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Hickey: Be one, have fun

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As I write this article, it will have been but few days since my installation as the 132nd President of the Indianapolis Bar Association. Leaders and volunteers in many different capacities came together to celebrate on that day, which marked the first joint installation of the 2010 IBA Board of Directors, Indianapolis Bar Foundation Board of Directors and Presidents of both the IBA and IBF. Special guests filled the room, including distinguished representatives of our courts, government agencies, the law school, and solo, small- and large-firm lawyers alike.

In assuming the role of President of the Association, the journey can be a long one. For me, it took me back to a steering committee many years ago, chairing various committees, serving several Board terms and serving as President of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation. I looked forward to being installed as President of the Association with much anticipation and the day did not disappoint.

As each Board member was called to take the oath, I was reminded that the strength of our Association comes from the diverse people who raised their hands and promised to serve us well, and from those who watched and applauded in support. The spirit of the legal community that day was very real and very alive. For those who were unable to attend, I would like to share my message for the occasion that consisted of three thoughts to carry us through the year:

Be One

This year, our challenge to each of you is to be one of those attorneys and judges who gets involved in the Bar - who attends our gatherings and gets to know the legal community that is our membership. The IBA brings so many opportunities to the practice of law that you simply cannot get from the next client or case.

Whether your practice is local or national, litigation or transactional, you simply cannot be an attorney in our metro area and get all you can from this profession without being a member.

Get involved and get others involved. Be one of our members who reaches out to young lawyers, brings them to events and encourages their participation in the Bar.

Be one of those members who brings new members to our Association and one who takes advantage of all that the Bar has to offer.

Have Fun

As a Board, our plan for the year is to work hard and have fun. Rather than offer a famous quote or a flowery phrase, the message is simple: our hope is that you will do the same. That you will enjoy this year and all that it has to offer. That you will enjoy our legal profession and that you will look to the Bar with the same enthusiasm and excitement that we do.

Thank You

Thanks first go to Immediate Past-President, Jim Voyles, and the 2009 Board for the year of outstanding service they just completed for the Bar. As our President, Jim brought much to our Association; he served us with a good heart and great leadership. He brought a sense of humor to all that we did, and he made the year one to remember.

Looking ahead, I know the same will be true for the incoming leadership in Mike Hebenstreit as President-Elect and Scott Chinn, our First Vice President.

Thank you to those members sworn in to represent the Association and Foundation this coming year for the hard work that they will do as volunteers and leaders of this legal community. In addition, to the many people who have answered my call to head a committee, lead a task force, or take on a project this year. Those people began dedicating their time and talents to the IBA months ago, and my appreciation goes out to them.

To our Bar professionals, who are the ever-present face of our Bar: Julie Armstrong, our Executive Director; Kari Hartman, our Assistant Executive Director; and every other staff person who answers the phone with a smile and greets our members with the warm welcome that we have come to expect. Thank you for making our Association one of the best in the country.

Finally, thank you to the IBA members. Reflecting back on the heartfelt well wishes, handshakes and hugs that filled the day, it is clear to me that the installation luncheon was a tribute to the many legal professionals who are the good friends that we call our Indianapolis Bar Association.

I am honored to serve as your President and I look forward to a great year ahead.

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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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