ILNews

Hockey offers lawyers camaraderie and stress relief

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Richard Blaiklock admits he gets the occasional raised eyebrow or sideways glance when clients or colleagues learn he plays hockey.

“They generally think I’m an idiot,” quipped Blaiklock, an attorney at Lewis Wagner LLP in Indianapolis. “They think we get hurt, fight, etc. They have a misperception of what happens in our league.”

JeffFecht-8-15col.jpg Indianapolis attorney Jeff Fecht waits to take the ice during an adult amateur hockey league match at the Carmel Ice Skadium. Fecht is among a small number of attorneys who play the game. (IL Photo/Eric Learned)

Blaiklock is one of a group of attorneys who play organized team hockey. He and other Indianapolis-area lawyers participate in adult leagues at the Carmel Ice Skadium. “I try to protect that one evening each week. There’s great camaraderie with the players, and I have been fortunate to develop some great relationships with a lot of people.”

Like many hockey-playing lawyers, Blaiklock played youth hockey – he played from age 10 to 13 – then left the game behind only to pick it up again years later.

That’s the same path that Steve Krohne took. “I started playing at like, 5, then started playing again as an adult,” said Krohne, a partner at Hackman Hulett & Cracraft LLP in Indianapolis. He dropped the game in law school, but picked it up again when his son, Ethan, started playing about 10 years ago at age 4.

“It’s kind of like riding a bicycle. You never really forget how to skate,” Krohne said.

Like Blaiklock, he acknowledges some folks don’t seem to understand. “I do get the head shake, and people say, ‘Are you crazy?’”

While many people equate hockey with violent behavior, the league the attorneys play in forbids checking and slapshots. Teams include not just lawyers but doctors as well as other professionals and people from all walks of life.

“It’s the same as any exercise, although it’s just for me more fun,” Krohne said. “It’s definitely a stress-reliever, and probably the thing I value most is the friends I’ve met.”

Another Indianapolis lawyer who’s gotten into the game is Jeff Fecht, a partner at Riley Bennett & Egloff LLP. “We work in stressful jobs, and when I get on the ice I always forget what’s stressing me,” he said.

Growing up in Philadelphia, Fecht was a hockey fan, but he didn’t take up the game until later in life at the encouragement of his older brother.

Fecht said there’s a special bond among fellow hockey players.

“Part of it is, in Indy, hockey is kind of a fringe sport,” he said. “You’ve got the camaraderie of playing a sport a lot of people don’t follow, and it’s a unique sport because you’re playing a sport on ice.

“For me, it’s been a great experience. I’ve made a lot of friends and business connections, and I think it’s just a really good group of guys,” he said.

Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman P.C. attorney Zachary Jacob, who also plays in the Carmel adult league, said putting a stick on the ice is a tremendous release.

“I’m a transactional lawyer, so I don’t get a lot of confrontation,” Jacob said. Hockey “is something that really scratches that competitive itch.

“This has always been something I do for me, and I just love it,” he said. “You’re there to have a good time with it and enjoy a little intensity.”

The lawyers and others who play have been able to turn their amateur sports pursuit into charitable efforts. Last year, some of the league members set up a weekend tournament to support the Leukemia Man of the Year Campaign of one of the league players, a leukemia survivor. Both Blaiklock and Krohne played on teams and provided other support for the event. 

pond_hockey-15col.jpg Indianapolis attorneys Steve Krohne (second left) and Richard Blaiklock (far right) pose for a photo at a pond hockey tournament in Wisconsin where teams played outdoors in temperatures as low as minus 17 degrees. (submitted photo)

With team entry fees, sponsorships and an auction, more than $14,000 was raised during the Light the Lamp Against Cancer 2013 charity hockey tournament. Blaiklock said it looks like this will become an annual event; this year’s tourney is scheduled for May. Other charitable events coincide with the Thanksgiving and New Year’s holidays.

Blaiklock and Krohne also competed in a pond hockey tournament this year in Eagle River, Wis., where they played in temperatures as low as minus 17 degrees.

It’s not just Indianapolis attorneys who gear up and hit the ice.

“There’s something to be said about putting on all the equipment … you’re not giving up the dream. There’s the locker room and the banter and all the stuff that ended abruptly before,” said Bloomington solo practitioner Will Spalding.

Spalding plays in leagues at the Frank Southern Ice Arena, as does Mike Scarton, an attorney at the Shean Law Offices in Bloomington.

“We’re just some old guys who said, ‘We can still do that,’” Scarton said. He took up the game in law school, and Spalding started playing even later. Both now have 8-year-old sons who play.

“The kids love it, and it’s been wonderful for us,” said Spalding, who didn’t begin playing until about age 38.

“To start a new sport like that at that stage in life, it’s tough,” he said. “But I ice skated a lot when I was younger.”

Scarton said the amateur teams in Bloomington have gotten a big assist from former Fort Wayne Komets and Indianapolis Ice player Kevin Schmidt, who helps beginning and novice players understand and improve their games.

“He plays with us, and he kind of dumbs it down a little bit,” Spalding said.

“As far as skill level goes, we’ve got everything,” Scarton said, from those just learning the game to players who’ve honed their game for years.

“It’s a love of the sport, plus it gives you some physical fitness along the way,” he said.•

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  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

ADVERTISEMENT