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Chinn: Tell Us How We Are Doing

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iba-chinn-scottThe leadership of the IndyBar is an active lot and my sense is that most members of leadership feel positive about the bar’s activity level and performance. And by any objective measure, the IndyBar’s event calendar is full and its service offerings are growing. Let me give you just five examples.

Recently, we had the quarterly meeting of the chairs of the IndyBar’s sections, divisions and committees at the offices of the IndyBar. The oral reports of section activity disclosed an impressive list of CLEs, social networking events, membership recruitment efforts, and governance tweaks. For example, as just one measurement, the bar’s 17 sections and four divisions will put on an estimated 150 CLEs and other programs this calendar year. As we did last year, we will be assembling a mid-year report of section activity for review and dissemination. Let me say “thanks” in advance to the chairs and executive committees of the IndyBar for all the good work going on.

As I hope everyone knows, on June 14-16, the IndyBar will host the 19th annual Bench Bar Conference in French Lick. Sponsors have stepped up, registrations are flowing in, and thanks to BenchBar Committee Chair Judge Tim Oakes and his committee members, the programs for this year’s conference promise to be some of the best ever. I hope to see you at French Lick for one of the bar’s signature events.

It was graduation time recently not only for high school and college students, but also for the participants of Class IX of the IndyBar’s Bar Leader series. For the 25 lawyers selected to participate every year in this series, this has truly become one of the premier leadership courses in Indiana. Merely to mention the names of the Bar Leader Chair and Moderator for the 2011-12 Class – Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson and Justice Ted Boehm, respectively – is to prove the quality of the program. But the real highlight is the civic and professional interest of the class members and how it comes alive through interaction with a wide array of speakers and panelists throughout the course of the year. Graduation day concluded with presentations of group projects and (I am told) some revelry at a certain German restaurant known for its Biergarten.

Next, we are proud to announce the launch of the Indy Lawyer Finder service. Moving lawyer referral into the technology age, the IndyBar now sponsors a web-based platform for clients to find lawyers in Central Indiana. Indy Lawyer Finder offers members of the public user-guided searches of IndyBar attorneys in a variety of practice areas. This service is aimed at continuing the bar’s mission to provide the public with access to legal representation, as well as provide revenues that keep dues low. Take a moment to review Indy Lawyer Finder online at www.indylawyerfinder.com.

Finally, as an example of the less high profile but worthy activities of the bar, IndyBar Vice President Andy Klineman has been reaching out in various ways to corporate and in-house attorneys on the bar’s behalf. We recognize that this important group of lawyers sometimes feels neglected by bar associations and want to try to develop programming and social networking opportunities to bring them into the fold. To that end, First Vice President Jeff Abrams will be working on opportunities to expand 2013 Bench-Bar programming to attract more corporate and in-house attorneys.

And there is so much more going on. But here’s the question – are these programs and activities reaching you? Are they scratching your itch for bar participation? At the end of the day, we are and should be conscious that the IndyBar is a member service organization that should strive to serve all its members. We want to know what you think. What are we missing? Did we make a mistake that you noticed recently? What would make you a more active member?

Let me confess what prompted me to ask these questions. Last week, I got two emails that happily turned on a light bulb for me. The first was a forwarded email with constructive criticism about a recent CLE program that IndyBar sponsored. The second was an email from a large hotel chain responding to an electronic comment card I had submitted after a recent stay. I rarely fill out those surveys, but my recent stay was plagued with issues and I thought it worth saying so to the hotel. In response, I received a personalized email from hotel management expressing regret for the problems and the hope that it wouldn’t lose my business.

So, take this as a comment card. Email me at scott.chinn@faegrebd.com or call me at 317-237-1291 with your feedback. Or if you run into Executive Director Julie Armstrong or a member of the IndyBar board, let them know what you think. We’ll take constructive comments seriously (except about the linens).

Be well.

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  1. Falk said “At this point, at this minute, we’ll savor this particular victory.” “It certainly is a historic week on this front,” Cockrum said. “What a delight ... “Happy Independence Day to the women of the state of Indiana,” WOW. 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.)

  2. congratulations on such balanced journalism; I also love how fetus disposal affects women's health protection, as covered by Roe...

  3. It truly sickens me every time a case is compared to mine. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld my convictions based on a finding of “hidden threats.” The term “hidden threat” never appeared until the opinion in Brewington so I had no way of knowing I was on trial for making hidden threats because Dearborn County Prosecutor F Aaron Negangard argued the First Amendment didn't protect lies. Negangard convened a grand jury to investigate me for making “over the top” and “unsubstantiated” statements about court officials, not hidden threats of violence. My indictments and convictions were so vague, the Indiana Court of Appeals made no mention of hidden threats when they upheld my convictions. Despite my public defender’s closing arguments stating he was unsure of exactly what conduct the prosecution deemed to be unlawful, Rush found that my lawyer’s trial strategy waived my right to the fundamental error of being tried for criminal defamation because my lawyer employed a strategy that attempted to take advantage of Negangard's unconstitutional criminal defamation prosecution against me. Rush’s opinion stated the prosecution argued two grounds for conviction one constitutional and one not, however the constitutional true threat “argument” consistently of only a blanket reading of subsection 1 of the intimidation statute during closing arguments, making it impossible to build any kind of defense. Of course intent was impossible for my attorney to argue because my attorney, Rush County Chief Public Defender Bryan Barrett refused to meet with me prior to trial. The record is littered with examples of where I made my concerns known to the trial judge that I didn’t know the charges against me, I did not have access to evidence, all while my public defender refused to meet with me. Special Judge Brian Hill, from Rush Superior Court, refused to address the issue with my public defender and marched me to trial without access to evidence or an understanding of the indictments against me. Just recently the Indiana Public Access Counselor found that four over four years Judge Hill has erroneously denied access to the grand jury audio from my case, the most likely reason being the transcription of the grand jury proceedings omitted portions of the official audio record. The bottom line is any intimidation case involves an action or statement that is debatably a threat of physical violence. There were no such statements in my case. The Indiana Supreme Court took partial statements I made over a period of 41 months and literally connected them with dots… to give the appearance that the statements were made within the same timeframe and then claimed a person similarly situated would find the statements intimidating while intentionally leaving out surrounding contextual factors. Even holding the similarly situated test was to be used in my case, the prosecution argued that the only intent of my public writings was to subject the “victims” to ridicule and hatred so a similarly situated jury instruction wouldn't even have applied in my case. Chief Justice Rush wrote the opinion while Rush continued to sit on a committee with one of the alleged victims in my trial and one of the judges in my divorce, just as she'd done for the previous 7+ years. All of this information, including the recent PAC opinion against the Dearborn Superior Court II can be found on my blog www.danbrewington.blogspot.com.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

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