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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Eunice Trotter, former News-Sentinel editor, to participate in Supreme Court history program

From Dave Remondini, Chief Counsel to the Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court:
Descendants of Mary Clark, a black woman who played a key role in the Indiana Supreme Court's 19th century decisions regarding slavery, will tell her dramatic story in the Indiana Supreme Court chambers on Friday, October 14, 2005 at 2 p.m., Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard announced today.

Clark's descendants will join two other presenters in an hour long event showcasing the Court's efforts to develop new ways to access information about Indiana's legal past including: a searchable database of early Indiana cases, dramatic re-enactments about the lives of key figures in Indiana legal history, and a new biography series about Indiana lawyers and judges.

The event is part of a new Supreme Court-sponsored lecture series aimed at addressing legal topics of current interest to lawyers, judges, educators, and citizens in a variety of formats. Each talk will be free and open to the public.

Chief Justice Shepard will introduce this inaugural lecture and the speakers. Douglas Fivecoat, the editor of a new biography on Isaac Blackford, will provide insights on the longest serving judge of the Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana's first Speaker of the House. His remarks will cover Blackford both as a jurist and as a prominent participant in Indiana's formative years. Vicki Casteel, from the Indiana State Archives, will demonstrate a new database that for the first time allows electronic searches for Indiana Supreme Court cases from 1816 to approximately 1862 - covering Blackford's entire career on the Court. The final panelists, Ethel McCane and Eunice Trotter, are direct descendants of Mary Clark. In re Clark is one of the most important pre-Civil War cases heard by the Court. In Clark, the Court struck down indentures binding Mary Clark, a black woman, to a white man.

Accessing Indiana's Legal Past is sponsored by the Indiana Supreme Court "Courts in the Classroom" Project and the Indiana State Archives. The seminar will take place from 2-3 p.m. in the recently renovated Supreme Court chambers on the third floor of the State House. Light refreshments will follow.

One hour of free Continuing Legal Education credit has been approved, which also qualifies for credit for newly admitted attorneys.

The event will webcast "live" at www.in.gov/judiciary/webcast. Visit the "Courts in the Classroom" website for information about the book Isaac Blackford: Indiana's Blackstone, the database created by the Indiana State Archives, and for documents relating to In re Clark. www.in.gov/judiciary/citc
Eunice Trotter was formerly the Associate Editor of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel. She now works for the Indianapolis STAR. David Remondini was formerly a reporter for the Indianapolis STAR, where he served 15 years.

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