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Blomquist: Online and on Your Time

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blomquist-kerryLast night after work, I learned a lot about the art and science behind truly effective direct and cross-examination from colleagues Phil Isenbarger and John Kautzman, IndyBar past presidents, 2013 board members and a couple of the best litigators around. I’ve been practicing law for more than 20 years but listening to great trial lawyers talk about their passion and skill in a courtroom is always enlightening, never ever boring, and just plain fun.

And the bonus? I earned this CLE credit while I was in my pajamas, because I was online.

This week, your IndyBar is launching its Online CLE Course offerings after months of planning by both the IndyBar staff and leadership. This expansion of services to our members has been a part of the IndyBar strategic plan for more than three years, so a special nod to past presidents Scott Chinn, Mike Hebenstreit and Chris Hickey for building the bridge we cross this week. Nod also to Julie Armstrong and her staff who confronted an Internet systems learning curve sufficient to land them a guest role on “The Big Bang Theory” (accordingly, please note that for safety reasons, use of terms like Sonic Foundry, Silverlight and Mediasite must be used with caution while in the IndyBar offices. Don’t get them started.).

So now let’s back up and get some facts.

Anytime, anywhere. Bar members can take up to 6 CLE hours of your three year, 36 CLE hour requirement online. To me, that means an hour of CLE while watching kids’ soccer practice, while waiting in an airport or on a summer weekend in the hammock or on vacation.

Education you can trust. Because IndyBar members are presenting, I choose to learn online from people I know and trust in their subject expertise. An ethics seminar from IndyBar member Michael Witte, Executive Secretary of the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission? Appeals 101 from the Honorable Cale Bradford from the Indiana Court of Appeals and current IndyBar board member? Those are good investments of my time.

This is affordable CLE. IndyBar Online CLE is $32.50 per credit hour for IndyBar members—that is an incredible bargain by anyone’s measure, and given that non-member rates double, the availability of Online CLE is another tremendous benefit for our members.

It’s easy. The tech requirements for accessing Online CLE could not be any easier. Registration is online and is comparable to the process for regular IndyBar programs. Once you review the programs and select the one you want, check out and complete the purchase; you are emailed a link to the program and you are good to go. Bonus #1: you have 30 days to watch the program so you can purchase a few together. Bonus #2: IndyBar reports the completed CLE to the Commission for you, so when the program is done, you are done.

Privacy. One important but understated benefit of Online CLE is the fact that your choice to learn or refine your knowledge of legal subject matter is private. I have a dear friend and colleague who has chosen to take an online CLE course on estate planning, not because it is his area, but because it is not, and he has elderly parents and needs to know more—ideally without running into a lot of his colleagues. A former law student of mine is seeking knowledge in other areas of the law through online CLE contemplating a direction switch. Still another is learning more about immigration law because of a friend in need.

This is exceptional knowledge that rises far above the “Continuing Legal Education” we are compelled to receive and report. IndyBar Online CLE puts our ability to become better lawyers, and I will argue better people, at our fingertips. Please check out the more than 70 course offerings at http://www.indybar.org/events-education/online-cle/.•

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  1. The Conour embarrassment is an example of why it would be a good idea to NOT name public buildings or to erect monuments to "worthy" people until AFTER they have been dead three years, at least. And we also need to stop naming federal buildings and roads after a worthless politician whose only achievement was getting elected multiple times (like a certain Congressman after whom we renamed the largest post office in the state). Also, why have we renamed BOTH the Center Township government center AND the new bus terminal/bum hangout after Julia Carson?

  2. Other than a complete lack of any verifiable and valid historical citations to back your wild context-free accusations, you also forget to allege "ate Native American children, ate slave children, ate their own children, and often did it all while using salad forks rather than dinner forks." (gasp)

  3. "So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)" Well, you know, we're just following in the footsteps of our founders who raped women, raped slaves, raped children, maimed immigrants, sold children, stole property, broke promises, broke apart families, killed natives... You know, good God fearing down home Christian folk! :/

  4. Who gives a rats behind about all the fluffy ranking nonsense. What students having to pay off debt need to know is that all schools aren't created equal and students from many schools don't have a snowball's chance of getting a decent paying job straight out of law school. Their lowly ranked lawschool won't tell them that though. When schools start honestly (accurately) reporting *those numbers, things will get interesting real quick, and the looks on student's faces will be priceless!

  5. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

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