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DTCI: Who needs government? Maybe we do!

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DTCI-Tyra-Kevin.jpgWhen I got out of bed this morning, a Tea Party activist on the morning news was decrying government intrusion into our lives and our freedom. He seemed to be saying that our lives would be so much better without government getting in our way and getting in the way of businesses trying to make our lives better through the free market system.

I assume he was referring to businesses such as AIG, Goldman Sachs, BP, and Massey Coal Company.

But I’m really onboard with what the Tea Party guy was saying. After all, whatever I have accomplished in my life is the result of my own hard work, right? I’m sure it wasn’t because of the federal government’s implementation of the G.I. Bill of Rights after World War II, which allowed my father to go to vocational school and my father-in-law to go to college, which made a world of difference in the socio-economic conditions of their families. And the fact that I, my wife, and our son, daughter, and daughter-in-law all received college educations at Indiana public universities subsidized by Indiana taxpayers (as well as numerous federal grants) doesn’t change the fact that we got where we are just through our own hard work and not with the help of the government.

I continued thinking about this as I efficiently made it into work on an interstate system largely financed by the federal government, and on city streets that have properly working traffic lights and are mostly pothole-free thanks to state and municipal funding and employees. I didn’t need to concern myself with risks to my personal safety on the way in since the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Indianapolis Fire Department have a pretty good handle on things. Not much by way of highway brigands. And thanks in large part to the Department of Homeland Security and related agencies, there wasn’t much chance of being caught up in a terrorist attack either.

As I arrived at work, our paralegal, Amy, was already gathering docket updates and data we need on various cases through government online sources such as in.gov and Doxpop. She was also on the phone to a Superior Court clerk with a question about a recent filing. When we file a pleading by mail, it’s pretty certain it will arrive promptly thanks to the U.S. Postal Service.

One of our associates, Jerry, was heading out to the federal courthouse for a settlement conference in which a federal magistrate was serving as a mediator in one of our cases, at no charge to the parties.

That afternoon I argued a summary judgment motion before an impartial judge in a court financed through a combination of tax dollars and filing fees (paid by the plaintiff, not by my client). Although sometimes the judge is wrong (defined as “the judge ruled against my client”), it’s still about the best system anyone could come up with.

Well, perhaps our ability to function in society, and to make a living, and to enjoy the kinds of lives we want to live, isn’t solely derived from our own efforts. Perhaps government isn’t merely an intrusion into our lives. In many respects, governmental activity makes the lives we enjoy feasible. And perhaps Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was right when he said, “Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society.”•

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Kevin C. Tyra is the principal of The Tyra Law Firm in Indianapolis. He is a member of the DTCI board of directors. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.
 

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  1. This is easily remedied, and in a fashion that every church sacrificing incense for its 501c3 status and/or graveling for government grants should have no problem with ..... just add this statue, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Capitoline_she-wolf_Musei_Capitolini_MC1181.jpg entitled, "Jesus and Cousin John learn to suckle sustenance from the beloved Nanny State." Heckfire, the ACLU might even help move the statue in place then. And the art will certainly reflect our modern life, given the clergy's full-bellied willingness to accede to every whim of the new caesars. If any balk, just threaten to take away their government milk … they will quiet down straightaway, I assure you. Few, if any of them, are willing to cross the ruling elite as did the real J&J

  2. Tina has left the building.

  3. Is JLAP and its bevy of social "scientists" the cure to every ailment of the modern practitioner? I see no allegations as to substance abuse, but I sure see a judge who has seemingly let power go to her head and who lacks any appreciation for the rule of law. Seems that she needs help in her legal philosophy and judicial restraint, not some group encounter session to affirm she is OK, we are OK. Can’t we lawyers just engage in peer professionalism and even peer pressure anymore? Need we social workers to tell us it is wrong to violate due process? And if we conduct ourselves with the basic respect for the law shown by most social workers .... it that good enough in Indiana? If not, then how is JLAP to help this 2003 law school grad get what her law school evidently failed to teach her? (In addition .... rhetorical question … I have a theory that the LAP model serves as a conduit for governmental grace when the same strict application of the law visited upon the poor and the powerless just will not do. See in the records of this paper ... can the argument be made that many who save their licenses, reputations, salaries by calling upon that font of grace are receiving special treatment? Who tracks the application of said grace to assure that EP and DP standards are fully realized? Does the higher one climbs inside the Beltway bring greater showers of grace? Should such grace be the providence of the government, or the churches and NGO's? Why, we would not want to be found mixing the remnants of our abandoned faith with the highest loyalty to the secularist state, now would we?)

  4. Is JLAP and its bevy of social "scientists" the cure to every ailment of the modern practitioner? I see no allegations as to substance abuse, but I sure see a judge who has seemingly let power go to her head and who lacks any appreciation for the rule of law. Seems that she needs help in her legal philosophy and judicial restraint, not some group encounter session to affirm she is OK, we are OK. Cannot we lawyers not engage in peer professionalism and even pressure anymore? Need we social workers to tell us it is wrong to violate due process? And if we conduct ourselves with the basis respect for the law shown by most social workers .... it that good enough in Indiana?

  5. Judge Baker nails it: "Russell was in a place he did not have a right to be, to take an action he did not have a right to take. Russell neglected to leave that property even after engaging in a heated argument with and being struck with a broom handle by the property owner." AS is noted below ... sad to think that the next shoe to drop will be the thief suing the car owner. That is justice?

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