ILNews

DTCI: Throw your cell phone into the spaghetti bowl

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

dtci-strenksi-jamesAbout five years ago, my father-in-law (who my children affectionately call “Poppy”) got so fed up with his cell phone that he threw it into a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs that was sitting on the kitchen table. My children, who were young and impressionable at the time, thought this was one of the funniest things that they had ever seen. There are times when we all feel like throwing our cell phone into the spaghetti bowl – technology can be extremely frustrating. However, my observation is that people, and especially attorneys, steadfastly refuse to throw their cell phone into the spaghetti bowl, even when they should.

Cell phones, tablet devices, laptop computers and other forms of mobile technology are great things. They increase our productivity. They allow professionals, including attorneys, to multitask. They give us the freedom to work away from our offices. Gone are the days when attorneys had to be at their offices during regular business hours; we can now attend our children’s ball games while taking short conference calls or responding to email correspondence. In a family such as mine, where both my wife and I have full-time jobs, cell phones allow us to juggle our home and work responsibilities more effectively.

However, my observation has also been that the electronic devices we possess are “mixed use” devices. In addition to housing our work email, work calendar and work-related apps, these devices also have a number of “play” apps, including but not limited to video games, Internet capability and YouTube. Accordingly, the ability to access both work and play 24/7 is only a click away. It is unfortunate, but I often see attorneys, friends and strangers using their cell phones or other smart devices at times when it is absolutely inappropriate to do so.

I attended a seminar this past spring. It was a great event; the speakers were excellent, and the seminar was well attended by attorneys from all segments of our profession. I arrived at the seminar a little bit late and ended up sitting in the back of the auditorium, so I had a fairly good view of the attendees in the room as well as the speakers. The number of attendees who had either a cell phone or a tablet device was striking. What was also striking was the number of attorneys who were using their cell phones or tablets during the seminar presentation. It was also clear from what I could see on the screens that the use of these devices was not work related. I found it a little shocking and rather depressing that many of the attendees were using their smart devices at a time they should have been listening to the presentation. Moreover, I suspect that none of these attorneys discounted their ethics credit for the time spent using their cell phones or tablet devices during the seminar.

Another example of smart phone misuse or abuse can be vacation. Like many attorneys, I take my cell phone and tablet with me on vacation, mainly to clear emails while away. If I didn’t bring my smart devices, I would most likely spend my first day back at work going over hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of emails that had come in while I was away, most of which are inconsequential, insignificant or just plain spam. However, more often than not, I find myself handling some small aspect of some matter on vacation just because I saw it come in on my email. Before long, I find myself billing an hour or two each day of vacation on matters that – while not insignificant – could have certainly waited until I returned to the office. At some point, attorneys, myself included, have to ask themselves, “What’s the point of vacation if you’re just going to work during it anyway?”

Cell phones, tablet devices, laptop computers and related devices are great; they put work and indeed the world at our fingertips 24/7/365. However, there are times when we really shouldn’t be checking our email or playing solitaire. As members of a great profession, we need to recognize that there are times when we really do need to be like Poppy and throw our cell phone in the spaghetti bowl – if only for a while.•

__________

Mr. Strenski is a partner in the Indianapolis firm of Cantrell Strenski & Mehringer and is a member of the DTCI board of directors. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Good luck, but as I have documented in three Hail Mary's to the SCOTUS, two applications (2007 & 2013),a civil rights suit and my own kicked-to-the-curb prayer for mandamus. all supported in detailed affidavits with full legal briefing (never considered), the ISC knows that the BLE operates "above the law" (i.e. unconstitutionally) and does not give a damn. In fact, that is how it was designed to control the lawyers. IU Law Prof. Patrick Baude blew the whistle while he was Ind Bar Examiner President back in 1993, even he was shut down. It is a masonic system that blackballs those whom the elite disdain. Here is the basic thrust:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackballing When I asked why I was initially denied, the court's foremost jester wrote back that the ten examiners all voted, and I did not gain the needed votes for approval (whatever that is, probably ten) and thus I was not in .. nothing written, no explanation, just go away or appeal ... and if you appeal and disagree with their system .. proof positive you lack character and fitness. It is both arbitrary and capricious by its very design. The Hoosier legal elites are monarchical minded, and rejected me for life for ostensibly failing to sufficiently respect man's law (due to my stated regard for God's law -- which they questioned me on, after remanding me for a psych eval for holding such Higher Law beliefs) while breaking their own rules, breaking federal statutory law, and violating federal and state constitutions and ancient due process standards .. all well documented as they "processed me" over many years.... yes years ... they have few standards that they will not bulldoze to get to the end desired. And the ISC knows this, and they keep it in play. So sad, And the fed courts refuse to do anything, and so the blackballing show goes on ... it is the Indy way. My final experience here: https://www.scribd.com/document/299040062/Brown-ind-Bar-memo-Pet-cert I will open my files to anyone interested in seeing justice dawn over Indy. My cases are an open book, just ask.

  2. Looks like 2017 will be another notable year for these cases. I have a Grandson involved in a CHINS case that should never have been. He and the whole family are being held hostage by CPS and the 'current mood' of the CPS caseworker. If the parents disagree with a decision, they are penalized. I, along with other were posting on Jasper County Online News, but all were quickly warned to remove posts. I totally understand that some children need these services, but in this case, it was mistakes, covered by coorcement of father to sign papers, lies and cover-ups. The most astonishing thing was within 2 weeks of this child being placed with CPS, a private adoption agency was asking questions regarding child's family in the area. I believe a photo that was taken by CPS manager at the very onset during the CHINS co-ocerment and the intent was to make money. I have even been warned not to post or speak to anyone regarding this case. Parents have completed all requirements, met foster parents, get visitation 2 days a week, and still the next court date is all the way out till May 1, which gives them(CPS) plenty of to time make further demands (which I expect) No trust of these 'seasoned' case managers, as I have already learned too much about their dirty little tricks. If they discover that I have posted here, I expect they will not be happy and penalized parents again. Still a Hostage.

  3. They say it was a court error, however they fail to mention A.R. was on the run from the law and was hiding. Thus why she didn't receive anything from her public defender. Step mom is filing again for adoption of the two boys she has raised. A.R. is a criminal with a serious heroin addiction. She filed this appeal MORE than 30 days after the final decision was made from prison. Report all the facts not just some.

  4. Hysteria? Really Ben? Tell the young lady reported on in the link below that worrying about the sexualizing of our children is mere hysteria. Such thinking is common in the Royal Order of Jesters and other running sex vacays in Thailand or Brazil ... like Indy's Jared Fogle. Those tempted to call such concerns mere histronics need to think on this: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-12-year-old-girl-live-streamed-her-suicide-it-took-two-weeks-for-facebook-to-take-the-video-down/ar-AAlT8ka?li=AA4ZnC&ocid=spartanntp

  5. This is happening so much. Even in 2016.2017. I hope the father sue for civil rights violation. I hope he sue as more are doing and even without a lawyer as pro-se, he got a good one here. God bless him.

ADVERTISEMENT