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Prominent family law attorney dies

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A well-known and longtime family law attorney in Indianapolis died July 7 at the age of 80.

James A. Buck ran a prominent family law practice in Indianapolis, where he successfully tried a number of precedent-setting cases. Buck was also the expert handicapper in the trial to determine whether pari-mutuel betting on horse races was “sport” or “gambling.”

Darryn L. Duchon, a family law attorney who’s worked with Buck since 1987, said the family law community and the general legal community will miss him.

“Jim had a really good personality in that he could talk to the courts and had a presence about himself that made him a great litigator,” Duchon said. “He had a balance between being funny and serious and being effective, and it made him a great attorney.”

Duchon said Buck was working part-time and came into the office a few weeks ago while Duchon was on vacation. He said Buck was walking his dog and lost consciousness and medical workers were unable to revive him.

Besides his family law practice, Buck served as chairman of family law for Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, commissioner for Marion County Probate Court, counsel and legal deputy for the Marion County Sheriff and many other positions. Outside of the legal world, he was the “Coin Columnist” for the Indianapolis Star newspaper for 25 years and loved sharing stories and jokes with people he and his dog, Barney, met during their many walks.

He earned his law degree from Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis in 1959 and his undergraduate degree from Butler University in 1951. He served his country as a captain and paratrooper in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, earning a Bronze Star.

He is survived by his wife Jeri, daughter Cheryl (Ken) Carpenter; son Jeff (Greta) Buck; and several grandchildren. Visitation is today from 4 to 8 p.m. at Flanner Buchanan Funeral Center in Broad Ripple. Funeral services will be held there at 10 a.m. Tuesday. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to American Diabetes Association.
 

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