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IBA: Committee stresses civility, member outreach

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Mentoring and assisting lawyers of all ages and experiences are among the goals of the 2010 IBA Standing Committee on Professionalism, according to the 2010 committee chairs, Hon. William T. Lawrence, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, and Kathleen I. Hart, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP.

The outreach is geared toward promoting civility inside and outside the legal community. Among the committee's efforts this year will be to co-host the second Mentors Who Matter Luncheon, which was begun last year to foster and recognize mentoring relationships.

The committee also will be focusing this year on lawyers in transition, an effort that was begun in 2009 under the direction of then co-chairs Hon. Sarah Evans Barker, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, and Sally Zweig, Katz & Korin PC.

A packet of information about starting a law practice was compiled by the committee for lawyers who have recently found their careers in transition; it is available at www.indybar.org by clicking on Professionalism.

Additional outreach to lawyers in transition may include a resume database hosted by the IBA and other programming to assist lawyers who have changed the nature of their practice or pursued non-traditional careers.

In addition, the committee will continue a feature in the IBA's newsletter pages in the Indiana Lawyer newspaper called "Nod to Professionalism," aimed at recognizing lawyers for their commitment to the IBA's standards of professionalism. The standards denote five categories: commitment, character, competence, courtesy in client advocacy and community service.

Zweig is joined on the 2010 committee by: Jerry A. Barr, Krieg DeVault LLP; A. Richard M. Blaiklock, Lewis Wagner LLP; Sonia S. Chen, Bingham McHale LLP; James Dimos, Frost Brown Todd LLP; William M. "Terry" Horne, Attorney at Law; Ann Carr Mackey, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP; Patrick W. Price, Barnes & Thornburg LLP; Roberta Sabin Recker, Baker & Daniels LLP; Gary Roberts, Dean of the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis; Richard E. Shevitz, Cohen & Malad LLP; and Hon. Gerald S. Zore, Marion Superior Court.

IBA leadership, aided by grants from the Indianapolis Bar Foundation, made a commitment several years ago to reduce imagerelated barriers that may keep some from obtaining legal advice and/or create distance in attorneyclient relationships, and to promote professionalism and civility in lawyer-to-lawyer relationships. A professionalism coordinator was appointed by the IBA board and later the effort was assigned to a standing committee.

The IBA's professionalism accomplishments were recognized in 2007 by the American Bar Association with the E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award. Among them are the creation of the Bar Leader Series; re-affirming, printing and distributing the Tenets of Professional Courtesy, now called the Standards of Professionalism; development of the Applied Professionalism Course; various course offerings to law students and attorneys, such as "Surviving and Thriving in the Practice of Law"; and presenting an annual report on professionalism to the Indianapolis Bar Association's board of directors.

An annual IBA Professionalism Award also was established in 2004 to recognize exceptional meritorious achievement by an attorney or judge widely accepted by his or her peers as having consistently modeled the spirit of the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct.

Watch for more information to come soon on professionalism programs. If you have any suggestions for the professionalism committee, e-mail iba@indybar.org.

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  1. Indianapolis employers harassment among minorities AFRICAN Americans needs to be discussed the metro Indianapolis area is horrible when it comes to harassing African American employees especially in the local healthcare facilities. Racially profiling in the workplace is an major issue. Please make it better because I'm many civil rights leaders would come here and justify that Indiana is a state the WORKS only applies to Caucasian Americans especially in Hamilton county. Indiana targets African Americans in the workplace so when governor pence is trying to convince people to vote for him this would be awesome publicity for the Presidency Elections.

  2. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  3. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  4. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  5. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

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