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Hebenstreit: Collaborating to Provide Services for All

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IBA-hebenstreitService has always been important, but in today’s frenetic world, receiving good and prompt service is critical. We stopped in a new restaurant for breakfast the other day (no, I am not trying to compete with Jenny Lukemeyer and Fred Vaiana in the restaurant review business). Everything looked good from the outside, but when we were told that they did not offer crepes for breakfast, only lunch and dinner, it seemed a little odd. But, when their espresso machine was not working, and they could not make any espresso drinks, things started to go downhill pretty quickly. Our server was polite, and I may try it again, but probably not immediately. Service is important.

This year, one of my goals for the IndyBar has been to provide impeccable service to you, the members. Thanks to the hard work of Aubrey Kuchar and the Membership Committee, we are close to our goal of exceeding 5000 members by year end. Hopefully the new members have joined because of what we offer to them and the long time members still believe they get good value for their membership.

With 5000 attorneys as the audience, it takes a variety of services to be of benefit to everyone. Most of our members interact with the IndyBar through the various practice sections. It is natural to associate with those who have common interests and practice areas. It is also the means by which many of us receive our CLE.

Every quarter, we have a meeting with all of the Section and Division chairs. The purpose is to learn what other Sections are doing and share ideas. These meetings are quite enlightening. In fact, this year, I asked all chairs to prepare a short report detailing what they had accomplished during the first half of the year. Soon you will receive your electronic copy of those reports. I was astounded at the number of events and CLE seminars hosted by the Sections. All of the Sections have been quite active and busy this year; however there are a few developments that are worth sharing.

The Women and the Law Section decided to host an all day seminar dealing with a variety of issues that are very important and germane to their members. They have secured a nationally recognized expert to be the keynote speaker at the opening dinner on Thursday evening. The following day is filled with a wide variety of substantive sessions taught by an impressive lineup of presenters. This is a major undertaking for a Section.

This year collaboration has been a new and successful tool for providing service to the members. Due to the overlap in practice areas, the Estate Planning & Administration Section planned, and held, a joint event with the Family Law Section. It started with CLE of interest to both groups and then followed with a reception designed to allow the members of each section to interact and network with each other. They are planning on a repeat next year.

In addition to CLE some of the sections have collaborated to serve the public. On September 15th, the second annual Mediation Day will be held. It is a joint effort of the ADR Section and the Pro Bono Section designed to assist lower income and indigent litigants—a benefit to both sections and the general public.

As a young attorney, I was attending a pre trial conference with the late Judge Walter Bell. A legal issue came up and the Judge said he would refer to his “rolodex encyclopedia.’” Over the years, Judge Bell had created a rolodex full of the names and phone numbers of attorneys he could call upon to get a quick answer about a specific area of the law. The Senior Counsel Division and Young Lawyers Division have collaborated on a first ever “speed dating “ event. It will allow younger lawyers to stop by a table manned by members of the Senior Counsel Division who have certain expertise in a given area. The young attorneys can ask any questions about the given area of law and gain the wisdom and practice knowledge of the senior members. In addition to providing substantive answers, the event is designed to be an opportunity for the younger members to meet face to face with possible mentors and to acquire their names and phone numbers (or e mail addresses) so they can build their own “Outlook encyclopedia.”

As practice areas become more specialized, I hope that the Sections and Divisions will continue to look for commonality to collaborate with each other. Joint events provide not only enhanced service to the members, but also an opportunity for collegiality among the lawyers.•

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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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