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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 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;

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