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Update: Professor who taught at Indy Law since 1977 dies

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Professor emeritus Henry C. Karlson, who taught criminal law at Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis for more than 30 years, died Monday of cancer.

Karlson, 67, started teaching at the law school in 1977, and retired in 2008. He continued to teach part-time after he retired. He was also a regular expert source for various media outlets in Indiana.

Prior to joining the law school, Karlson served eight years in the U.S. Army, where he served as a trial judge in Vietnam as a member of the U.S. Army Trial Judiciary. He also taught at the University of Illinois College of Law, where he received his J.D. in 1968, and LL.M. in 1977. He received his A.B. from the University of Illinois in 1965.

While at I.U. School of Law – Indianapolis, he taught criminal law, evidence, trial practice, and a seminar about child abuse.
He also co-authored a book on the subject of child abuse, wrote articles on the subject for a number of professional journals, and presented papers at more than 100 continuing legal education programs.

He was a member of a number of professional organizations, including the Association of Counsel for Children, the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the Order of the Coif, and was a former member of the Indiana Supreme Court Committee on Rules of Evidence, and the Board of Examiners of the National Board of Trial Advocacy.

“Henry Karlson was an important fixture at this law school for many years,” said Vice Dean Paul Cox, the Centennial Professor of law, in a statement the law school released.

“He was a teacher passionately dedicated to his students and passionately intent upon instilling in them dedication to the rule of law. He loved the law school, greatly contributing to its development and success. … He loved the law, greatly contributing both to its advancement and to the continuing education of the practicing bar. He was highly principled, and fearless in defending his principles. He was equally fearless in defending those he thought wronged. Henry’s passing is tragically premature. He will be greatly missed by his colleagues and his former students.”

Karlson is survived by his wife, Nancy; daughter, Elizabeth M. Karlson, who graduated from I.U. School of Law – Indianapolis in 2000; son, Henry C. Karlson III; and one grandson.

The viewing and funeral will take place Friday at Crown Hill Cemetery, 700 W. 38th St., Indianapolis.  The viewing will start at 11 a.m., followed by the funeral service at 1 p.m., according to Elizabeth Allington, a spokeswoman for the law school. Instead of flowers, she added, the family has asked that donations go to the Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation, 964 N. Pennsylvania St., Indianapolis, IN 46204, or to a cancer charity of the donor's choice.

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  • Henry Karlson
    Henry was an unforgetable professor who cared about his students. I wish I had understood half of what he said! A very accomplished and smart gentleman of the first order. I am sorry to see him go.
  • Henry Karlson
    Henry was a great Trial Advocacy professor. His passion & incisive analytical mind were inspiring to students. He was also an outspoken weirdo. I'll miss him.

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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