Courts in the Classroom
Supreme Court of Indiana
Division of State Court Administration
30 S. Meridian Street, Ste 500
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Dr. Elizabeth R. Osborn
Coordinator for
Court History and
Public Education Programs

Pho: 317.233.8682

Sarah Kidwell
Outreach Coordinator

Pho: 317.234.3055


Outstanding Public
History Project Award
from the National Council
on Public History

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Courts in the Classroom > Legal History Lecture Series > Gideon turns 50, but Webb v. Baird is 159 Gideon turns 50, but Webb v. Baird is 159: Indiana's Public Defender System


The Indiana Supreme Court held a free CLE event, "Gideon turns 50, but Webb v. Baird is 159:  Indiana's Public Defender System," on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 from 3:00 - 4:30 pm in the Supreme Court.

This is a free CLE event sponsored by the Indiana Supreme Court Legal History Lecture Series, the Indiana Public Defender Council, and the Indiana Public Defender Commission. The program is also supported by the Indiana Commission for Continuing Legal Education. It has been assigned course number 163160 for 1.5 hours. Registration will be completed at the door.

Event Video

About the Event

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, this CLE lecture will highlight the evolution of Indiana’s public defender system.

We will begin with a brief summary of Webb v. Baird—the 1854 Indiana case that gave criminal defendants the right to counsel even if they couldn’t afford it. 

Next, Senior Judge Carr Darden who served as a trial level public defender and as the Chief Deputy State Public Defender before being elected to the trial bench and then appointed to the Indiana Court of Appeals, will highlight his 20 year career as public defender: As a part-time public defender, he grappled with high caseloads, the “politics” of working as an at-will employee of the trial court judge, somehow developing proficiency as a trial lawyer while managing a private practice.

Deborah Neal, the Indiana Public Defender Commission, will follow with a discussion of a critical phase in the evolution of public defenders. She will talk about the standards promulgated by the Commission to improve the quality of county public defender systems.

Then, chief Public Defender Jim Abbs, Chief PD in Noble County, will discuss the impact the Commission Standards had in his county.

Finally, Larry Landis, Indiana Public Defender Council, will assess the current state of Indiana’s public defender system and make observations about what the next 150 years might bring. 

Supporting Materials