Former Zionsville mayor named to Indiana Task Force on Public Defense


Jeff Papa, an attorney at Barnes & Thornburg LLP, was recently invited to join a task force looking to study the current public defense system in Indiana.

The Indiana Public Defender Commission is tasked with making recommendations regarding the provision of indigent defense in Indiana, and has formed a group of 17 individuals that will be “an independent body comprised of individuals with current or past experience from all three branches of government, law schools, the private bar, public defense agencies, sheriffs, prosecutors and other stakeholder groups,” according to an August announcement.

It will also include a team of local and national advisors to provide consultation on potential solutions to improve Indiana’s system of defense.

Papa is a former Zionsville mayor and town councilman and recently returned to Barnes & Thornburg after resigning from the Town Council in June. He worked in immigration law during his seven-year stint at the firm in the early 2000s and returned to focus on immigration work this year.

“There are a lot of intersections with immigration law,” he said. “Having someone familiar with how that system works will be helpful as we’re going and looking through what defense would be provided.”

He joins members including an Indiana Supreme Court justice, the vice president of the Indiana Judges Association, an Indiana State House representative, a Valparaiso law professor, the project director at Indiana Legal Services and others.

See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for full story.

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