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

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

ADVERTISEMENT