IndyBar: Recognition Awards Honor Indy’s Leading Legal Professionals

Each year, the IndyBar takes time to honor and celebrate local leaders with innovative ideas at the Indianapolis Bar Association and Foundation Recognition Luncheon. On Thursday, Nov. 13, join your colleagues at the Columbia Club at noon as we recognize the following individuals and initiatives that have made outstanding contributions to the legal profession. Registration for the event can be found at

The Board of Directors Award will be awarded to Richard Mann of Richard A. Mann PC for his work as the chair of the Family Law Section. Mann has excelled at sharing information with the section, especially with regard to the impact of HJR-3 and other same-sex marriage developments this year. Under Mann’s leadership, the Family Law Section has given timely communication updates to its members and has planned pertinent educational seminars. The section also sponsored this year’s Take a Law Student to Lunch event.

The Diversity Job Fair Committee will be recognized with the President’s Award for Service to the Profession for its record-breaking success at this year’s fair. Over 400 scheduled interviews by 28 employers took place, and 84 students registered along with 18 sponsors. The committee was led by Sara R. Blevins of Lewis & Kappes PC and also included Kimberly S. Adams, Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman PC; Roxana S. Bell, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP; Joseph R. Delamater, Delamater Law Office; Jon A. Ferguson, Indiana Department of Correction; Charise R. Frazier, Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman PC; Shelley M. Jackson, Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP; Dionne C. McCoy, WellPoint Inc.; Abigail T. Rom, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana; Edward D. Thomas, Lewis Wagner LLP; Chasity Q. Thompson, IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law; Lakesha D. Triggs, Office of the Attorney General; Kania D. Washington, Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis; and Camille T. Wiggins, Ice Miller LLP.

The recipient of the President’s Award for Service to the Association is John Kautzman of Ruckelshaus Kautzman Blackwell Bemis & Hasbrook for his work leading the IndyBar’s Justice Center Task Force. Kautzman kept communication open with the city when the plan to build a new criminal justice center was announced and has since ensured that the lines of communication stay open as plans continue to develop. He has established the bar as a stakeholder in this project and has organized two town hall forums to allow members to ask questions and share ideas with city representatives.

Receiving the Young Lawyer of the Year Award is Ronan Johnson, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP. Johnson currently serves as chair of the Young Lawyers Division and has been instrumental in the division’s success this year, including planning the inaugural Intro to Indy series.

The following recipients will be honored with the Pro Bono Awards for their efforts on behalf of the Indianapolis community:

Law Firm: Richard A. Mann PC

Attorneys in this firm support pro bono service in a variety of ways. Through the Marion County Juvenile Court, they volunteer as Guardians Ad Litem (GAL) in juvenile delinquent (JD) cases and serve as GALs for incapacitated adult parties in Child in Need of Services or JD cases. Year after year, attorneys from the firm volunteer for Ask a Lawyer or take family law cases through the IndyBar/Indiana Legal Aid Society referral program. Rick takes his own time to help recruit volunteers to support that effort through personal outreach and as the chair of the Family Law Section. But most notably is the firm’s support of Kids’ Voice of Indiana. In 2014 alone, the firm spent 240 hours on GAL cases.

Attorney Aiding Individuals: Jacqueline Pimentel Gannon, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP

In her three years at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Jacqueline has contributed over 500 hours of service. She volunteers for the IndyBar’s Ask a Lawyer program, for the Low Asset Wills program and for the firm’s EMBRACE program. She prepared wills and advance directives for a Lilly/Faegre clinic held at Eskenazi Health and for the recent Wills for Heroes program. Jacqueline has secured guardianships through the firm’s medical legal partnership and through the McKinney Health and Human Rights clinic. She’s handled Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) cases with the National Immigrant Justice Center. The Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic has also benefitted from her generosity: she participated in their green card refugee adjustment clinic and their Homeowner Property Tax Clinic.


Paralegal: Debi Binkley, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

Debi has served as a site coordinator for the Ask a Lawyer program for several years now, making both attorney volunteers and potentially nervous members of the public feel comfortable. She has often stepped in to pitch in when others have conflicts. She helps recruit and train other paralegals for the role and thinks strategically about how to serve more people and how to make the program better. Debi also gives of her time by serving on the IndyBar Paralegal Committee.

Law Student: Tyler Smith, Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

Tyler has recorded a contribution of 375 pro bono hours through the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic’s Expungement Help Desk at the City-County Building. He has helped hundreds of people navigate the complex expungement law in an effort to move beyond their criminal record and make a better life for themselves. While he goes to school in the evenings, he is a student ambassador for the Admissions office and serves on the Executive Board of IU McKinney’s Professional Responsibility Association.•

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