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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. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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