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Column: ISBA Young Lawyers Section has busy year

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The Indiana State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section has historically been the largest and most active of all the ISBA sections, and it is frequently referred to as the “service arm” of the ISBA. All ISBA members age 36 and under are eligible to become a member of the YLS, and I encourage eligible members to join this dynamic organization.

jasaitis-michael-mug.jpg Jasaitis

I have often been asked about the focus of the state bar’s YLS. If one were to take a look at the governing bylaws, the purpose of the YLS is set forth as follows:

[T]o stimulate the interest of new and young lawyers in the objectives of the Indiana State Bar Association (“ISBA”), to carry on activities which will be of assistance to new and young lawyers in the practice of law, and the citizens of this state, and to make reports and recommendations to the governing bodies of the ISBA.

This essentially means that our mission is to assist in the development of new and young lawyers. The activities and accomplishments of the YLS have certainly advanced this important purpose.

The YLS served the young, the old and the less fortunate with a multitude of service projects, which included the award-winning “Young Lawyers Serving Hoosier Seniors” community service joint projects with local law school students. Networking opportunities with judges from across the state were provided at the inaugural “Dinner with the Judiciary” events and the annual YLS-hosted Judicial Reception. The section also resurrected the state bar’s annual golf outing with a special emphasis on honoring past YLS leaders for their service.

With the incredible amount of participation from the YLS governing council and the entire membership, the YLS has even been recognized on the national level. Specifically, the American Bar Association awarded the Indiana YLS two national awards in the all-around comprehensive and the service project categories. The YLS also received recognition at the recent National Association of Bar Executives’ annual conference, where the YLS received the Luminary Award for Excellence in Publications for its “Legal Stuff (You should know!),” a publication that provides high school seniors with a basic understanding of various areas of law that may affect their lives.

The YLS council members spent countless number of volunteer hours organizing, marketing and attending events to benefit the public and lawyers, with a focus toward those that are young and/or new. Moreover, the YLS could not function as efficiently without the full backing of the state bar leadership, administration and staff. Without question, the ISBA leadership, including Past-President Jeff Lind and current President Erik Chickedantz, fully supported the activities of the YLS and even solicited input involving decisions made at the highest level of the ISBA.

As the immediate past chair, here are a few resonating thoughts in closing:

If you want to get involved in the YLS or the ISBA, simply contact the ISBA. The various YLS committees are not limited to Council members. If there is an interest, and you are willing, the YLS and the ISBA will find a spot for you to serve.

Never underestimate the power of networking. I have yet to meet an attorney that has not benefited from networking in some fashion. So get out and meet your colleagues and members of your community. It will come back to you in a positive manner.

The members of the judiciary in this state, from the trial court all the way to the Indiana Supreme Court, were once in your shoes. My experience is that they want to see young and new lawyers succeed, so don’t be afraid to reach out for guidance and advice.

If you have a passion in a certain area of the law, find a feasible way to pursue it. Take a risk if you have to. Do what you love, and it won’t feel like you are going to work, but rather your calling.

Be yourself and never forget where you came from. When that new or young lawyer comes to you 20 years from now for assistance, remember this message and take the time to provide direction.

Your current YLS Chair, Jason A. Cichowicz, was a big part of this past year’s YLS efforts and will provide this section with strong leadership into 2012. I see the level of involvement increasing during his term, and I’m absolutely confident in the continued success of this section. The YLS will dedicate itself to the steadfast commitment of providing opportunities and assistance to new lawyers in the practice of law. I am honored to have served the YLS, and with the continued participation, and the leadership that will follow, the future of this section is brilliant.•

__________

Michael J. Jasaitis is an attorney with the Crown Point law firm Austgen Kuiper & Associates. He is immediate past chair of the ISBA Young Lawyers Section. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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