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. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

  3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.