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Leadership in Law 2014: Joseph T. Bumbleburg

President/senior partner, Ball Eggleston P.C., Lafayette • Indiana University Maurer School of Law, 1961

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15col-Bumbleburg.jpg Joseph T. Bumbleburg (Photo by Vincent Walter)

When Joseph T. Bumbleburg earned his law degree in 1961, instead of joining a firm, he shipped out on active duty in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps until 1964. He was commissioned First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve. He joined Ball Eggleston P.C. in 1964, where he focuses on real estate development, municipal law, zoning and subdivision law. He also has extensive civil trial experience. Joe serves as judge advocate for the American Legion Department of Indiana, a position he’s held since 1999. He’s active with his law school alma mater, often serving as a judge for the Sherman Minton Moot Court Competition. Joe was on the board of trustees for Ivy Tech Community College for 15 years and currently sits on the board of directors for the Tippecanoe County chapter of the American Red Cross.

You’ve been practicing law for 50 years. What legal skills or traditions have faded away over the years that you would like to see return?

Civility; extemporaneous speaking in the courtroom.

We hear a lot about civility. Have you noticed a change in how attorneys treat each other since you began practicing?

Yes. The “take no prisoners” attitude and the use of discovery not as a legal tool, but as a weapon.

If you couldn’t be a lawyer, what would you do for a living?

Teach history.

Who is your favorite fictional lawyer?

Atticus Finch (“To Kill a Mockingbird”); Hans Rolfe (“Judgment at Nuremburg”).

What is the best thing about practicing law in Lafayette?

Lafayette is home, and I’m helping many people that I grew up with.

What was the worst or most memorable job you had prior to becoming an attorney?

I enjoyed three years of military practice in the Army and attendance at the U.S. Army Infantry School that was required before the Judge Advocate School.

What’s something you’ve learned over the years that you wish you could go back in time and tell your younger self?

Make time to be with family.

What are some tips for achieving a work/life balance?

Find a hobby and do it.

What hobbies do you enjoy?

Antiques and going to auctions.

What’s something about you not many people know?

I tend to be an open book.

Why practice in the area of law that you do?

I enjoy it. It’s a field that needs to be done.

What’s been the biggest change in the practice of law you’ve seen since you began?

Computers and electronic research.

Why do you think people often have negative stereotypes about lawyers?

TV has not helped. Many people do not know what lawyers really do.

What civic cause is the most important to you?

Continued growth of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana.


 

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  1. November, 2014, I was charged with OWI/Endangering a person. I was not given a Breathalyzer test and the arresting officer did not believe that alcohol was in any way involved. I was self-overmedicated with prescription medications. I was taken to local hospital for blood draw to be sent to State Tox Lab. My attorney gave me a cookie-cutter plea which amounts to an ALCOHOL-related charge. Totally unacceptable!! HOW can I get my TOX report from the state lab???

  2. My mother got temporary guardianship of my children in 2012. my husband and I got divorced 2015 the judge ordered me to have full custody of all my children. Does this mean the temporary guardianship is over? I'm confused because my divorce papers say I have custody and he gets visits and i get to claim the kids every year on my taxes. So just wondered since I have in black and white that I have custody if I can go get my kids from my moms and not go to jail?

  3. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  4. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  5. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

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