Abrams: Sections, Committees and Divisions, Oh My!

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jeff abrams ibaEach quarter, I have the opportunity to listen to the chairs of all the Indianapolis Bar Association’s sections, committees and divisions describe accomplishments they have achieved during the past quarter as well as forecast great things to come throughout the balance of the year. There is some amazing work done by these groups – not all of which is known to our members. In an effort to toot the horn of their hard work, please note the following accomplishments of just a few of our many sections, divisions and committees:

Alternative Dispute Resolution Section – On Sept. 26, volunteers from the ADR section will work at their fifth annual Mediation Day. These volunteers will donate their time and skills to mediate several cases for litigants who qualify for modest means mediation. They will work in multiple offices made available through the generosity of Barnes & Thornburg.

Estate Planning & Administration Section – They have partnered with financial planners to enhance the business development opportunities for their members. One way they are doing this is by providing Certified Financial Planning (CFP) credit hours in addition to CLE credit hours at seminars scheduled in 2014.

Environmental Law Section – Environmental consultants will attend a CLE on Sept. 17 (with libations to follow) where they will actually sample contaminated property and describe the process to all the attendees. This would be an excellent CLE for Real Estate & Land Use Section members and Business Law Section members to attend.

Government Practice Section – This section has an interesting CLE scheduled for Oct. 9 called “Why Can’t I Buy Beer on Sunday? An Overview of Indiana Alcohol Laws Compared to Other States.” A social reception will follow including – you guessed it – a beer and wine tasting with appetizers.

Health Care & Life Sciences Section – This section is partnering with the Indy Attorneys Network Section for a Handlebar Bike Social and CLE on Aug. 19. This is another great way to connect members of different sections and get to know attorneys in all areas of law.

Intellectual Property Section – They are seeking lawyers to join their executive committee to provide leadership for the future. If you are interested, please reach out to Connie Lindman at SmithAmundsen LLC, 464-4102. (Sorry for the Public Service Announcement but I need to occasionally have a philanthropic bent.)

Labor & Employment Law Section – They are scheduling an Employment Law Seminar for small business owners on Nov. 13 to network with a group of potential clients.

Paralegal Committee – They have decided to organize a reception on Oct. 2 to thank the many sponsors that have helped make their successes economically feasible. This is a great idea to thank the people that help make our lives much easier.

Criminal Justice Section – They have been extremely busy educating lawyers who have been in practice for 10, 20, 30 and 40 years on the radical changes to the Criminal Code that were adopted this year.

Family Law Section – They creatively obtained sponsors for their CLE seminars so that they could fund a section Indians Game outing and a holiday party. This is an ingenious effort to combine CLE with social enjoyment at no cost to its members.

Tax Section - They have a great seminar for later this year called Accounting for Lawyers: Part Two. They have also solicited volunteers from their section to provide pro bono advice to clients of the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic.

Real Estate & Land Use Section – This section has spent a considerable amount of time working with the City of Indianapolis on the proposed rezoning ordinance and have paired with a title insurance company for a couple of CLE seminars later this year.

Indy Attorneys Network Section – They continue to grow their membership each week and have partnered with other groups and sections for CLE and social events.

Women And The Law Division – They had an outstanding summer reception and have strong philanthropic efforts in support of Dream Dinners, where they make meals for The Julian Center and Embrace.

Litigation Section – Nov. 12 will be the 2014 Judicial Reception where judges and litigators can spend time in a related social atmosphere.

Public Outreach Committee – This committee will sponsor a voter registration presentation and student representative election for 8th graders this fall. At the presentation, they explain voter information (registration, ID to vote, voting within the correct precinct), students declare a candidacy to run for 8th Grade Student Representative, elections are held and the winning candidate is announced.

Lawyer To Business Committee – Jimmie McMillian and committee members from several IndyBar sections and divisions have planned an outstanding social event scheduled for Aug. 28. IndyBar members are invited to join members of the Indiana CPA Society at the Market Table at the Alexander Hotel for a networking night. It will be from 5 to 7 p.m. and we will be able to meet accountants who will hopefully lead to future referrals on both ends – for us to give our clients and for them to refer us. This is the first Lawyer to Business Networking Reception and there will be several more over the next six months.

As you can see, there is a lot going on and there is bound to be something that piques your interest. Please don’t be a wallflower and get involved! Enjoy the fruits of the hard work of our members.•


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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