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IBA: Lawyers Doing Good

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Upon first learning that I am an attorney, a non-attorney friend said to me, “despite all of the stereotyped joke opportunities, lawyers do a lot of good in this world.” He is right. Lawyers do much good in this world, and I am fortunate to be personally acquainted with a great number of them whose generosity of time, talent, and treasure directly benefits our community and our profession.

scanlan-kelly-mug Kelly M. Scanlan, Wilson Kehoe & Winingham, 2012 IBF President

2012 was a whirlwind of a year. It was the first year that the Indianapolis Bar Foundation Board reached out to the prior year’s class of Distinguished Fellows and specifically invited them to serve as Foundation committee volunteers. We were pleasantly surprised to find that 100% of the 2011 class of Distinguished Fellows identified at least one committee on which to serve. The overwhelming response was proof positive that the Foundation’s donors strongly support the Foundation’s mission, and that they are willing to continue that support not just through charitable donations, but also through donations of their time and talent.

Early in the year, the Board, through its committees, began planning for its two annual fundraising events, the IBF Lawyer Links Classic and the Evening Under the Stars dinner/auction. Both events require significant planning, and their respective committees tackled with zeal the many challenges that arise during the planning stages.

Also early in the year, we met to nominate the 2012 class of Distinguished Fellows, who are a select group of members of the local legal community nominated by their peers based on their significant contributions to the legal profession or their communities at large. Importantly, they are also individuals who are willing to make a commitment to support the Foundation monetarily. The Foundation was pleased and privileged to add 27 Distinguished Fellows to its ranks last year.

In the spring, the Foundation awarded a single $35,000 grant to Reach for Youth to fund expansion of their successful Teen Court program. Specifically, grant funds supported a part-time Teen Court coordinator, whose role is to train student jury members at various schools (rather than at Reach for Youth offices). The coordinator’s goal is to encourage independent running of the program at each school, so that the program can benefit as many teens as possible without the need of a paid staff member.

For the first time in 2012, the Foundation sought input from you – its donors – in making the final determination regarding who would receive the substantial grant. The Board’s Impact Fund Committee reviewed grant applications and narrowed 16 grant applicants down to two groups who met grant criteria. We then reached out to all Distinguished and Senior Fellows and asked them to vote on the final recipient. Reach for Youth emerged the front-runner in a very close vote. Its Teen Court program boasts a recidivism rate of 16%, compared to 39% in the traditional system. All donors to the Foundation can be proud that grant funds supported this worthwhile program.

With summer came our golf outing, which was a success, thanks to our sponsors, participants, and the hard work of the Board’s Golf Committee. Thirty-one teams braved the threatening thunderstorms and enjoyed themselves for an afternoon of golf among friends, colleagues, and a handful of new faces.

There was no time to bask in the glow of a successful golf outing, however, because Evening Under the Stars planning kicked immediately into high gear. 2012 was the first year I sat on the Dinner Committee, and I was in awe of the amount of work each Committee member put in to make the event a success. We gathered for the first time at the Scottish Rite Cathedral for the event, and the venue was a hit. Attendees marveled at the gorgeous surroundings while bidding on silent and live auction items.

Following closely on the heels of the Evening Under the Stars, various Foundation committee members met again to nominate the 2012 class of Senior Fellows. Senior Fellows are nominated based on their continued outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principles of the legal profession. At this writing, we were able to confirm 29 new Senior Fellows, each of whom made a commitment to continue their strong support of the Foundation.

Although we enjoy ourselves as Board members, the substantial year-round fundraising efforts are undertaken not for fun, but because we believe it is important to contribute to the betterment of our profession and our local community. The bulk of funds raised go directly to the provision of legal services for the underprivileged in Marion County, and to support Indy area attorneys and law students through CLE, scholarships, mentoring, and more.

The Foundation was privileged in 2012 to have 25 volunteer Board members and dozens of additional volunteer committee members. Those volunteers have busy professional and personal lives, and their commitment to the Foundation and its efforts has been invaluable. Thank you to all Foundation volunteers, donors and sponsors for supporting our profession – your profession – and our local community! We look forward to your continued support in 2013.•

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  1. No second amendment, pro life, pro traditional marriage, reagan or trump tshirts will be sold either. And you cannot draw Mohammed even in your own notebook. And you must wear a helmet at all times while at the fair. And no lawyer jokes can be told except in the designated protest area. And next year no crucifixes, since they are uber offensive to all but Catholics. Have a nice bland day here in the Lego movie. Remember ... Everything is awesome comrades.

  2. Thank you for this post . I just bought a LG External DVD It came with Cyber pwr 2 go . It would not play on Lenovo Idea pad w/8.1 . Your recommended free VLC worked great .

  3. All these sites putting up all the crap they do making Brent Look like A Monster like he's not a good person . First off th fight actually started not because of Brent but because of one of his friends then when the fight popped off his friend ran like a coward which left Brent to fend for himself .It IS NOT a crime to defend yourself 3 of them and 1 of him . just so happened he was a better fighter. I'm Brent s wife so I know him personally and up close . He's a very caring kind loving man . He's not abusive in any way . He is a loving father and really shouldn't be where he is not for self defense . Now because of one of his stupid friends trying to show off and turning out to be nothing but a coward and leaving Brent to be jumped by 3 men not only is Brent suffering but Me his wife , his kids abd step kidshis mom and brother his family is left to live without him abd suffering in more ways then one . that man was and still is my smile ....he's the one real thing I've ever had in my life .....f@#@ You Lafayette court system . Learn to do your jobs right he maybe should have gotten that year for misdemeanor battery but that s it . not one person can stand to me and tell me if u we're in a fight facing 3 men and u just by yourself u wouldn't fight back that you wouldn't do everything u could to walk away to ur family ur kids That's what Brent is guilty of trying to defend himself against 3 men he wanted to go home tohisfamily worse then they did he just happened to be a better fighter and he got the best of th others . what would you do ? Stand there lay there and be stomped and beaten or would u give it everything u got and fight back ? I'd of done the same only I'm so smallid of probably shot or stabbed or picked up something to use as a weapon . if it was me or them I'd do everything I could to make sure I was going to live that I would make it hone to see my kids and husband . I Love You Brent Anthony Forever & Always .....Soul 1 baby

  4. Good points, although this man did have a dog in the legal fight as that it was his mother on trial ... and he a dependent. As for parking spaces, handicap spots for pregnant women sure makes sense to me ... er, I mean pregnant men or women. (Please, I meant to include pregnant men the first time, not Room 101 again, please not Room 101 again. I love BB)

  5. I have no doubt that the ADA and related laws provide that many disabilities must be addressed. The question, however, is "by whom?" Many people get dealt bad cards by life. Some are deaf. Some are blind. Some are crippled. Why is it the business of the state to "collectivize" these problems and to force those who are NOT so afflicted to pay for those who are? The fact that this litigant was a mere spectator and not a party is chilling. What happens when somebody who speaks only East Bazurkistanish wants a translator so that he can "understand" the proceedings in a case in which he has NO interest? Do I and all other taxpayers have to cough up? It would seem so. ADA should be amended to provide a simple rule: "Your handicap, YOUR problem". This would apply particularly to handicapped parking spaces, where it seems that if the "handicap" is an ingrown toenail, the government comes rushing in to assist the poor downtrodden victim. I would grant wounded vets (IED victims come to mind in particular) a pass on this.. but others? Nope.

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