IndyBar: Interrogatories - Samantha DeWester

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By Tyler D. Helmond, Voyles Zahn & Paul

dewester-samantha.jpg DeWester

Samantha DeWester, Office of Corporation Counsel

She is a graduate of Indiana University and the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. She is Deputy Corporation Counsel, City Prosecutor, and Public Access Counselor at the Office of Corporation Counsel. She was previously a Marion County Deputy Prosecutor and Marion County Deputy Public Defender. She is Samantha DeWester, and she has been served with interrogatories.

Q: What is your favorite memory from a Bench Bar Conference past?
A: What happens at Bench Bar, stays at Bench Bar. I can neither confirm nor deny if anything memorable happens at Bench Bar. Seriously, I have been attending Bench Bar since my first year of law school. It is always a great time! My favorite IndyBar CLE memory was in Las Vegas with Judge Bill Nelson a few years ago. While boarding the roller coaster on the roof of the New York New York hotel, Judge Nelson reminded us he was just released from the Heart Hospital weeks earlier!

Q: Who has had the biggest influence on your lawyering philosophy?
A: Johnnie Walker. Oh, an actual person. There is not just one person who has influenced or helped mold me into the lawyer I am today. Rather, it is a combination of watching, listening, learning and doing. You know it when you see the attorney you NEVER want to be. You have to be comfortable in your own skin, but also learn from mistakes you make and those of others.

Q: You have worked in and around the City-County Building (CCB) for most of your career. This is a three-part question. How would you describe the smell in the elevators? Where does it come from? And if you had to bottle it and sell it as perfume or cologne, what would you call it?
A: The warmer months are definitely worse than the cooler months, for both apparel and fragrance. I don’t know if I can assign words that give the CCB odors justice. It does not come from one source but instead is a combination of many things within the CCB.

Q: Choose a historical mock trial and appoint present-day lawyers and judge from the Indiana bar. How does it play out?
A: Since it is the 20th anniversary of the O.J. Simpson trial, I would say Scott Newman & Ralph Staples vs. Jim Voyles, Jack Crawford & Jenny Lukemeyer. Judge Sheila Carlisle presiding. Judge denies Jenny’s offer to reenact the Bronco chase around 465. Hung jury.

Q: What do you now know that you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?
A: Money really can buy you happiness…especially when you have massive law student loan payments and work for the government! Honestly, I love, love, love what I do and truly enjoy working for the great people of Indianapolis. I could not be happier and would not have it any other way!

Q: If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you do and would you continue to use your lawyer skills/law degree?
A: Depends on the size of the pot! I would first take a much needed vacation/hiatus with friends and relax for a few months, somewhere far away! Then I would hire an attorney and investment broker to handle my winnings and take care of my future (see student loans in previous question). But, I would certainly continue to use my skills, whether philanthropic or legal, to help those around me.

Q: Reggie Miller or Peyton Manning?
A: Come on now….Reggie Miller. You don’t replace old with new!


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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues