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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. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  2. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  3. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  4. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  5. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

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