History of the Porter County Inn of Court
The Porter County Inn conducted an organizational meeting May
25, 1993 under the guidance of the Honorable Howard T. Markey, the
Dean of the John Marshall School of Law. Judge Markey is one of the
founders of the Inn movement in the United States.
Initiating the Inn concept in Porter County was Thomas Wombwell,
a solo law practitioner in Valparaiso. Thom, a participant in the
Valparaiso University School of Law Cambridge England 1991 summer
program, visited the London Inner Temple Inn. Returning home to
Valparaiso and curious about the Inn movement in the United States,
Thom sought out Dean Edward Gaffney for information. Dean Gaffney,
supporting the Inn concept, provided Thom with written information
about the Inn movement in the United States and material on how
formation of an Inn was accomplished. Armed with this information,
Thom, at the April 1993, Porter County Bar Association meeting
brought up the Inn issue for consideration.
Judge Thomas Webber, independent of Thom Wombwell had been
studying the Inn of Court concept, supported the motion that the
Porter County Bar Association sponsor a Porter County Inn. The
motion was approved. Judge Webber and Thomas Wombwell were
appointed to a committee along with Ronald Nelson, Donald Evans,
Del Hoeppner, Dolores Aylesworth and Heidi Jark to determine lawyer
interest and if warranted, to plan an Inn organizational meeting.
"Seed" money was also provided if needed.
The Committee chaired by Judge Webber determined the bar of
northwest Indiana had a genuine interest in the formation of an Inn
of Court. The committee then proceeded to coordinate an
organizational meeting. Dean Gaffney assisted the committee by
arranging for Judge Markey's appearance and guidance at the
organizational meeting which was held in Judge Webber's courtroom
on May 25, 1993. Subsequent to the organizational meeting a charter
was obtained chartering the Porter County Inn as the third Inn in
Indiana and the 209th Inn in the United States. The first meeting
of the newly organized Inn was held on September 8, 1993 also in
Judge Webber's courtroom.