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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. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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