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Hebenstreit: Thanks

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IBA-hebenstreitThree hundred sixty five days sounds like a long time, but 2011 has flown by very quickly. This is my last column in Indiana Lawyer. It has been a bit of a challenge coming up with fresh ideas to write about every other week. Now I know why the term of President is only one year–no person can come up with more new ideas for this column. I have no idea how Andy Rooney came up with a new idea each week for all the years he was on 60 Minutes–unless of course it was because he was paid to do it! Strangely enough, I have found that I have actually enjoyed writing the column.

This has been a productive and enjoyable year. After spending two full years as First Vice President and then President Elect, it would seem that every President has learned all there is to learn about the IndyBar. Not so. In past years, I was copied on countless emails, but this year my name was at the top of those emails and someone expected a response. It is amazing how much occurs in a year.

At the beginning of the year, I wrote that I hoped the theme for 2011 would be based on Collegiality and Service. Collegiality has become more important as the world gets more digital and immediate. Lawyers are great people and all of us are better served if we maintain good relations with our colleagues. Hopefully the IndyBar has provided you with an avenue for creating and maintaining friendships with other lawyers.

In addition to the Board, there are 17 sections of the IndyBar that are practice area specific. Four divisions exist and there are 22 committees. All have a specific purpose, and each has been very active this year. If you were too busy this year to take advantage of the services, perhaps next year you will be able to do so. Counting meetings, CLE programming and events, the IndyBar has hosted 312 activities–almost one a day. If you want to be further educated, take a look at the midyear report that was created this year highlighting the events and accomplishments of the Sections. We conducted quarterly meetings of the chairs, and I very much appreciate the high level of activity, energy and creativity of each chair this year.

The marquee events of the year were the Bench Bar Conference in June, the Las Vegas Destination CLE in October, the Racing Attorney’s Conference (TRAC) in April, the Women and the Law Symposium in October, and the Diversity Job Fair in August. An enormous amount of planning and execution was necessary to insure that each was a great success.

The Judges Roundtable was a new program started this year. Three separate events were held dealing with general civil law, criminal law, and family law. Thanks to the judges who volunteered to participate in the Roundtables, particularly at 8 a.m. Another new event was the collaborative effort of the Senior Counsel Division and the Young Lawyers Division for their Speed Networking event. Thanks to the work of the Communications Study Committee, the IndyBar will have new and more varied means of communicating with each of you. The website of the IndyBar was further refined this year, and a protocol was adopted dealing with Social Media issues for our Facebook and Twitter activity. Additionally, the Indy LawyerFinder is set to launch in January. It is an online search option for potential clients to locate and hire our members and is in addition to the existing Lawyer Referral Service.

The work of the Bar in providing good quality and relevant service to the members is accomplished by the time and effort of hundreds of volunteers. Thanks to all for the individual contributions that have made the Bar better. I want to thank all Vice Presidents, Officers, and members of the Board and especially our counsel, David Herzog and April Sellers. Special thanks to Julie and the staff. For any of you who have had the pleasure of working with them, you know what consummate professionals they all are. Finally to Robyn for letting me slide on all of the home chores I neglected all year.

Make sure to input January 12th in your Outlook calendar. That is the date of the Installation Luncheon where Scott Chinn will be installed as the 2012 President. Next year will be a great one. I have very much enjoyed working closely with Scott this year, and look forward to working with both Scott as well as his Board in 2012. I will particularly look forward to reading his President’s column next year. Happy New Year.•

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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