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Memorable moments from the 7th Circuit Bar Association and Judicial Conference of the 7th Circuit

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Pro bono honorees

Three Indiana attorneys were recognized for their contributions to the practice of law during the annual dinner of the 7th Circuit Bar Association and the Judicial Conference of the 7th Circuit.

Sharon Barner, vice president and general counsel of Cummins Inc., received the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the 7th Circuit. This award is given to a lawyer or judge whose life and practice exemplifies personal integrity coupled with a dedication to the highest standards of the legal profession and rule of law.

IL_Richard_Lugar01-15col.jpg Former Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, left, and 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John Tinder converse during the 7th Circuit Bar and Judicial Conference on May 6 in Indianapolis. Tinder was in high school the last time he had the opportunity to introduce Lugar, who at that time was working on becoming mayor of Indianapolis. (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Judge James Holderman, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, presented Barner with the award.

Also, the 7th Circuit Bar Association Pro Bono & Public Service Committee recognized two Hoosier attorneys for their contributions to the pro bono arena.

Mark Stuaan, partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP in Indianapolis, received the Justice John Paul Stevens Pro Bono & Public Service Award for his outstanding pro bono work in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Alan L. McLaughlin, office managing shareholder at Littler Mendelson P.C. in Indianapolis, received the Pro Bono & Public Service Award for his outstanding pro bono work in the U.S. District courts of Indiana.

School days

Circuit Judge John Tinder had the privilege of introducing former Sen. Richard Lugar. Tinder told the 7th Circuit Bar conference that Lugar was known as “a champion of the rule of law throughout the world and a great friend to the federal judiciary.”

But before he became all that, Lugar was a guest speaker at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis, and Tinder recalled the occasion when he’d last introduced Lugar, presenting him to his classmates back in 1967. Upon taking the lectern, Lugar joked that Tinder had made more of himself than Lugar imagined he might.

Lugar recalled that during his successful campaign for mayor of Indianapolis in the years that followed, Tinder was helpful, even posting numerous “Lugar for mayor” signs on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington. Lugar mused that the number of Bloomington voters in the Indianapolis mayoral election wasn’t known, but that the effort was surely helpful.

Less here, more there

New filings in District courts of the 7th Circuit edged up last year, increasing 1.7 percent across the seven districts in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. But the caseloads varied widely in the different jurisdictions. In the Northern Indiana District, for instance, cases rose 30 percent, while they declined 33 percent in the Southern Illinois District

Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook provided the analysis during his State of the Circuit address. While cases overall are up, bankruptcy filings are down an average of 6.5 percent in District courts across the 7th Circuit, Easterbrook said.

Confirming less drama

The highly charged political atmosphere surrounding federal court nominees seems like part of the Washington landscape. Lugar said it wasn’t always so.

Sharing an anecdote from early in his 36-year Senate career, Lugar recalled a federal judicial nominee was confirmed after a two-question Judiciary Committee hearing.

Lugar remembered the second question and final inquiry of the nominee from the committee chairman at the time: “Dick Lugar said you would be a good judge. Will you be a good judge?”

Returning in 2017

Indianapolis will next host the 7th Circuit Bar and Judicial Conference in 2017. The event will be in Chicago next year, Milwaukee in 2015, and Chicago in 2016. Organizers said an estimated 650 people attended the Indianapolis conference.•

– Marilyn Odendahl and Dave Stafford
 

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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