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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. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  2. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  3. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  4. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  5. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

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