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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. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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