ILNews

Leadership in Law 2012: Hon. Thomas J. Felts

Judge, Allen Circuit Court, Fort Wayne Indiana University Maurer School of Law

April 25, 2012
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Thomas Felts (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Judge Thomas Felts’ legal knowledge and practice advice to young professionals has helped improve the legal community around him. He embraces the idea of mentoring not only his law clerks but also young attorneys litigating in his court. The former president of the Indiana Judges Association board is active in the legal community, including his involvement with the state bar and Commission on Courts. He also devotes time to improving the Fort Wayne community, including his service on the board of the Foellinger Foundation.

The best advice I ever received was
“always keep your eyes open for opportunities.”

I wish I had known when I graduated law school that
the practice of law is, like most things, mostly about relationships.

My best stress reliever is
running.

If I weren’t a lawyer, I’d
be a teacher or professor (but wishing I was singing and playing the piano in a bar somewhere tropical).

In 2012, I’d like to
have an even better year than a pretty-great 2011.

The three words that best describe me are
passionate, busy and well-rounded.

In my community, I’m passionate about
the not-for-profit community and my place in it.

In the movie about my life,
a somewhat younger Michael Douglas would play me.

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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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