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Bar associations team up for 'Santa' program

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Bar Crawl

Bar Crawl is Indiana Lawyer’s section highlighting bar association news around the state. We try to include bar association news and trends in our regular stories, but we want to include more news from specialty and county bars. If you’d like to submit an update about your bar association or a photo from an event your bar association has hosted to Indiana Lawyer, or if you have questions about having your bar association news included in the newspaper, please send it to Rebecca Berfanger, rberfanger@ibj.com, along with contact information for any follow-up questions at least two weeks in advance of the issue date.

The Indiana State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section partnered with the James C. Kimbrough Bar Association to sponsor their first program together, “Santa’s Been Sued.” The educational program, which included gifts for 15 underprivileged children in northwestern Indiana, took place Dec. 17 in Lake Superior Court.

The children were chosen based on their affiliation with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana in Gary.

The court portion of the program is based on the premise that Christmas could be canceled after Ebenezer Scrooge, a fellow resident of the North Pole and represented by Charles Dickens, sued Santa Claus for property damage caused by Santa and his reindeer on Dec. 24, 2009. Scrooge also claimed in his suit that he suffered from emotional distress and mental anguish as a result.

In the court order, Judge Rudolph Reindeer found that Santa owed Scrooge $500. The attorneys who organized the event sought the $500 to help Santa so he could still deliver the toys to children around the world on Christmas Eve.

The Kimbrough Bar Association had received at least $700 to pay for toys for the kids, and expected at least a few more checks to come in. Anything received after the event will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Gary, said Michael Tolbert, one of the event organizers and past president of the Kimbrough Bar Association.

Tolbert said the event was organized to serve as a positive experience for kids who usually would only be in court when something bad has happened. The visitors also got a tour of the courthouse, looked into the judge’s chambers, and Lake Superior Judge William E. Davis made an appearance in the role of Santa.

Following is partial text of the complaint in Ebenezer Scrooge v. Santa Claus, No. 56Z09-TC-1670, filed in North Pole Superior Court in Iceberg, Alaska, as it was written by event organizers and posted on the ISBA’s website:

1. The Plaintiff, Ebenezer Scrooge (“Plaintiff”), is a resident of Iceberg, North Pole County, Alaska.

2. The Defendant, Santa Clause (“Defendant”), is also a resident of Iceberg, North Pole County, Alaska.

3. On or about December 24, 2009, the Defendant entered upon the premises of the Plaintiff.

4. The Defendant was not invited nor did he have permission to be on the Plaintiff’s premises.

5. While the Defendant was on the premises of the Plaintiff he carried a large, red sack and was also accompanied by animals.

6. The Defendant had a duty, when entering on to the Plaintiff’s property, not to cause property damage.

7. The Defendant breached his duty and failed to exercise reasonable care when entering upon the Plaintiff’s property in one or more of the following ways:

a). intentionally and recklessly caused damage to the Plaintiff’s chimney; and

b). intentionally and recklessly left reindeer foot prints on the Plaintiff’s property;

8. As a result of the Defendant’s conduct, the Plaintiff has incurred property damage and has suffered from emotional distress and mental anguish.

9. The Defendant’s conduct was the proximate cause of the Plaintiff’s damages.

WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff, Ebenezer Scrooge requests that this court enter judgment in his favor for compensatory damages, property damage and all other just and proper relief in the premises.•

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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