Memorial ceremony today to honor Magistrate Judge LaRue

Judges, staff and friends of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana will remember their colleague, Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue, at a special memorial ceremony this afternoon in recognition of her life, legal career, and judicial service.

The ceremony is open to the legal community and will begin at 3 p.m. in the William E. Steckler Ceremonial Courtroom (Courtroom 202) at the Birch Bayh Federal Buidling and U.S. Courthouse in Indianapolis. Speakers at the hourlong event include Chief Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson, Meg Kent, John H. Haskin, John R. Maley, Brian Welch, Brian D. Burbrink, Detra Lynn Mills, and Pastor Winterbourne Harrison-Jones. A musical selection will be presented by First Lady Jillian Harrison-Jones and Rev. Dennis Freeman.

LaRue, 59, died Aug. 2 after a battle with cancer.

“This memorial ceremony will allow the Court and legal community to publicly recognize and celebrate what we each experienced in our professional relationships with Judge LaRue: her grace, her generosity of spirit, and her abiding love and respect for the law,” Magnus-Stinson said.

LaRue was born in Indianapolis in 1958 and graduated cum laude from Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1989. She received her B.S. in Public Personnel-Labor Relations from Indiana University in 1980. Upon graduation from law school, LaRue worked as a staff attorney at the Indiana Civil Rights Commission. She entered private practice as an associate at what became Haskin & LaRue LLP in 1994 and became a partner two years later.

While in private practice, LaRue gained extensive experience litigating employment-related matters involving discrimination and retaliation claims under Title VII; the Americans with Disabilities Act; the Family and Medical Leave Act; and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. She also pursued claims asserting various constitutional violations of due process rights, free speech, and political association violations; wage and hour violations; and claims under an array of federal labor acts.

As a magistrate judge, she worked diligently with parties and attorneys to bring complex cases to settlement and determine an outcome acceptable to both sides. LaRue’s demeanor both in chambers and on the bench was calm, encouraging and fair. She addressed all who appeared before her with patience and equanimity.

LaRue was also active in the wider legal community. In addition to serving on the board of the Indiana Minority Health Coalition Inc., LaRue was a Life Member of the Marion County Bar Association and a Master with the Indianapolis American Inn of Court.

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