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Sidebars: Get down to business at Palomino

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Now it's time to get serious. During the past couple of years writing this column Jenny and I have had a great deal of fun. If you readers enjoy our contribution to the Indiana Lawyer only half as much as we do then this article serves its intended purpose - a break from the hard-nosed realities of practicing law.

A vast majority of readers of this column do not know me. What you do know of me is that my practice carries me to all parts of this wonderful state. I deeply enjoy meeting judges, prosecutors, and local lawyers from counties all across this state and becoming privy to the nuances each county brings. My travels, however, are not without their difficulty.

Seven years ago it all seemed so perfect. A beautiful wife. Three children - at that time ages 6, 4, and 1. A successful practice. Then I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

I've always taken the approach that it isn't what happens to people that matters. What does matter is how they respond to it. Having worked so hard to get where I was I knew that failure was not an option. It isn't just about me, I told myself. It is about those who depend upon me. I never liked jogging anyway so the inconvenience of MS is just that. It is an inconvenience and not a burden. Just watch the news some night. Pick up a file in your office. Those people have burdens.

Those who do know me or who have seen me, have seen me with my cane in the courtroom. You Marion County practitioners undoubtedly have seen me zip to court from my office to the City-County Building on my Segway. It's really quite liberating. Or as my dear wife, Amy, describes it, suddenly I go from "cripple to cool."

Dr. Keith March is a fellow parishioner of mine. A professor of cardiology, inter alia, at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, he invited me to lunch recently to discuss a new foundation he's helped formulate and how it can positively impact people like me. Known as the Cell Therapy Foundation, its mission is to advance the cause of adult stemcell research. The purpose of our meeting was to get my thoughts about whether MS would be a worthy disease to study, along with a few select others.

Joined by Bryan Snook, the director of resource development for the foundation, and Ann Myers, the director of operations, the four of us met over a lively lunch and discussed everything from strategy, funding, policy, procedure, Costa Rican research models, Northwestern University studies, and yes, the food.

This is an exciting, one-of-a-kind project, and it's going on right in our backyard. Still in its infancy it has accomplished much. Dick Van Dyke, 84 years strong, is donating his time and image to the foundation as its national spokesperson. The board of directors is an esteemed group, working hard to raise awareness about the foundation be it through fundraising, securing grants and, of course, research.

Adult stem cells are void of the controversy surrounding embryonic stem cells and potentially show greater promise. Taken from your fat cells through liposuction, they are used to regenerate growth to damaged areas of your body. Imagine a day where you enter a doctor's office in a wheelchair with the ability to walk out unassisted. Plus, you might lose 10 pounds in the process! Space limitations prevent me from going on. You will see donation possibilities from me in the future. Now, about the food.

Palomino, while not an independent restaurant, is one of the best in Indianapolis for a business lunch. I had the grouper, swimming in a savory broth mixed with vegetables, legumes, and perhaps a hint of pancetta. The others enjoyed sea scallops nestled on a bed of spinach and drizzled with pine nuts. Quality food and a favorite of locals and out-of-towners alike. This place is always a worth visit.

Thanks for letting me vent and spread awareness today. For more information, visit www.celltherapyfoundation.org and www.palomino.com. 45 W. Maryland St., Indianapolis.

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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