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. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  2. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  3. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  4. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

  5. And so the therapeutic state is weaonized. How soon until those with ideologies opposing the elite are disarmed in the name of mental health? If it can start anywhere it can start in the hoosiers' slavishly politically correct capital city.

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