Each year, the IndyBar Women and the Law Division presents the Antoinette Dakin Leach Award to recognize the accomplishments of a female attorney in central Indiana. The award is named in honor of Antoinette Dakin Leach, one of the first women admitted to the Indiana Bar.
The spirit of Antoinette Dakin Leach lives on through each award winner and this year’s recipient, Chief Judge Robyn L. Moberly of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana. She embodies the definition of a "trailblazer" in the legal profession, being Indiana's first female to be appointed to the federal bankruptcy bench when she began a 14-year term on the court in November 2012. She's taken on leadership roles that aren't typically held by women and has demonstrated an admirable commitment to our legal community.
Prior to her service on the federal bench, Judge Moberly spent time on the trial court bench in Marion County, where she focused specifically on domestic violence, major felony and civil cases. According to her nominator, she pushed for change in public interest, even if her colleagues weren't receptive.
Chief Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is a long-time friend and colleague of Judge Moberly and says she admires her diligent attitude, especially through what some considered to be an extremely tough time for women in the legal profession: the '80s and '90s. "She is grounded in family, community and service. While my hope is that the difficulty of balancing professional accomplishment and family responsibility will become less of a tightrope walk for future women lawyers, it was tough during that time," Judge Magnus-Stinson said.
Judge Magnus-Stinson also commends Judge Moberly for her work to improve the judicial system and the bar. She drafted a significant portion of the Parenting Time Guidelines and the parental relocation legislation. She's served in multiple roles on various committees of the Indiana Judicial Conference as well as the Marion Superior Family Court Project, and served on the Board of Directors and as president of the Indianapolis Bar Association.
Judge Moberly will be honored at the annual Antoinette Dakin Leach Award Luncheon, to be held this fall.