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Hickey: State of the Bar Association

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IBA-Hickey-ChristineIt is hard to believe, but the year is officially half over. Reflecting on the first six months, it has been a very productive, very good time for the Bar. The State of the Bar is indeed very good.

Membership. In June, volunteer Bar leaders personally called lapsed or prospective IBA members during the first-ever “membership week”. At a time when other volunteer organizations have suffered unusually high rates of attrition, the IBA boasts a membership stronger than ever. Current membership stands at 4,585.

E-Filing Task Force. The Marion County Circuit and Superior Court Electronic Filing Pilot Project is underway and members are using the system. According to recent figures, approximately 20% of filings are currently electronic. The Task Force is soliciting comments via email to iba@indybar.org. All input is encouraged. The Task Force will meet with the Marion County judges this fall to share feedback on the project.

Legal Services Advisory Committee. Lawyer Referral Service is on the verge of launching a new online referral management system thanks to the hard work of the LSAC Committee and IBA staff. Panel members will find the web-based referral and reporting system both efficient and user-friendly. Referrals to panel members this year total 10,454.

Website. The current IBA website will be a thing of the past in months to come. The IBA has contracted with a website design and development firm and is working diligently on the creation of a new website that is as amazing functionally as it is visually appealing. The projected launch date is late fall.

Solo-Small Firm. This Section is planning a “Boot Camp” aimed at practical tips for sole practitioners and small-firm attorneys on everything from vendor relations to the day-to-day running of a law practice, with a focus on younger lawyers. Being held in conjunction with the Professionalism Committee Surviving and Thriving Program, save the date on October 8, 2010 for a not-to-be-missed event.

Bar Leader. In May, the Bar graduated 25 attorneys from the seventh class of its kind, unveiling an impressive array of community projects. Applications have been accepted for the next class which will begin in September and the Bar Leader Steering Committee is already in the planning stages for another successful program.

Bench Bar. In June, the Bar had a record number of first-time attendees at the Bench Bar Conference in Louisville. A first-ever special reception to welcome these attendees was hosted by the Membership Committee. Overall, registration for the conference exceeded 300, there was exceptional CLE programming, and the networking opportunities were plentiful. The conference was a success in all respects and volunteers are already in the planning stages for Bench Bar 2011.

Meetings of Members. Our members have come out to these monthly events, from luncheons to evening cocktail hours. As a Bar, we have met with lawyer-legislators, celebrated paralegals, had cocktails with opposing counsel, and there are many more to come.

Professionalism. This committee has created a resume bank for displaced/unemployed lawyers. Resumes for those who are interested can be emailed to cchopp@indybar.org.

Programs. The IBA has presented 91 programs so far this year, including social events and continuing legal education. The remainder of the year has a calendar packed with additional program offerings.

Bar Review. The Summer 2010 session of IndyBar Review was sold out and has just concluded.

Destination CLE. The Bar is taking the show on the road to Las Vegas. On November 18-19th, save the date to travel with friends and colleagues for an impressive line-up of programs, speakers, and fun while getting CLE on a trip to the strip. Be on the look-out for details in coming issues of the Indiana Lawyer and the IBA EBulletin.

Leadership. An organization is only as good as those who belong and those who lead. IBA Board members are working hard on your behalf. Board meetings are monthly, and each member has taken on a project or initiative for the IBA. Section, Division, and Committee Chairs and volunteers likewise are responsible for all of the great things happening at the Bar. IBA Staff has guided every project and daily continues to insure that the State of the Bar is and continues to be not just good, but better than ever. And that is the State of the Bar.•

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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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