The Sagamore American Inn of Court
About the Sagamore Inn of Court
The Sagamore American Inn of Court was founded in 1997 by
Indiana Supreme Court Justice Brent E. Dickson, Marion County,
Indiana Judge David J. Dreyer and Indianapolis attorney William F.
Conour. The name "Sagamore" was chosen because history area native
Americans used the term to refer to a person known for wisdom and
sage advice. One of the highest honors an Indiana Governor
can bestow upon a citizen is that of "Sagamore of the
The Sagamore Inn was founded to offer a forum where younger and
seasoned attorneys or judges could meet to discuss ethical issues
relating to the practice of law. Delaware Supreme Court Justice
Randall Holland, now former president of the national American Inns
of Court Foundation, addressed the initial organizational meeting
with prospective organizers. From that point, we progressed
to formal organization and held our inaugural meeting on March 18,
1998. The Sagamore Inn became the 314th American Inn of
Court, in a movement that has now grown to nearly 400 Inns
Sagamore Inn of Court Membership
Sagamore Inn members are divided into eight teams that represent
a cross section of Indianapolis' legal community. Each team
typically includes at least one judge, two senior attorneys, two
mid-career attorneys, three relatively new attorneys and one or two
law students. Each team is responsible for presenting an
educational program to the other Inn members and invited guests.
The program is developed at monthly luncheon or breakfast meetings
with the team members. The final program generally includes "skits"
that are followed by an open discussion in which all Inn members
are encouraged to participate.
Sagamore Inn of Court Pupillage Teams
Traditional Team Format
- 1 Pupil
- 2 or 3 Associates
- 3 or 4 Barristers
- 2 or 3 Attorney Benchers
- 1 or 2 Judge Bencher
Pupils are third year law students from the
Indiana University/Purdue University School of Law. Student
Associates are invited to participate in the Inn based on
leadership qualities, on- and off-campus activities, and general
interests. Student associates serve a term of one year.
Associates are recent law school graduates or
recently admitted lawyers in their early years of practice.
Attorney associates serve two year terms.
Barristers are experienced litigation attorneys
that have been practicing law for at least 5 years. Barristers
serve five year terms.
Masters of the Bench ("Benchers") are seasoned
judges, attorneys and law professors of demonstrated superior
character, ability and excellence in litigation and in the legal
profession with at least 15 years experience. Benchers serve
indefinite terms, subject to the discretion of the Executive
Emeritus Members are masters who have resigned
from active membership in the Inn but who wish to maintain an
ongoing relationship with the Inn.
The Inn meets on a monthly basis from September through
November, and from January through May, at the Indiana University
School of Law at Indianapolis. After a catered dinner, the monthly
brief business meeting and 60 minute substantive program are held
in the moot courtroom of the law school. A joint meeting is
often held one time per year with the Indianapolis Inn of Court,
our fellow Inn, during the summer months.