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Hickey: YBA - Priceless!

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You might be wondering about the title to this President's Message. This column is devoted to membership and I thought it fitting that the "I" be replaced with "you"; this is Your Bar Association. Many who read this are members of the Indianapolis Bar Association; some are not, and some may have just allowed their membership to lapse. Whether an oversight, a budgetdriven decision, or whether it is as simple as not being asked to join, this is your reason to join and your personal invitation.

You cannot overlook what the Bar is doing for you! In addition to the social, CLE and other networking opportunities, the IndyBar works hard for its members every day.

Legislative: We are your collective voice and connection. Already this year, the Bar has taken an active role in monitoring and educating members about pending legislation. The Legislative Committee and other Bar members have served you well in meeting with key legislators and testifying before the House and Senate to address legislative concerns. In February, the Senior Counsel Division and Meetings of Members Committee co-hosted a Lawyer Legislator lunch that afforded members an opportunity to meet with lawyer-legislators in a small group setting.

Pro Bono: We are your opportunity to give back and make a difference. The Pro Bono Committee is active exploring new relationships and programs for members to have a positive impact on our community and those in it who are under-served. In addition to monthly Legal Line opportunities, members also have an opportunity to participate in the semi-annual Ask a Lawyer event this April. Service to your profession and your community starts with the Bar.

Law Students/Young Lawyers: We are your gateway to an enriched legal career. In March, countless members will sponsor one or more law students to Take a Law Student to Lunch; our membership benefits start well before passing the Bar Exam. Through the Law Student and Young Lawyer Divisions, we create opportunities for early involvement, relationship building, and leadership experience. Our Bar Leader program for young lawyers offers unparalleled leadership training through one of the best programs of its kind in the country.

Practice-Related: We are your resource. Regardless of your practice area, we work hard to tailor educational programs to meet your needs. In addition, the E-Filing Task Force is working in conjunction with the judiciary to make a Marion County e-filing pilot project a reality. The Bar will play a vital role in the education of attorneys and implementation of this project. If you are a solo or small-firm practitioner, that Section is working to provide more resources, information, and tools to assist you in your practice.

Whether you are in private practice, a government lawyer or judicial officer, paralegal, law student, newly-admitted lawyer, or seasoned practitioner, the Bar has a place for you and is working for you every day.

You cannot afford not to be a member! Simply put: your dues dollars represent one of the best investments you can make in your career. Whether you are an attorney who believes that belonging is "just what you do," or a new lawyer hanging your own shingle and writing that membership check, from a dollars and "sense" standpoint, belonging adds up.

Your place for CLE. In exchange for your dues, you receive 50% off of all CLE's plus reduced rates on member gatherings. There is no better bang for your buck for quality legal education that is convenient, relevant, and covers all areas of practice. Average cost for members for twelve hours of CLE, $420. Cost to non-members for that same programming, $840. Members also receive twelve hours of free video replay CLE yearly. It pays to associate.

Your place for business development. Membership affords you the opportunity to join the Lawyer Referral Service, designed to connect lawyer members with cases. For a nominal cost, you are marketed, cases are screened, and clients are referred to you. There is simply no better value for the investment.

Your place for Connections. Membership also provides perhaps one of the most important benefits to you: connecting you with other members. From brown-bag lunches, to meetings of members, holiday gatherings, lawyer-to-lawyer referrals and relationships formed, the benefits are too many to list. For an attorney practicing from one to four years, the cost: 26 cents a day. For an attorney practicing five to seven years, the cost: a cup of coffee a week. How can you not afford to join?

Your personal welcome and invitation. If you are a member, please come visit the Indy-Bar office; introduce yourself, get involved. If you are a member who has not renewed, your membership lapsed on March 1st. We miss you and want you back. Contact the Bar at 269-2000 or visit www.indybar.org to renew today. If you are a non-member, join now. We welcome you and there is a place for you. This is YOURBAR. Membership in it: priceless.

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  1. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

  2. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

  3. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

  4. I have dealt with more than a few I-465 moat-protected government attorneys and even judges who just cannot seem to wrap their heads around the core of this 800 year old document. I guess monarchial privileges and powers corrupt still ..... from an academic website on this fantastic "treaty" between the King and the people ... "Enduring Principles of Liberty Magna Carta was written by a group of 13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical king. There are two principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate to this day: "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." "To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice." Inspiration for Americans During the American Revolution, Magna Carta served to inspire and justify action in liberty’s defense. The colonists believed they were entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, rights guaranteed in Magna Carta. They embedded those rights into the laws of their states and later into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution ("no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.") is a direct descendent of Magna Carta's guarantee of proceedings according to the "law of the land." http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/

  5. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

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