Meet the staff of IPDC
317-232-2321Bernice A. N. Corley is the Executive Director. As Executive Director, she assists in the managing of the agency and carrying out the policies established by the Board of Directors. Prior to joining the Public Defender Council, Ms. Corley served four years as General Counsel at the Department of Education and also served as legal counsel for both the Indiana Senate and Indiana House of Representatives. Her career includes clerking for Hon. Carr Darden. Ms. Corley served as a Marion County Public Defender Agency as trial counsel as well as appellate counsel
Assistant Executive Director
Michael Moore has served as the Assistant Executive Director for the Indiana Public Defender Council since 2018. Michael has represented indigent individuals since he joined the Marion County Public Defender Agency in 1999. Michael has represented indigent individuals in criminal defense and child welfare actions including criminal appeals, major felony matters, drug charges, juvenile delinquency, and child welfare/termination of parental rights actions. From 2010 to 2013, Michael served as the supervisor for the misdemeanor division of the Marion County Public Defender Agency where he trained and mentored newly admitted attorneys. In 2013, Michael joined the Indiana Department of Education where he served as the Director of the Office of Legal Affairs. He attended McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis. Prior to graduating from law school, Michael worked as an American Sign Language Interpreter and disability advocate.
Training & Research Staff
Diane Black is the Training Director. She is responsible for designing state-wide training programs for defenders in Indiana. Additionally, she trains attorneys in all regions of the state. Prior to joining the Council, Ms. Black was a public defender at the Marion County Public Defender Agency for 20 years. For the last 6 of those years, she developed training programs as well as trained 175 plus attorneys and staff. She is a member of NLADA, NAIDE, NAPD, NACDL, and the Indiana State Bar Association, sitting as a member on the Criminal Justice section.
Director of Research & Publication
Jack Kenney is the Research and Publications Director. Since 1994, he has enjoyed meeting IPDC members and providing assistance in all types of indigent cases and phases of litigation. Jack co-authored the 1995 edition of the Pretrial Manual as well as the Search and Seizure, Confessions, and Representing Clients with Mental Illness Handbooks. He also regularly updates IPDC's Casebank, Motions/Jury Instructions, as well as the Sentencing, Criminal Trial, and Evidence manuals. In addition to giving caselaw update presentations throughout Indiana, Jack writes a bi-monthly column for the state bar journal, Res Gestae. Before joining the Council, Jack worked in private practice in Elkhart and Indianapolis and worked for the Monroe County PD office while in law school. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, he graduated from Indiana University in 1989 and received his J.D. from I.U. School of Law, Bloomington, IN 1991.
Ruth is a research attorney with the Indiana Public Defender Council (IPDC) where she provides research and training to public defenders across the State of Indiana. Ruth’s public defender career includes representing clients in post-conviction relief proceedings and on direct appeal. For ten years Ruth served as Appellate Division Chief at the Marion County Public Defender Agency. Ruth serves on the Indianapolis Bar Association Appellate Practice executive committee and the Indiana State Bar Association, Appellate Section executive committee. In 2015, Ruth received the Indianapolis Bar Association Professionalism Award. In 2018, Ruth and IPDC’s training director, Diane Black, partnered with a licensed mental health professional to develop a Resiliency program for Public Defenders. The Resiliency program provides strategies for public defenders to stay strong in health and spirit as they navigate the daily barrage of inequities, roadblocks, and injustice. The Resiliency program has been provided free to public defenders across the State of Indiana and to other justice system partners statewide and nationally.
Joel C. Wieneke lives in Morgan County with his wife Cara, and two children. He is a former law clerk for the Honorable Judge Patricia A. Riley, and also had the pleasure of clerking one summer during law school for the Honorable Judge John G. Baker. He has served as a contract public defender with the Putnam Circuit Court and used to accept appointments through the State Public Defender's Office for trial, direct appeal, and post-conviction cases. He served two terms as a Board Member of the Indiana Public Defender Council. Currently, he is serving as the Post-Disposition Unit Coordinator for the Indiana Public Defender Council's, Juvenile Defense Project. When he is not practicing law, you can usually find him hanging with his boys, or wandering a forest.
Liz Houdek is a contract research attorney for the Indiana Public Defender Council and a contract appellate attorney for the Marion County Public Defender Agency. She started her career as a public defender representing trial clients at the Marion County Public Defender Agency in 2002. In 2005, she moved to the agency's Appellate Division and represented clients on appeal full-time until 2010 and then on a contract basis. Liz graduated from Indiana University's Maurer School of Law in 2002.
Suzy St. John
Suzy St. John joined the Indiana Public Defender Council in 2021 as a staff attorney helping develop training materials and providing legal research assistance. Suzy is a part-time contract appellate attorney and adjunct legal writing professor at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Suzy began her career in the Appellate Division of the Marion County Public Defender Agency. She has drafted hundreds of appellate briefs on federal and state constitutional law, statutory construction, the sufficiency of the evidence, trial procedure, and sentencing issues. Suzy’s cases have been featured in the Indianapolis Star, Wall Street Journal, and the opening monologue of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Before coming to IPDC, Suzy also spent time working as a staff attorney in the Indiana Supreme Court, where she assisted trial court judges across the state in revising pattern jury instructions and updating the Criminal Benchbook.
Julia Stevens is a Senior Staff Attorney at The Indiana Public Defender Council. Julia’s work at the council focuses on Child Welfare matters and At-Risk families and youth. Prior to joining IPDC, Julia worked at the Office of the Public Defender of Indiana practicing post-conviction relief. Julia began her career at the Marion County Public Defender Agency where she represented parents in CHINS/TPR matters. Julia worked for Marion County for five years. She has presented at several CLE programs and previously served on the Board of Directors for the Indiana Public Defender Council. Julia lives in Indianapolis with her fiancé and daughter and enjoys sewing and reading in her free time.
After working as a staff attorney in the Indiana Senate and serving as a deputy attorney general representing the State of Indiana in criminal appeals, Zach became an appellate public defender and ultimately a member of IPDC's legislative team. He graduated from Indiana University - McKinney School of Law in 2001 and Ball State University in 1997. A lifelong, fifth-generation Hoosier, Zach lives in Carmel with his wife and three children.