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IBA: Celebrating the Journey

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By Kevin Morrissey, Lewis & Kappes PC

On May 22, 2013, the 25 members of the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Bar Leader Series (BLS) Class X gathered at the Skyline Club to cap off another successful iteration of the program. The five sub-groups of BLS X also presented the results of the various community service projects completed as part of BLS X. Overall, the presentations demonstrated that each group dedicated significant time and effort to each of the projects. It was clear that these community service projects were a labor of love for each of the participants.
 

bls-1-15col.jpgCongratulations Bar Leader Class X graduates!

What’s more, this event was the culmination of a rewarding nine-month long leadership experience for which I know every member of BLS X is extremely grateful to have been part. And so, for my final installment on BLS X, I would like to share some reflections and memories from my classmates about the program as well as our gratitude to the people that made it possible.

“The thing I enjoyed most about the Bar Leader Series was seeing motivated people work with people they have never met before to complete a common goal. Before the Bar Leader Series I did not know anyone in my five-person project group. [O]ur group used our various strengths to come up with a service project that made a difference in the lives of many people. It was great to see the smile on the children’s faces at Damar when they were trying on suits that we had donated for their prom…The families at Washington Community School were very appreciative of the donations that will hopefully give them a slight respite from their challenging day-to-day activities. It would be difficult for one attorney to tackle these projects on his own, but working with other leaders in the bar, we were able to make a large impact.” –Colin Connor, Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP

“One theme stood out to me…in order to be an effective leader, you need to be an excellent listener. By nature, attorneys are anxious to start talking and solving problems before they fully understand the issue at hand. Listening is a key component in leadership, practicing law and life.” –Marc Pfleging, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP

“The Bar Leader Series provided me with the opportunity to meet important individuals in our community and to meet and build relationships with attorneys outside of my firm. Also, our female-only team was far superior in the water pour event.” –Kiamesha Colom, Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aranoff LLP

“Our service project involved giving talks on Financial Literacy to Vocational Education students at Ben Davis High School. We gave the talks on two different days. When we arrived for the second day, the classroom teacher had asked the school’s vice-principal to come see the presentations as well. Afterwards, the vice-principal’s reaction was, ‘why aren’t we doing this for all of our kids?’ The teacher told me afterward that out at the construction site, the students were talking about our presentations, and were very interested in the topic.” –Carly Turow, Katz & Korin PC


bls-2-15col.jpgThe IndyBar Bar Leader Series Class X concluded with team presentations and graduations at the Skyline Club on May 22, 2013.

“Working on the community service project with my team was by far the most rewarding experience of the program. Our team, appropriately named ‘Women helping Women,’ organized an in-kind fundraiser to gather professional accessories for the women served by The Julian Center and Dress for Success. We were able to secure a generous sponsor, the Skyline Club, that provided us with a fantastic venue for the event—‘Give a Little, Get A Little.’ We chose that name since we asked our guests to bring a donation of professional accessories and at the event they were able to make a pair of earrings from the supplies we provided. We held the event in March during one of the worst snow storms of the year, and still so many of our friends and co-workers showed up to support the cause—we were floored. Their generosity and support was truly overwhelming. Presenting the donations to the Julian Center and Dress for Success was an absolute honor and one that would have not been possible without the Bar Leader Series program.” –Kendra Conover, Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman PC

On a personal note, I want to extend my sincere appreciation to Kevin McGoff, John Trimble, David Herzog, and all of the members of the Steering Committee of BLS X for their hard work and dedication to the program. Each of those attorneys made sacrifices to volunteer their time and talents that made the program a resounding success. For that we are extremely grateful. Finally, I am confident I can speak on behalf of each of the members of BLS X in expressing our gratitude to Caren Chopp, Pro Bono and Legal Services Coordinator for the Indianapolis Bar Association, for all she does to organize and execute the Bar Leader Series.

Congrats to my fellow classmates who graduated from BLS X, and many thanks to those who spent time, money, and energy on the program. I know the community looks forward to seeing how the 24 other members of this group continue to emerge as leaders in the Indianapolis area and within the bar.•

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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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