« Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today | Main | Ind. Decisions - More on "Lake Co. judge rules Indiana's right-to-work law unconstitutional " »

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ind. Courts - "Justice Rush praises pro bono efforts" and hands out annual awards

From the Lafayette Journal-Courier, some quotes from this story by Bill Engle:

Indiana Supreme Court Justice Loretta Hogan Rush ..., the second woman in Indiana history to be selected to the Indiana Supreme Court and a 1976 Richmond High School graduate, was featured speaker at the Whitewater Valley Pro Bono Commission’s 2013 awards luncheon at the Olde Richmond Inn. * * *

She said she has long been a proponent of pro bono work.

“Having been on both sides of the bench, seeing unrepresented litigants in court, especially in cases where children are involved, is heart-breaking,” she said.

She said pro bono continues to be vital statewide “in the face of an explosion of people appearing in court without representation.”

She said a recent statewide study indicated that 59 percent of those coming to court do so without a lawyer. She said two-thirds of those in small claims cases have no lawyer.

“Our system is based on justice for all but that becomes very challenging for those who cannot afford representation,” she said. “That’s why your volunteer work is so important. The path to truth and justice is often very difficult for people without means.” * * *

She handed out annual awards during the luncheon, including the Pro Bono Attorney of the Year to Bruce Metzger. Commission executive director Shane Edington said that Metzger was particularly valuable working several guardianship cases this year.

“His work for us was invaluable,” Edington said.

Metzger has volunteered for the commission for 10 years and served on its board of directors for three years.

“It’s something that’s very rewarding for me; to be able to help someone who really needs that help,” Metzger said.

Ray Ontko, president of Doxpop, was named Philanthropist of the Year.

“We’re delighted that we are able to do this,” Ontko said. “People deserve the best representation they can get and this organization ensures that that service is available to them.”

In the end, commission board president John Maley thanked Rush for her time and efforts.

“You inspire us and have made us so proud,” he said.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 19, 2013 08:29 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts