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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. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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