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Hebenstreit: FIGHT ON!

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IBA-hebenstreitLess than 24 hours ago, I knew exactly what my topic for this column was going to be. I was going to talk about the insights I have learned working with the many talented members of the IndyBar this year. Now, as you read this you may wonder what this column has to do with the IndyBar. Well, when I signed on to do this job, I was told I could write about anything I wanted, so that is what I decided to do this time.

For about 5 years when I was in law school and after, two other friends and I drove to Hamburg, New York (near Buffalo) to snow ski. A mutual friend was from there, and his parents still lived in Hamburg. That gave us exactly what we needed — a place to stay that was my favorite price — free. Without their hospitality, we Hoosiers would not have been able to afford skiing. Pete and Mollie were just great folks. Both had white hair, were very Catholic, and were obviously very close. They lived in a New England clapboard house that was always covered in snow. Each year, they turned themselves inside out to make us feel at home. We thought we had hit the jackpot and wondered why they put up with us. Now that I have grown children, I know that they enjoyed it as much, or more, than we did. A great deal for all concerned.

Last night I recognized the Hamburg return address on a Christmas card and opened it. For some reason, after 33 years, I still remember their street address. The card was from Pete. That’s right, not Pete and Mollie. I knew that Mollie had passed away earlier this year. We had shared Christmas cards with each other every year, but the notes we received in prior years were always in Mollie’s handwriting. This year, Pete was writing to let their friends know of Mollie’s passing. Reading the card was emotional.

Everyone has a different way of celebrating/dreading the holiday season. We will be fortunate enough to have the entire family home. Being able to spend time with grown children is priceless. It will be fantastic to have them around even for just a few days. My Dad celebrates his 87th birthday on Christmas Day, and all will be around to help him celebrate it. His knees are getting a little unreliable and his hearing is shot. He spends most of his days taking care of my Mother, but that is his mission in life at this point. He doesn’t seem to mind. Robyn’s parents will also be around. Both are OK, but the years take their toll. What a strange reward for a life well lived!

I have handled enough family law cases to know how stressful the holiday season can be. Many families are not close, and the required interaction at the holiday season is probably unbearable. We have several friends who have lost parents, siblings and even children this past year. It must be horrible to watch the calendar creep closer to the holidays and wonder how empty the feeling will be. Hopefully all will find their own peace.

But I do not want to end on a sad or somber note. Pete’s handwritten note under the standard typed letter read “Mollie sure loved your ‘ski trip’ visits. So did I.” And we thought we were getting the better part of that deal! He also wrote “I plan to stay here on Highland Ave. The neighbors are great, the yard work is good for my health…and I know where everything is supposed to be.” What an attitude! He had cared for her through a 5-year battle with Alzheimer’s. Many would think their life was over after losing their best friend of 60 years, but not Pete. I hope I have that spirit when the chips are down. It is a good lesson for me, and I hope for you also. Fight on!

I hope you all have a very Happy Holiday season.•

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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. 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)

  4. "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.

  5. 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.

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