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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. 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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