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Longtime Marion County judge set to retire

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One of the first women elected as a trial judge in Indiana is preparing to leave the bench after 30 years.

At the end of this year, Marion Superior Judge Patricia Gifford will hang up the robe she's worn for three decades in presiding over a court that's handled mostly felony cases. One of her most nationally recognized cases came in 1992 when she presided over the rape trial of former boxing champion Mike Tyson.

The 1968 Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis graduate has been a pioneer for women lawyers, according to her colleagues. She worked as a deputy attorney general and Marion County deputy prosecutor after law school, and she became one of the first women in the U.S. assigned to prosecute only sex offense cases. Judge Gifford became a referee for the Marion Juvenile Court in 1975 and then ran successfully for Superior Judge, taking the bench Jan. 1, 1979, and becoming the sixth woman to be elected to a Hoosier trial court.

A retirement reception is planned for Judge Gifford from 6-9 p.m. Nov. 24, at the Columbia Club in downtown Indianapolis. The event is open to the public and attendees can RSVP at (317) 327-4520. Contributions are encouraged at the door and donations also can be mailed to the Patricia Gifford Retirement Party courtesy of attorney James C. Clark of the law firm Clark Quinn Moses Scott & Grahn, One Indiana Square, Suite 2200, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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