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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. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

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  5. 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

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