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Hickey: Things You Can Count On

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IBA-Hickey-ChristineThis is not about death and taxes. Rather, this is an exciting time of year and as I sat down to write this article, it became clear to me how important it is to have things to look forward to, things you can count on. No matter how small, no matter how seemingly inconsequential, tradition is an important part of our lives.

For years, on the Monday after Thanksgiving at the office we would come back to fresh holiday greenery and an overwhelming smell of pine. Wreaths and garland filled the foyer, the stairwells, the air. It marked the official start of December and the end of another year. For so long it was expected, and after a while more attention was paid to the needles that fell on the floor than the spirit the garland brought to our space.

A few years back, the greenery stopped; the florist who came to hang it was needed no more. The Monday after Thanksgiving came and went with no greenery; it was just another day. We all went about our business.

Just this past week, the first snow of the season fell on downtown trees all aglow with holiday lights. Salvation Army bell ringers have taken their place on street corners, beckoning to passers by to fill their red buckets. Law firm cards, well wishes, and open houses have begun. Thoughts of New Year’s resolutions are pushed aside, to be considered only after the holiday feasts have come and gone. Sweaters worn only at this time are pulled off of shelves, and every possible new toy imaginable is giving Super Bowl commercials a run for their money. These are the things that come with December.

The Bar also has things you can count on at this time of year. You can count on the Bar to cover your CLE needs. Each year the IndyBar offers an 11th Hour Video Replay series that is convenient, perfect for last-minute planners, and the most affordable CLE around. The dates this year are December 28, 29, and 30. The full schedule of videos can be found at www.indybar.org on the Events calendar. No advance registration is needed, the cost is $30 per hour for members, and brown-bag lunches are welcome.

It also wouldn’t be that time of year if we didn’t ask you for a contribution to the Indianapolis Bar Foundation. So much of what the Bar does is made possible through support of the IBF. The Foundation provides funds to support local law-related initiatives and organizations, law students, lawyers, and many important Bar programs. Funding for books for naturalization ceremonies, underwriting of pro bono programs like Ask a Lawyer, and scholarships to replenish the profession all come from the Foundation. Without members of the legal profession who are committed to giving back, much of this would not be possible. So that we can continue to have an impact in our community and on our profession, please make your donation to the Foundation today by check or online through the Foundation link located on the IndyBar website.

Lastly, but certainly not least, get out that holiday sweater and take the time to spend a couple of hours with your friends. Regardless of what the year has brought, and never mind busy schedules, the annual IndyBar holiday party is an event not to miss. This gathering brings together our community of attorneys, some of whose paths may only cross at this event. It’s a great time to catch up with colleagues, give well wishes, and share a toast with a friend. This year, the Bar is hosting the party on the 15th floor at 135 North Pennsylvania, on December 14 from 5:00 to 7:00. It’s free to all members and you will find the same smiling faces and holiday spirit as you have in years past.

For me, although I do miss the holiday greenery, I always look forward to celebrating another year with friends at the IndyBar holiday party. It’s a part of my December tradition. Lots of great lawyers, great people, and a great time. That is something you can count on.•

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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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