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Sidebars: Get down to business at Palomino

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Now it's time to get serious. During the past couple of years writing this column Jenny and I have had a great deal of fun. If you readers enjoy our contribution to the Indiana Lawyer only half as much as we do then this article serves its intended purpose - a break from the hard-nosed realities of practicing law.

A vast majority of readers of this column do not know me. What you do know of me is that my practice carries me to all parts of this wonderful state. I deeply enjoy meeting judges, prosecutors, and local lawyers from counties all across this state and becoming privy to the nuances each county brings. My travels, however, are not without their difficulty.

Seven years ago it all seemed so perfect. A beautiful wife. Three children - at that time ages 6, 4, and 1. A successful practice. Then I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

I've always taken the approach that it isn't what happens to people that matters. What does matter is how they respond to it. Having worked so hard to get where I was I knew that failure was not an option. It isn't just about me, I told myself. It is about those who depend upon me. I never liked jogging anyway so the inconvenience of MS is just that. It is an inconvenience and not a burden. Just watch the news some night. Pick up a file in your office. Those people have burdens.

Those who do know me or who have seen me, have seen me with my cane in the courtroom. You Marion County practitioners undoubtedly have seen me zip to court from my office to the City-County Building on my Segway. It's really quite liberating. Or as my dear wife, Amy, describes it, suddenly I go from "cripple to cool."

Dr. Keith March is a fellow parishioner of mine. A professor of cardiology, inter alia, at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, he invited me to lunch recently to discuss a new foundation he's helped formulate and how it can positively impact people like me. Known as the Cell Therapy Foundation, its mission is to advance the cause of adult stemcell research. The purpose of our meeting was to get my thoughts about whether MS would be a worthy disease to study, along with a few select others.

Joined by Bryan Snook, the director of resource development for the foundation, and Ann Myers, the director of operations, the four of us met over a lively lunch and discussed everything from strategy, funding, policy, procedure, Costa Rican research models, Northwestern University studies, and yes, the food.

This is an exciting, one-of-a-kind project, and it's going on right in our backyard. Still in its infancy it has accomplished much. Dick Van Dyke, 84 years strong, is donating his time and image to the foundation as its national spokesperson. The board of directors is an esteemed group, working hard to raise awareness about the foundation be it through fundraising, securing grants and, of course, research.

Adult stem cells are void of the controversy surrounding embryonic stem cells and potentially show greater promise. Taken from your fat cells through liposuction, they are used to regenerate growth to damaged areas of your body. Imagine a day where you enter a doctor's office in a wheelchair with the ability to walk out unassisted. Plus, you might lose 10 pounds in the process! Space limitations prevent me from going on. You will see donation possibilities from me in the future. Now, about the food.

Palomino, while not an independent restaurant, is one of the best in Indianapolis for a business lunch. I had the grouper, swimming in a savory broth mixed with vegetables, legumes, and perhaps a hint of pancetta. The others enjoyed sea scallops nestled on a bed of spinach and drizzled with pine nuts. Quality food and a favorite of locals and out-of-towners alike. This place is always a worth visit.

Thanks for letting me vent and spread awareness today. For more information, visit www.celltherapyfoundation.org and www.palomino.com. 45 W. Maryland St., Indianapolis.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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