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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. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  2. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  3. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

  5. I am the father of a sweet little one-year-old named girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. To anyone who reads this who may be considering the decision to terminate, please know that your child will absolutely light up your life as my daughter has the lives of everyone around her. There is no part of me that condones abortion of a child on the basis that he/she has or might have Down Syndrome. From an intellectual standpoint, however, I question the enforceability of this potential law. As it stands now, the bill reads in relevant part as follows: "A person may not intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion . . . if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome." It includes similarly worded provisions abortion on "any other disability" or based on sex selection. It goes so far as to make the medical provider at least potentially liable for wrongful death. First, how does a medical provider "know" that "the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion SOLELY" because of anything? What if the woman says she just doesn't want the baby - not because of the diagnosis - she just doesn't want him/her? Further, how can the doctor be liable for wrongful death, when a Child Wrongful Death claim belongs to the parents? Is there any circumstance in which the mother's comparative fault will not exceed the doctor's alleged comparative fault, thereby barring the claim? If the State wants to discourage women from aborting their children because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I'm all for that. Purporting to ban it with an unenforceable law, however, is not the way to effectuate this policy.

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