IndyBar Names Dickson and Kappes Recipients of 2014 Professionalism Awards

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The IndyBar Professionalism Committee has named Chief Justice Brent Dickson of the Indiana Supreme Court the 2014 recipient of the Silver Gavel Award, while Philip “Skip” Kappes of Lewis & Kappes has been awarded the bar’s Professionalism Award.

kappes-philip-iba.jpg Kappes
dickson-brent-bw.jpg Dickson

Both will be honored at the upcoming IndyBar Professionalism Luncheon to be held Tuesday, Sept. 30 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Hyatt Indianapolis. The luncheon will also feature special guest speaker Hon. John D. Tinder of the United States Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit. Registration for the luncheon can be found at

Chief Justice Brent Dickson was appointed to the Indiana Supreme Court in 1986 after 17 years as a general practice lawyer in Lafayette, Indiana. He has served as Chief Justice of Indiana since May 15, 2012. He will step down as Chief Justice on September 1 and will continue his role on the court as an associate justice. His nomination notes, “As Chief Justice, Justice Dickson has made a commitment to fostering civility in the profession. He leads by example as he always treats other – judges, lawyers and litigants – with respect and dignity. He embodies old-fashioned, but never outdated, gentility.”

Chief Justice Dickson has been a member of the IndyBar since 1968. In addition to his service to IndyBar, he has been appointed as a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure and serves on the Board of Directors of the Conference of Chief Justices. Chief Justice Dickson is the founder of the Judicial Family Institute and co-founder of the Sagamore Chapter of the American Inns of Court in Indianapolis. He has served as an adjunct professor at Indiana University Maurer School of law and Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Chief Justice Dickson and his wife, Jan Aikman Dickson, have three adult sons and nine grandchildren.

Philip “Skip” Kappes was selected to receive the 2014 Professionalism Award. Kappes has been practicing law for 62 years and is a founding director of Lewis & Kappes. He has the second-longest active law license in the state. His nomination notes, “He is, at his core, a genuine and caring person. He has taken that personality and made his mark on this community and the legal profession. There is no one better suited to exemplify that you can reach the heights of your profession and keep respect for your fellow man intact.”

Kappes is a past president of the Indianapolis Bar Association, having served in 1970. In addition to his service to the legal community, Kappes has served as a past president of both the Children’s Museum Board of Trustees and the Crossroad Council Boy Scouts of America. He is currently the chairman of the Scottish Rite Foundation of Indianapolis. Kappes is a Trust Fund Trustee of Crossroad Council Boy Scouts of America and past trustee of Butler University. He is also a past chairman of the board of Fairbanks Hospital.

Kappes graduated from Butler University in 1945 and received his J.D. from University of Michigan in 1948. He has been a member of the IndyBar since 1948.•


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  1. I commend Joe for standing up to this tyrant attorney! You ask why? Well I’m one of David Steele victims. I was in desperate need of legal help to protect my child, David saw an opportunity, and he demanded I pay him $3000. Cash. As I received motions and orders from court he did nothing! After weeks of emails asking him to address the legal issues, he responded by saying he was “on vacation “and I should be so lucky to have “my attorney” reply. Finally after lie on top of lie I asked for a full refund, which he refused. He then sent me “bills” for things he never did, such as, his appearance in the case and later claimed he withdrew. He never filed one document / motion for my case! When I finally demanded he refund my money he then turn to threats which scared my family for our lives. It seem unreal we couldn’t believe this guy. I am now over $100,000 in debt digging out of the legal mess he caused my family. Later I was finally able to hire another law office. I met Joe and we worked diligently on my case. I soon learn Joe had a passion for helping people. As anyone who has been through a legal battle it is exhausting. Joe was always more than happy to help or address an issue. Joe was knowledgeable about all my concerns at the same time he was able to reduce the stress and anxieties of my case. He would stay late and come in early, he always went the extra mile to help in any way he could. I can only imagine what Joe and his family has been through, my prayers go out to him and all the victims.

  2. Steele did more than what is listed too. He purposely sought out to ruin me, calling potential employers and then lied about me alleging all kinds of things including kidnapping. None of his allegations were true. If you are in need of an ethical and very knowledgeable family law paralegal, perhaps someone could post their contact information. Ethics cannot be purchased, either your paralegal has them or they do not.

  3. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  4. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  5. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise