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.


  • 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. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.