Indiana State University Newsroom

Magna Carta symposium, continuing legal education event planned at Indiana State

June 29, 2015

The 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta and the document's impact are the foundation of a legal seminar planned for Indiana State University.

The "Symposium on the Magna Carta and the Rule of Law" is scheduled for 1-4:30 p.m. Sept. 15 in the Magna Carta Room in Federal Hall. Organizers say the room, a federal courtroom for more than 70 years, is an appropriate setting for the event because of its large triptych mural depicting the signing of the Magna Carta at Runnymeade by King John of England in 1215.

The event is sponsored by the Historical Society of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, the Indiana State Bar Association and the Terre Haute Bar Association. Loretta Rush, chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, is among the notable speakers scheduled to participate.

Rush, Indiana's first female chief justice, will offer her reflections on the Magna Carta and is expected to take questions from the audience. Also participating will be Frank Sullivan Jr., a former member of the Indiana Supreme Court and a professor at Indiana University's McKinney School of Law. Sullivan plans to travel this summer to Runnymeade as part of the American Bar Association's commemoration of the octocentennial of the Magna Carta and share highlights at the symposium.

John Laramore, executive director of Indiana Legal Services, will moderate a panel entitled "The Magna Carta and the Rule of Law Today." Panel members will include U.S. District Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson, U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler, Vigo County Superior Court Judge Lakshmi Reddy and notable Terre Haute attorney Jessie Cook. Steven Stofferahn, associate professor of history at Indiana State, will discuss myths and truths of the Magna Carta and Doria Lynch, court historian, will discuss the Magna Carta triptych and the history of the former federal courthouse in Terre Haute.

"This is going to be a dynamic symposium," said U.S. Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker, one of the symposium's co-chairs. "We have assembled an amazing array of talented and interesting speakers, who will share their considerable knowledge with the audience. I am very much forward to the event."

Rush's remarks will conclude the seminar and will be followed by a reception at 4:30 p.m. for those in attendance.

Rounding out the program will be remarks by Indiana State University President Dan Bradley, Indiana State Bar Association President Jeff R. Hawkins, Terre Haute Bar Association President Brittany Bennett, and Craig M. McKee, a Terre Haute attorney and part-time U.S. magistrate judge.

Organizers are applying for three hours of continuing legal education credit for the program. Seating is limited. Anyone interested in registering for the event may email Bennett at The agenda for the symposium is available at

Photo: 2013/i-G5sMZpF/0/X3/03_14_13_naturalization_ceremony-1422-X3.jpg - A mural depicting the signing of the Magna Carta adorns one wall of the Magna Cartra Room in Indiana State University's Federal Hall, a building which formerly served as a federal courthouse.

Photo: - Loretta Rush, chief justice, Indiana Supreme Court

Contact: Brittany Bennett, president, Terre Haute Bar Assocaiton, or Doria Lynch, court historian, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, 317-229-3739 or