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Theresa Lazar Springmann

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Title: Theresa Lazar Springmann  
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Subject: United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Notre Dame Law School
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Theresa Lazar Springmann

Theresa Lazar Springmann
Judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
Assumed office
Nominated by George W. Bush
Preceded by James T. Moody
Personal details
Born 1956
Gary, Indiana

Theresa Lazar Springmann (born 1956) is a District Judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. She joined the court in 2003 after being nominated by President George W. Bush.

Early life and education

Born in Gary, Indiana, as the third of four children and the granddaughter of immigrants from Ireland and Russia.[1] In 1977, Springmann graduated summa cum laude from Indiana University and later from Notre Dame Law School with a Juris Doctor degree in 1980.

Legal career

Following law school graduation, she worked as a law clerk for the Honorable James Tyne Moody in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana from 1980 to 1983. She was in private practice in Indiana from 1984 to 1995.

Federal Judicial Career

On the recommendation of Senator Richard Lugar, Springmann was nominated to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana by President George W. Bush on January 29, 2003 to a seat vacated by James Tyne Moody. Springmann was confirmed by the Senate on March 31, 2003 on a Senate vote and received her commission on June 24, 2003.

Notable rulings

In May 1997, a John M. Stephenson received a guilty verdict and death sentence for killing three people in Warrick County, Indiana. He appealed his case to the Indiana Supreme Court on the basis of "ineffective counsel" because his attorney didn't object to him wearing a stun belt in front of the jury that convicted him. In April 2007, the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously rejected his appeal.

After the Indiana Supreme Court rejected Stephenson's appeal, he took it to the federal level, where Judge Springmann overturned his guilty sentence and the death penalty in a 26-page ruling. She noted, "Due process mandates that John M. Stephenson is entitled to what he was denied: a trial without restraints".

The Indiana Attorney General, Greg Zoeller, said that he will appeal her order, either by asking her to reconsider or by taking it to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.[2]


  • Federal Judicial Center.


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