IndyBar: Interrogatories - Eric Schmadeke

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By Tyler D. Helmond, Voyles Zahn & Paul

Eric Schmadeke
Densborn Blachly LLP

He is a graduate of Indiana University and the IU McKinney School of Law. He was a Marion County Deputy Prosecutor before joining Densborn Blachly LLP. He is a 2013 Indiana Lawyer “Up and Coming Lawyer.” He is Eric Schmadeke, and he has been served with interrogatories.

Q:You recently transitioned from prosecuting criminal cases to civil litigation in private practice. What has been the hardest part about that?
A:Without a doubt – sitting down and typing.  Trials and contested hearings were once the routine; now it feels like I am going out for ice cream every time I get to argue on my feet. The rule jockeying which seems to plague civil litigation can become a little arduous at times too.  I really believe good outcomes would happen more often for our clients if we all focused on the merits a little more and rules ending in something like (m)(38)(P)(xxi) a little less.   

Q:…and the easiest part?
A:Transitioning from a job where I was surrounded by incredibly talented, hard-working and honest lawyers who would rather be hit by a bus than let down their victims, to a job where I am surrounded by incredibly talented, hard-working and honest lawyers who would rather be hit by a bus than let down their clients.

Q:Your office is now on the north side instead of downtown. What are your feelings about that?
A:Densborn Blachly LLP built a first-class modern law office as appealing and fun to work in as any other I have ever seen, and it is quite nice to walk into a place like that every day.  It also happens to be on the north side where I have grown up and currently reside, along with a lot of our clients too. 

On the other hand, I do miss the energy of downtown.  There was always just a touch of excitement that came with the uncertainty of what you might see that day, good or bad.  Am I going to be accosted by a vagabond whose breath smells like after-shave or see a couple silently and tearfully embrace on the sidewalk after learning their adoption has just been finalized?  Or both?  You never knew.  That is what I miss. 

Q:Describe your technology setup.
A:Smart phone, laptop, and docking station with dual monitors.  Big fan of the dual monitors.  Densborn Blachly LLP also makes use of cutting-edge practice management technologies that utilize the cloud.  The firm decided to make a commitment to staying ahead of the tech curve.  So far, that bet has paid off big time for us and our clients. 

Q:If you could bring one historically notable dead person back to life, who would it be and why?
A:Mark Twain.  He said of Jane Austen, “Every time I read ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”  If that is how he reviewed a novel about manners, I am dying to know what he would have to say regarding the 113th United States Congress, or  It would also be fun to ask him why he kept reading ‘Pride and Prejudice.’

Q:Who is the most challenging judge you have practiced before?
A:Tough one.  It would be easier to name judges who would describe my practice before them as “most challenging.”   By the way, did you choose an adjective that means both inspiring and impudent on purpose?  If so, well played – but I am not biting. 

Q:You have tried more than 75 juries in a relatively short career, and rumor has it, you are pretty hard to beat.  What’s the secret?
A:First, there is no secret.  I am merely the common denominator.  It is truly the work of the investigators, paralegals, expert witnesses, administrative staff and co-counsel who have supported, taught and tolerated me over the years who won these cases.  Second, I would like to ask my grandmother to stop spreading rumors.

However, imagining for the moment that there is a “secret” recipe to win juries, I suspect it would read something like:

Six parts – good facts;
Five parts – preparation;
Four parts – co-counsel and support staff (only the finest quality);
Three parts – jury selection;
Two parts – persuasive story-telling and the cogent use of analogies to make relevant facts relatable;
One part – Providence, and –
A dash of pluck.

Q:What is your favorite Indiana craft beer?
A:Sun King: Cream Ale on the golf course or Indians Lager at the ballpark.•


  • Hero
    My daughter called Mr Schmadeke a super hero in a tie after he successfully prosecuted a very evil man. We wish him great success in his private practice.

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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.