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Leadership in Law 2013: Oni N. Harton

Associate, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP, Indianapolis Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

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oni-harton01-15col.jpg (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Oni N. Harton’s career is on an upward trajectory. Oni, who practices in the litigation, appellate and insurance groups, has been recognized by her firm for successes on behalf of her clients, receiving the Rainmaker Award and the Appellate Advocacy Award. She attended law school as a fellow of the Indiana Conference for Legal Education Opportunity and received multiple honors for her academic achievement. Before joining Bose McKinney & Evans LLP, Oni clerked for former Indiana Justice Frank Sullivan Jr., who said he was extremely impressed by her intelligence, warm personality and ethical standards. Oni is active on several firm committees and participates in the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Pro Bono Hospice Program and Low Asset Will Program.

What’s the most important thing your mentor has taught you?
Think it through. That is, not to jump in and start working on a problem thinking it will save time and money, but to think through the process before I start. The extra time spent on the front end will result in time saved in the back end.

If you could take a sabbatical from the law for a year to work your fantasy job, what job would you choose?
I would choose not to work at a “job.” Rather, I’d be a stay-at-home mom and community volunteer.

If you could meet and spend a day with one lawyer from history, who would it be and why?
Sandra Day O’Connor. She’s not only a great legal mind and a pioneer but also seems plain-spoken and humorous, yet enigmatic.

If you could go back in time, “when” would you go to and what would you do?
It’s asking a lot (and I’m certainly not worthy) but I’d go back to “In the beginning.” I’d also request the sensory capability to take it all in for several days.

What civic cause is the most important to you?
Family preservation and promotion.

In life or law, what bugs you?
When there’s something that we can do to minimize the effects of unfairness or “bad luck” in people’s lives but fail to do so.

If a drink or sandwich were to be named after you, what would it be called and what would be in it?
“The Flow.” It’s a sandwich that uses the best ingredients working together to create gustatory bliss. My choices would be pesto, provolone cheese, tomato, fresh spinach or lettuce, avocado and a squirt of olive oil between toasted Ezekiel bread.

If you could pick a theme song to describe your life, what would it be?
“Unwritten.”

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  1. File under the Sociology of Hoosier Discipline ... “We will be answering the complaint in due course and defending against the commission’s allegations,” said Indianapolis attorney Don Lundberg, who’s representing Hudson in her disciplinary case. FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW ... Lundberg ran the statist attorney disciplinary machinery in Indy for decades, and is now the "go to guy" for those who can afford him .... the ultimate insider for the well-to-do and/or connected who find themselves in the crosshairs. It would appear that this former prosecutor knows how the game is played in Circle City ... and is sacrificing accordingly. See more on that here ... http://www.theindianalawyer.com/supreme-court-reprimands-attorney-for-falsifying-hours-worked/PARAMS/article/43757 Legal sociologists could have a field day here ... I wonder why such things are never studied? Is a sacrifice to the well connected former regulators a de facto bribe? Such questions, if probed, could bring about a more just world, a more equal playing field, less Stalinist governance. All of the things that our preambles tell us to value could be advanced if only sunshine reached into such dark worlds. As a great jurist once wrote: "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman." Other People's Money—and How Bankers Use It (1914). Ah, but I am certifiable, according to the Indiana authorities, according to the ISC it can be read, for believing such trite things and for advancing such unwanted thoughts. As a great albeit fictional and broken resistance leaders once wrote: "I am the dead." Winston Smith Let us all be dead to the idea of maintaining a patently unjust legal order.

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