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Chinn: 19th Annual Bench Bar: On The Merits

Scott Chinn
July 4, 2012
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iba-chinn-scottThe Indianapolis Bar Association (“IndyBar”), by counsel, respectfully submits this appeal to its members and the Indiana legal community to recognize the success of the 19th Annual IndyBar Bench-Bar Conference (“IBA Bench Bar”) and to continue to support it in the future. In support of this pleading, the IndyBar shows as follows:

1. For the second year in a row, judge and lawyer members of the IndyBar descended on French Lick, Ind., for IBA Bench Bar.

2. During the daytime on Thursday, June 14, 2012, Bob York led approximately 40 golfers through the hills and dales of the Donald Ross “Hill Course” prompting so much excitement as to cause the IndyBar first vice president to make serious progress toward playing a second round before needing to return to the French Lick Springs Hotel for “hydration.”

3. Other IndyBar members were seen lounging by the pool.

4. On Thursday evening, a spectacular reception and dinner was held in the atrium of the West Baden Hotel. Just standing in that building never gets old. Much goodwill was exchanged and camaraderie felt by the participants. Also, it was remarked frequently that the food was quite good.

5. On Thursday night, judicial notice was taken regarding the great length of time that beverages will stay cold when iced down in the bath tub of a hospitality suite (and also that the beer ran out at some point).

6. Turning to the activities of Friday, June 15, 2012, Judge Tim Oakes and the members of his IBA Bench Bar Committee did a terrific job planning the conference. Of special note is the attention paid to programming, which was by consensus labeled a tremendous success. Criminal, civil, and family law, and mediation tracks filled the program. Basic and advanced practice topics as well as cutting edge legal policy issues were discussed.

7. Of special note this year was the programming designed for spouses of IBA Bench Bar participants. A planning committee of spouses made sure that their peers were not afterthoughts at IBA Bench Bar.

8. Also of special note is the attendance of more than 20 lawyers who received scholarships to defray the cost of the conference.

9. The “First Timers Reception” was held again on Friday evening. The Old Timers expressed how earnest and interesting the First Timers were – and that we need to find a way of mixing these groups more often.

10. The Friday night dinner was punctuated by the annual theme of finding the president’s appearance at the podium tiresome. But relief was enjoyed when comedian-turned-lawyer James Bell took the microphone to preside over the award of raffle prizes. Especially remarkable was the grace displayed by Bell’s sidekick David “Vanna White” Herzog.

11. Later on Friday night, the Indianapolis Bar Foundation took Trivia Night on the road from Indianapolis to French Lick. Bell shifted from his role as raffle MC to trivia proctor. A minor scuffle ensued during IBA Presidential Trivia, which prompted the hotel bartender to remark with words to the effect, “wow, you lawyers sure take this stuff seriously.” A small sum was netted for the IBF and a good time was had by all.

12. Apparently there was the customary ethics seminar on Saturday morning – also MC’ed by Bell. (The undersigned counsel was driving from French Lick to Ft. Wayne by that time in the morning and does not have first-hand knowledge of this program.)

13. In addition to the great work of Judge Oakes IBA Bench-Bar Committee, IndyBar Executive Director Julie Armstrong and staff members Mary Kay Price and Tara Moore, unsurprisingly, pulled off event operations with their usual effectiveness and charm.



WHEREFORE, the IndyBar respectfully requests the following relief:

A. That the 19th Annual IndyBar Bench Bar Conference be deemed an unqualified success;

B. That the generous sponsors of the conference be thanked again for making the event possible;

C. That it be recognized by those in attendance how truly fortunate we are to be part of the Indianapolis legal community and how the IBA Bench Bar Conference fosters important relationships among members of the bar;

D. That young lawyers be made aware that it is tantamount to professional malpractice not to attend the Bench Bar Conference if at all possible;

E. That our minds already be trained toward Louisville, Ky., the site of the historic 20th Annual IndyBar Bench Bar Conference, which will be a great success under the leadership of then-to-be President Kerry Blomquist; and

For all other just and proper relief.

Respectfully submitted,

A. Scott Chinn

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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