The IndyBar Professionalism Committee has named Magistrate Victoria Ransberger of Marion Superior Court the 2015 recipient of the Silver Gavel Award, while Ruth Johnson of the Marion County Public Defender Agency has been awarded the bar’s Professionalism Award.
Both will be honored at the upcoming IndyBar Professionalism Luncheon to be held on Thursday, September 24 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Conrad Indianapolis. The luncheon will also feature IndyCar team owner and driver Ed Carpenter as the keynote speaker. Registration for the luncheon can be found at indybar.org/events.
Magistrate Ransberger earned her B.A. from Purdue University and went on to attend the Indiana University School of Social Work in Indianapolis for her Masters in Social Work. She attended law school at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law while working at the Children’s Bureau, graduating from IU McKinney in 1987. She has served as a magistrate in Marion Superior Court since 1997. She has volunteered her time to the IndyBar and Indiana State Bar Association in a number of capacities and has also participated on various judicial committees.
Magistrate Ransberger’s nomination notes, “She is kind, patient and discerning, and she is always in control of her courtroom. She is a huge advocate for children of families who come before her. She has not allowed her many years in family law to jade her or cause her to become indifferent to the plight of children, rather she tirelessly advocates for them and protects them to whatever extent the law allows her.” Magistrate Ransberger was honored at the 2007 Juvenile Judges Symposium as the recipient of the Robert J. Kinsey Award for outstanding judicial service to the children and youth of Indiana.
Ruth Johnson was selected to receive the 2015 Professionalism Award. She serves as the Appellate Division Chief in the Marion County Public Defender Agency, where she oversees more than 400 criminal appeals each year. Prior to joining the Marion County Public Defender Agency, Johnson worked for 12 years as a Deputy State Public Defender. While also working closely with criminal trial judges and court reports, Johnson has initiated efforts to enhance civility among appellate public defenders and opposing counsel at the Office of the Indiana Attorney General. Her nomination notes, “Ruth leads by example and exemplifies professionalism in her practice whether she is dealing with judges, clients, co-workers or opposing counsel. She demonstrates great respect for everyone she comes in contact with regardless of the circumstances. She genuinely cares for the clients of the public defender agency and is always striving to improve our representation on their behalf.”
Johnson has also exhibited a commitment to pro bono and community service, serving as a volunteer guardian over the past three years. She is a member of the IndyBar’s Appellate Practice Section Executive Committee. She earned her J.D. from the Robert H. McKinney School of Law.•