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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 we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)" Well, you know, we're just following in the footsteps of our founders who raped women, raped slaves, raped children, maimed immigrants, sold children, stole property, broke promises, broke apart families, killed natives... You know, good God fearing down home Christian folk! :/

  2. Who gives a rats behind about all the fluffy ranking nonsense. What students having to pay off debt need to know is that all schools aren't created equal and students from many schools don't have a snowball's chance of getting a decent paying job straight out of law school. Their lowly ranked lawschool won't tell them that though. When schools start honestly (accurately) reporting *those numbers, things will get interesting real quick, and the looks on student's faces will be priceless!

  3. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

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  5. A common refrain in the comments on this website comes from people who cannot locate attorneys willing put justice over retainers. At the same time the judiciary threatens to make pro bono work mandatory, seemingly noting the same concern. But what happens to attorneys who have the chumptzah to threatened the legal status quo in Indiana? Ask Gary Welch, ask Paul Ogden, ask me. Speak truth to power, suffer horrendously accordingly. No wonder Hoosier attorneys who want to keep in good graces merely chase the dollars ... the powers that be have no concerns as to those who are ever for sale to the highest bidder ... for those even willing to compromise for $$$ never allow either justice or constitutionality to cause them to stand up to injustice or unconstitutionality. And the bad apples in the Hoosier barrel, like this one, just keep rotting.

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