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Blomquist: Happy Summer

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blomquist-kerryHere is my self-directed summertime resolution: do something. “Kerry, notice the season you prayed for six months ago when your mailbox was frozen shut and your early morning runs took 20 minutes to dress for.” The two things that have historically made summertime hit me in the proverbial face are, in order of financial impact:

My two teenage boys are home ALL THE TIME. Which means there is NEVER enough food in my house. I love this, however, because they are just fun and funny people. Example: both my boys are gainfully employed this summer (yea!) and both are summer camp counselors. Mike, age 19, is in charge of a posse of 5 years olds and was recently playing a game where the kids and counselors, in their roles as either a cow or a sheep, roamed the “land” with eyes closed on hands and knees making the sound of their respective animal to find their “herd.” Classic Mike Blomquist said, just loud enough for the other counselors to hear, “the last time I was paid to be on my hands and knees with my eyes closed mooing was the last time I spent any significant time with Uncle Geoff.”1 Suffice it to say he ruined that game for the counselors...

The second summertime draw: the annual Bench Bar Conference. Okay, I am just going to say it: all the cool kids were there. Realizing yet simultaneously excusing my bias, this one rocked. Judges Annie Christ Garcia and Bob Altice and their committee put together programming that was superb by any review, satisfying all lawyers and judges regardless of practice area. You can put this on a t-shirt: “IndyBar Bench Bar Conference: It’s Not Just for Litigators Anymore.” Special shout outs go to Ellen Morrison Townsend, Christina Klineman, Melanie Reichert and IndyBar staff Julie Armstrong, Mary Kay Price and Tara Moore for putting in long days and a few harried nights for the cause. This event is a huge undertaking and every year volunteers step up to the plate and put everything they have into their swing—this year we hit a home run.

One more nod goes to the judges and commissioners who attended. As has been previously noted, we had more first-time attendees this year than ever before, and I’ve been soliciting feedback from them all and let me just say this: they are beyond grateful for the opportunity to meet and socialize with their colleagues on the bench. For those judicial officers who did go, a sincere thank you—this commitment not only to your bar association but to the future of this legal community cannot be understated.

The highlight of this 20th Anniversary Conference was the “Bench Bar Retrospective” on Friday night offered up by Past President Tom Davis. The last time I both laughed and cried that much I was watching my son perform tawdry college humor sketch comedy. TD was truly wonderful and we now have a brand new group of young lawyers joining the rest of us who believe that that man missed his (other) calling in life.

By request, what follows is my Friday night introduction of TD in the form of a poem. A final thank you to Tom and the law firm of Frost Brown Todd for a truly unforgettable evening.

There once was a man from said law firm,

Who’s tenure in this bar has been long term,

Two decades have passed,

Since this group first amassed,

And to thank him we now make him squirm.

Right now I have the best time,

Introducing Tom Davis is prime,

TD is admired,This poem was inspired.

He won the Buchanan award in ‘09,

His humor is quick,

He is chock full of schtick,

When I asked his bride Jill for some info on Tom.

She said when she first met him she thought him a d**k.

There’s been only one breach,

One Bench Bar beyond his reach,

Tom has missed only one,

But it was all in good fun,

He had the chance to play Pebble Beach.

I would be catty and mention his past,

His marital experience is vast,

But I would be such a louse,

As I’m in that glass house,

Twice my husbands have been miscast.

No longer will I ask for your ear,

For sure law will stay my career,

Our lunch speaker was right,

We’re all too uptight,

Now please help me welcome Tom Davis up here.

I hope you have a wonderful summer. Go do something. Put on the dreaded swimsuit. Go ride a Harley. Work on your golf game. Take the kids to Holiday World, drink free sodas and try to convince yourself that that is not the future of Western Civilization. Work will be there when you get back, I promise.

1 Blatant older brother payback. No, we are not even.

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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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