Magistrate Judge LaRue dies, leaves legacy of ‘compassionate insight’

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Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, described as being compassionate toward litigants in her court, died Wednesday.

LaRue, born in 1958, was appointed to the court May 11, 2011, filling a new magistrate judgeship that had been created for the Southern District by the Judicial Conference of the United States. She was the only African-American female magistrate judge in the Southern District of Indiana.

“Judge LaRue leaves a legacy of compassionate insight into the problems faced by litigants in our court,” said Chief Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson. “She had an unparalleled ability to identify their concerns, some of which had less to do with the law than with their personal circumstances.”

LaRue graduated cum laude from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1989. She worked as a staff attorney at the Indiana Civil Rights Commission then entered private practice with the law firm that became Haskin & LaRue LLP.

“She was an outstanding person and colleague,” said fellow Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker. “There was no pretense about her. Her passing is a tremendous loss.”

She was also a life member of the Marion County Bar Association and a Master with the Indianapolis American Inn of Court.

In honor of LaRue, flags at federal courthouses throughout the Southern District of Indiana were lowered to half-staff and will remain so through the end of the week.

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