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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. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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