Pirates on trial - mock trial, that is

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Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law professor George Edwards posed the question, “What would you do if a pirate were to appear as a piracy defendant in your courtroom?” to a group of Indiana judges this summer. Serving as a professor at the Indiana Judges Graduate Program held June 3 – 7 in Nashville, Ind., Edwards led 30 state court judges through a mock trial designed to demonstrate how international law is relevant to Indiana law and practice.

Judges played the roles of prosecutors, defense counsel, witnesses and judges in a mock case involving two young Somali citizens who were charged with engaging in piracy of an Indiana ship attacked while sailing off the coast of East Africa. The hearing focused on whether an Indiana state court could conduct a trial involving the alleged pirates, Somali twins who claimed to be juveniles. Participants argued points of international human rights law, U.S. constitutional law, and Indiana criminal law and procedures.

The Indiana Graduate Program for Judges is sponsored by the Indiana Judicial Center and is part of an effort to promote continuing education for judges.

judges-photo-june-2012-15col.jpg (Photo submitted)

Shown here in the front row (from left) are Senior Judge Betty Barteau, Indiana Justice Robert Rucker, Hamilton Superior Judge Gail Bardach, Vanderburgh Superior Judge Richard D’Amour, Elkhart Superior Judge Stephen Bowers, Edwards, Madison Superior Judge G. George Pancol, Cass Superior Judge Rick Maughmer, Tippecanoe Superior Judge Michael Morrissey, Marion Superior Judge Carol Orbison, Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Elaine Brown, Allen Superior Magistrate Marcia Linsky, Hendricks Superior Judge Stephenie LeMay-Luken, LaPorte Superior Judge Kathleen Lang, LaPorte Circuit Magistrate Greta Friedman, Lake Superior Magistrate Michael Pagano, and Lake Superior Judge Elizabeth Tavitas.

In the back row (from left) are Marion Superior Judge James Osborn, Indiana Court of Appeals Judge John Baker, Dearborn Superior Judge Jonathan Cleary, Indiana Justice Frank Sullivan Jr., Jasper Superior Judge James Ahler, Benton Circuit Judge Rex Kepner, Johnson Superior Judge Kevin Barton, Clark Circuit Judge Jerry Jacobi, LaPorte Superior Judge Richard Stalbrink, Hamilton Circuit Judge Paul Felix, Noble Superior Judge Robert Kirsch, Bartholomew Superior Judge Kathleen Coriden, DeKalb Superior Judge Monte Brown, Marion Superior Magistrate Geoffrey Gaither, and I.U. Maurer School of Law professor Charles Geyh.

Standing on the back porch (from left) are Rt. Hon. Lord Iain Bonomy of Scotland, New York Law School Professor Edward Purcell, Putnam Circuit Judge Matthew Headley, Senior Judge Randall T. Shepard, Monroe Circuit Judge Valeri Haughton, Allen Superior Judge Fran Gull, and Marion Superior Judge Marc Rothenberg.•


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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues