200 W Washington Street, Room 421
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Leanna K. Weissmann was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Governor Eric Holcomb and began her service on September 14, 2020. She was retained in 2022.
Judge Weissmann graduated cum laude from Indiana University in 1991 with dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Journalism and English. As an undergraduate, she received the Indiana University alumni scholarship and the Louis B. Edwards Award of Excellence in Journalism. She then earned her law degree from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1994, graduating cum laude. From 1994-1995 she served as an appellate law clerk for Justice Robert D. Rucker (then judge for the Court of Appeals of Indiana).
Before joining the Court of Appeals, Judge Weissmann maintained a solo law practice in Lawrenceburg, Indiana for more than 20 years, representing criminal defendants and civil litigants in appellate litigation. In 2018, she participated in a successful petition to the United States Supreme Court to grant certiorari in Zanders v. Indiana, 138 S.Ct. 2702 (2018), a case involving a complex Fourth Amendment issue. She is a strong proponent of pro bono representation and ran a pro bono program through her appellate practice website that allowed needy participants to apply for free legal representation. A veteran of appellate advocacy, she briefed more than 400 appeals and participated in more than 20 oral arguments before the Indiana Court of Appeals and the Indiana Supreme Court.
Judge Weissmann served as a part-time judicial referee for Dearborn Superior Court 1 from 2000 to 2006, presiding over tenancy claims, small claims disputes, pro se civil trials, and initial hearings on criminal cases. In 2006, she was appointed by Governor Mitch Daniels as Trustee on the board of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI). She served in that capacity through 2008, helping to administer federal grant funds for criminal justice programs.
Her trial experience as an attorney includes three felony jury trials and hundreds of bench trials in the areas of collections, personal injury, custody issues, and real estate property boundaries. Judge Weissmann has also presided as a hearing officer over two attorney reinstatement cases.
She also served as an appellate advocate for Indiana’s Juvenile Defense Project, a program aimed at improving access to justice for juveniles facing potential incarceration. She has been a member of the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission since 2013, and, while chair of the Commission, she contributed to and organized the Commission’s first ethics advisory opinion. In 2017, she was named a Fellow by the Indiana Bar Foundation for her efforts with the economically disadvantaged. She also authored the article, “An Independent Judiciary, The Shield of a Free Society,” published in the American Bar Association Council of Appellate Lawyers’ newsletter, Appellate Issues.
Judge Weissmann is an active member of the Indiana State Bar Association (ISBA), currently serving as the 1st District Representative for the Appellate Practice Section and past-chair of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee; the Indianapolis Bar Association; Indianapolis Lawyers Club; the National Counsel of Law Disciplinary Board (NCLDB), and the National Organization of Bar Counsel (NOBC). She is co-chair of Hoosier CLE's Annual Indiana Law Survey; a frequent speaker and facilitator for the Public Defender Council and other organizations; and has presented for the NCLDB. She is a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts and the Indiana University Alumni Association.
A proponent of civics education, Judge Weissmann created a constitutional program for elementary school students in 2001, and she regularly presents it to local Indiana classrooms. Recently, Judge Weissmann researched and authored Emerging Adults: How Specialty Courts Can Provide Life Changing Intervention, 55 Ind. L. Rev. 53 (2022).
In her free time, Judge Weissmann likes to read, write poetry, listen to podcasts, spend time with her children, meditate, and teach free aerobics classes. She enjoys running and recently finished her fifteenth half-marathon.
Judge Weissmann has developed the following lessons where you can get to know the signers through role play: