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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. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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