IndyBar: Interrogatories with John Trimble

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By Tyler D. Helmond, Voyles Zahn & Paul PA

John C. Trimble
Lewis Wagner LLP

He is a graduate of Hanover College and the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. He is a partner at Lewis Wagner LLP. And he is President-Elect of the Indianapolis Bar Association. He is John C. Trimble, and he has been served with interrogatories.

Q: You are a Top 10 Indiana Super Lawyer. This a two-part question. How did you become so super, and how does it feel to be so super?
A: The first time my peers honored me by putting me into this category my mentor and partner, Robert Wagner, said, “John, this just goes to show what you can accomplish through a lifetime of shameless self-promotion.” Seriously, there are so many super lawyers in Indiana that I could not begin to count them or rank them. I am blessed every day to know them and count many of them as friends. Despite my years in practice, I still learn something from great lawyers almost every day. To the extent that I have developed any skills it has been due to great mentoring from Robert Wagner and from other stalwarts in the bar. I do genuinely appreciate the recognition of my peers. But, most importantly, it makes my 80-year-old parents proud.

Q: Your office is on the canal, and this is another two-part question. What is the best part about having an office on the canal, and what is the strangest thing you have seen going on down there?
A: Sunrise along the canal in spring and summer is my favorite time of day. Although my office looks out over the canal, I like to go down to our canal level early in the morning and work on something as the sun is coming up and people are out running and walking. I also love that we have a large portico where we can hold receptions, pitch-in lunches, and networking events. On the strange side, we have had a flasher or two come by our canal-level offices and conference rooms for a quick and unexpected flash or butt press. I will also never forget the quiet summer morning when a rower in a single shell rowed silently by as I was sitting outside on a bench reading the morning paper.

Q: Who has had the biggest influence on your life as a lawyer?
A: Without question, my partner and mentor, Robert F. Wagner, has been the biggest influence. Early in my career he tossed me into the fray and made me sink or swim. He has also always been a model for integrity, civility, preparation, and love of our profession. He has also shown me the best of storytelling and oration. In the fictional world, Atticus Finch has also been a character who I have admired for what he represents as a model of our profession.

Q: You’re an experienced appellate advocate. What is your process for writing a brief?
A: These days, my process begins with finding a colleague in the firm who will be the actual writer. I then work with them and the client to craft an outline of the arguments. I also enjoy the role of editor and proofreader as the drafts of the brief progress.

Q: You might have the distinction of being the most accomplished Indiana lawyer on Twitter. Who would you be most excited to see re-tweet one of your tweets?
A: At this juncture my list of followers is small enough that I would be surprised and gratified if anyone retweets one of my tweets. I did have one recent re-tweet experience that I enjoyed. I have been following a really splendid singer from Indianapolis named Josh Kaufman who is competing on the NBC program, “The Voice.” After one of his performances, I tweeted some words of praise and encouragement about him. He re-tweeted it from the show in LA, and that was fun. (It also convinced my doubting wife, Ann, that there really is someone out there who gives a darn about what I have to say.)

Q: Coca-Cola or Pepsi?
A: I am a Diet Coke guy all the way. If Pepsi is my only choice, I would take water. Having said this, I have to confess that I did a blind taste test of Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi and failed miserably. As a result, I am now more inclined to lean toward locally brewed craft beers …•


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.