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Abrams: Sections, Committees and Divisions, Oh My!

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jeff abrams ibaEach quarter, I have the opportunity to listen to the chairs of all the Indianapolis Bar Association’s sections, committees and divisions describe accomplishments they have achieved during the past quarter as well as forecast great things to come throughout the balance of the year. There is some amazing work done by these groups – not all of which is known to our members. In an effort to toot the horn of their hard work, please note the following accomplishments of just a few of our many sections, divisions and committees:

Alternative Dispute Resolution Section – On Sept. 26, volunteers from the ADR section will work at their fifth annual Mediation Day. These volunteers will donate their time and skills to mediate several cases for litigants who qualify for modest means mediation. They will work in multiple offices made available through the generosity of Barnes & Thornburg.

Estate Planning & Administration Section – They have partnered with financial planners to enhance the business development opportunities for their members. One way they are doing this is by providing Certified Financial Planning (CFP) credit hours in addition to CLE credit hours at seminars scheduled in 2014.

Environmental Law Section – Environmental consultants will attend a CLE on Sept. 17 (with libations to follow) where they will actually sample contaminated property and describe the process to all the attendees. This would be an excellent CLE for Real Estate & Land Use Section members and Business Law Section members to attend.

Government Practice Section – This section has an interesting CLE scheduled for Oct. 9 called “Why Can’t I Buy Beer on Sunday? An Overview of Indiana Alcohol Laws Compared to Other States.” A social reception will follow including – you guessed it – a beer and wine tasting with appetizers.

Health Care & Life Sciences Section – This section is partnering with the Indy Attorneys Network Section for a Handlebar Bike Social and CLE on Aug. 19. This is another great way to connect members of different sections and get to know attorneys in all areas of law.

Intellectual Property Section – They are seeking lawyers to join their executive committee to provide leadership for the future. If you are interested, please reach out to Connie Lindman at SmithAmundsen LLC, 464-4102. (Sorry for the Public Service Announcement but I need to occasionally have a philanthropic bent.)

Labor & Employment Law Section – They are scheduling an Employment Law Seminar for small business owners on Nov. 13 to network with a group of potential clients.

Paralegal Committee – They have decided to organize a reception on Oct. 2 to thank the many sponsors that have helped make their successes economically feasible. This is a great idea to thank the people that help make our lives much easier.

Criminal Justice Section – They have been extremely busy educating lawyers who have been in practice for 10, 20, 30 and 40 years on the radical changes to the Criminal Code that were adopted this year.

Family Law Section – They creatively obtained sponsors for their CLE seminars so that they could fund a section Indians Game outing and a holiday party. This is an ingenious effort to combine CLE with social enjoyment at no cost to its members.

Tax Section - They have a great seminar for later this year called Accounting for Lawyers: Part Two. They have also solicited volunteers from their section to provide pro bono advice to clients of the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic.

Real Estate & Land Use Section – This section has spent a considerable amount of time working with the City of Indianapolis on the proposed rezoning ordinance and have paired with a title insurance company for a couple of CLE seminars later this year.

Indy Attorneys Network Section – They continue to grow their membership each week and have partnered with other groups and sections for CLE and social events.

Women And The Law Division – They had an outstanding summer reception and have strong philanthropic efforts in support of Dream Dinners, where they make meals for The Julian Center and Embrace.

Litigation Section – Nov. 12 will be the 2014 Judicial Reception where judges and litigators can spend time in a related social atmosphere.

Public Outreach Committee – This committee will sponsor a voter registration presentation and student representative election for 8th graders this fall. At the presentation, they explain voter information (registration, ID to vote, voting within the correct precinct), students declare a candidacy to run for 8th Grade Student Representative, elections are held and the winning candidate is announced.

Lawyer To Business Committee – Jimmie McMillian and committee members from several IndyBar sections and divisions have planned an outstanding social event scheduled for Aug. 28. IndyBar members are invited to join members of the Indiana CPA Society at the Market Table at the Alexander Hotel for a networking night. It will be from 5 to 7 p.m. and we will be able to meet accountants who will hopefully lead to future referrals on both ends – for us to give our clients and for them to refer us. This is the first Lawyer to Business Networking Reception and there will be several more over the next six months.

As you can see, there is a lot going on and there is bound to be something that piques your interest. Please don’t be a wallflower and get involved! Enjoy the fruits of the hard work of our members.•

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  1. Falk said “At this point, at this minute, we’ll savor this particular victory.” “It certainly is a historic week on this front,” Cockrum said. “What a delight ... “Happy Independence Day to the women of the state of Indiana,” WOW. So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)

  2. congratulations on such balanced journalism; I also love how fetus disposal affects women's health protection, as covered by Roe...

  3. It truly sickens me every time a case is compared to mine. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld my convictions based on a finding of “hidden threats.” The term “hidden threat” never appeared until the opinion in Brewington so I had no way of knowing I was on trial for making hidden threats because Dearborn County Prosecutor F Aaron Negangard argued the First Amendment didn't protect lies. Negangard convened a grand jury to investigate me for making “over the top” and “unsubstantiated” statements about court officials, not hidden threats of violence. My indictments and convictions were so vague, the Indiana Court of Appeals made no mention of hidden threats when they upheld my convictions. Despite my public defender’s closing arguments stating he was unsure of exactly what conduct the prosecution deemed to be unlawful, Rush found that my lawyer’s trial strategy waived my right to the fundamental error of being tried for criminal defamation because my lawyer employed a strategy that attempted to take advantage of Negangard's unconstitutional criminal defamation prosecution against me. Rush’s opinion stated the prosecution argued two grounds for conviction one constitutional and one not, however the constitutional true threat “argument” consistently of only a blanket reading of subsection 1 of the intimidation statute during closing arguments, making it impossible to build any kind of defense. Of course intent was impossible for my attorney to argue because my attorney, Rush County Chief Public Defender Bryan Barrett refused to meet with me prior to trial. The record is littered with examples of where I made my concerns known to the trial judge that I didn’t know the charges against me, I did not have access to evidence, all while my public defender refused to meet with me. Special Judge Brian Hill, from Rush Superior Court, refused to address the issue with my public defender and marched me to trial without access to evidence or an understanding of the indictments against me. Just recently the Indiana Public Access Counselor found that four over four years Judge Hill has erroneously denied access to the grand jury audio from my case, the most likely reason being the transcription of the grand jury proceedings omitted portions of the official audio record. The bottom line is any intimidation case involves an action or statement that is debatably a threat of physical violence. There were no such statements in my case. The Indiana Supreme Court took partial statements I made over a period of 41 months and literally connected them with dots… to give the appearance that the statements were made within the same timeframe and then claimed a person similarly situated would find the statements intimidating while intentionally leaving out surrounding contextual factors. Even holding the similarly situated test was to be used in my case, the prosecution argued that the only intent of my public writings was to subject the “victims” to ridicule and hatred so a similarly situated jury instruction wouldn't even have applied in my case. Chief Justice Rush wrote the opinion while Rush continued to sit on a committee with one of the alleged victims in my trial and one of the judges in my divorce, just as she'd done for the previous 7+ years. All of this information, including the recent PAC opinion against the Dearborn Superior Court II can be found on my blog www.danbrewington.blogspot.com.

  4. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  5. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

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