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IBA: Nod to Professionalism

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For serving as a role model of civility in litigation for countless attorneys in the Indianapolis area.  Bob Stanley, a partner at Baker & Daniels, first came up against “Eddie” Harris in the mid ‘80s.  As a young aggressive attorney, Stanley was struck that “here was someone who was able to advocate for his client without being threatening or belligerent.”  He decided then to model his lawyering on Harris’s.  At Taft Law, where Harris chairs the firm’s litigation section, he has instructed young attorneys that there are two ways to litigate.  “You can litigate to litigate, or you can litigate to resolve.”  Harris has invariably elected the latter.
 

Harris Ed Harris

A 1967 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Harris served as a teaching fellow at Stanford Law School for one year before joining Barnes, Hickam, Pantzer & Boyd, one of the predecessors of Barnes & Thornburg.  Harris joined Sommer & Barnard in 1973, which became part of Taft Law in 2008.  He has chaired the Indianapolis office’s litigation group for more than twenty years.

IBA PROFESSIONALISM STANDARD No. 4

        We will at all times act with dignity, civility, decency and courtesy in all professional activities and will refrain from rude, disruptive, disrespectful, obstructive and abusive behavior.

If you know of someone whom you believe exemplifies one of IBA’s five standards, please e-mail your nomination to iba@indybar.org.

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  1. Bill Satterlee is, indeed, a true jazz aficionado. Part of my legal career was spent as an associate attorney with Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans in Valparaiso. Bill was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing me to jazz music, thereby fostering my love for this genre. We would, occasionally, travel to Chicago on weekends and sit in on some outstanding jazz sessions at Andy's on Hubbard Street. Had it not been for Bill's love of jazz music, I never would have had the good fortune of hearing it played live at Andy's. And, most likely, I might never have begun listening to it as much as I do. Thanks, Bill.

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  3. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  4. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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