.

  2. Steele did more than what is listed too. He purposely sought out to ruin me, calling potential employers and then lied about me alleging all kinds of things including kidnapping. None of his allegations were true. If you are in need of an ethical and very knowledgeable family law paralegal, perhaps someone could post their contact information. Ethics cannot be purchased, either your paralegal has them or they do not.

  3. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  4. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  5. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise