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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. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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