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Hickey: The Power of iNspiration

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IBA-Hickey-ChristineLater than normal, traffic is unsympathetic to a schedule that is wound tighter than a ten-day clock. Emails bring the iPad, iPhone or blackberry to life earlier than the morning sun and the coffee pot that sputters your wake-up call as you hit the door running. Another case, another client, another fire. More meetings, more deadlines, more decisions. Solving the world’s problems makes lawyering a difficult profession. It’s just another day to run through, run over, and run out of steam. And it’s just another manic Monday.

The reality is, I don’t drink coffee and Just Another Manic Monday is a Bangles song from the eighties. Truth be told, I never liked the song but I sympathized with the person late for work and lamenting the waiting work week. Fast forward to today with a world of iTechnology and our workday begins before our eyes have even opened. Sometimes, you get so busy that the weather out your window is as foreign as a fat-free Big Mac. Sometimes, you just need to stop and be inspired.

I walked to another meeting yesterday. This one was Bar-related; no clients, no controversy. A block of gray in a white outlook calendar that occupied one hour. As it turns out, it took less than an hour to be reminded to exhale and enjoy the day. We had a special guest with us. Not a dignitary or famous sports figure; not a television personality or war hero. A lawyer. Fighting her own fight. She sat at the table as we all did. She came to be with us, to be a part of the meeting and to contribute. She was happy to be there. She was, in all respects, an inspiration.

This lawyer is fighting cancer, as many others are. She is in the middle of treatment that would bring even the bravest and strongest to their knees. Yet, here she sat. Happy to be in this meeting and with the most radiant of smiles it would stop you on the street. She could have been so many other attorneys that we all know, who are battling personal battles and working every day to win their war. But yesterday, it was her and she was a beautiful sight to behold; a very real reminder that inspiration comes in so many different forms and should never be overlooked.

I talked to my son last night about this lawyer. I talked to him when he was predicting that he would be too tired from his football game to run the mile in gym today. I talked to my daughter this morning when she woke up red-eyed, tired and unexcited for the day. I am looking out my window as I write this, appreciating the beautiful sun.

HEAL@indybar.org is something the Bar has created to receive information on attorneys who are grappling with illness or personal crisis and need anything from words of encouragement to help with dinners for children. IndyHEAL, Helping Enrich Attorneys’ Lives, is an IndyBar member-volunteer driven group who will respond to requests, anonymously and discreetly if necessary. Whether a peer, partner, or opposing counsel, we could all use the support of our larger community of lawyer friends to get through trying times.

For me, I am reminded to pass on a smile, to ask the name of the man down the street who waves every day as I bustle by on my way to meetings, and to be happy to be busy. I am glad the sun is shining out my window and even as I squint and duck to see my computer screen, I refuse to shut my blinds. Not today. I have turned off my iPad and turned on iNspiration and I encourage you to do the same.•

Post-script: The gentleman’s name is Frank, and my daughter was sent home with pink-i. The message remains the same!

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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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