Attorney trashed, literally

June 19, 2009
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One attorney took the term “getting trashed” literally this week and ended up in a trash can near his home after having one too many drinks.

It almost sounds like the punch line to a new lawyer joke: “An attorney wakes up one morning in a trash can and says…” For Larry Wilder, city council attorney in Jeffersonville, it’s reality as he woke up Wednesday morning in a neighbor’s trash can after a night of drinking and celebrating a friend passing the real-estate licensing exam. According to news reports, Wilder said he was driven home in a private limo and doesn’t really remember what happened after leaving Louisville.

Unfortunately for Wilder, there are pictures to prove what happened.

But is this really worth the amount of news coverage it’s generated? Yes, it’s funny. A guy ended up in a trash can and there is an embarrassing picture to prove it. I guess on a slow news day, it would make the paper or the nightly news. Is it deemed newsworthy because he’s an attorney, a profession the general public views with less tolerance for breaking the law, or the fact he’s a public figure since he’s the city council attorney?

Yes, Wilder is a public figure, but he didn’t engage in any illegal behavior (that we’re aware of). He went out drinking with friends, had a designated driver, and doesn’t remember much of what happened that night. Don’t tell me that hasn’t happened to you at least once in your life, perhaps in college or at a bachelor/bachelorette party, where you don’t remember all the details of the night before.

It would have been news had he been arrested for public intoxication, drunk driving, or any other illegal activity. It’s news when attorneys and judges are arrested, but is it news when they only end up in an embarrassing situation?

I’m convinced if Wilder wasn’t an attorney for the city, this wouldn’t have made the news. He wasn’t arrested and police who were called to the neighborhood just escorted him to his home nearby.

Why do you think the state’s news outlets picked up on this story? A great picture with a funny story, or is it because Wilder is a city attorney?
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  • Just because one is not arrested, does not mean one did not break the law. The attorney is an easy target as are members of the clergy, politicians, police officers, and celebrities.
    If he had a limo drive him home, how is it that he was in a neighbor\'s trash can and not his own? Could it be he lied? He stated he doesn\'t remember anything, but he remembered calling a limo, being dropped off and then he caught a case of amnesia? Also, as the city council attorney, yes, you are held to a higher standard. How can you defend the law and then, in a celebration, break it? Public intoxication is against the law, right?
    Did anyone check to see if there really was a private limo ordered, or did the attorney put it on the taxpayers\' tab? Perhaps his friend drove him home after a few too many, and the attorney is hiding him from the harsh sentence he would deem appropriate for the lay person.
    If you do not want to look like a fool in the newspapers, don\'t behave as a fool does. Whether any of us has done it, as you stated, is irrelevant. We took our chances with ending up behind bars, losing our jobs, embarassing ourselves and so did he.

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  1. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  4. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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