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IBA: Nod to Professionalism

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cline-lance-mug.jpg Lance Cline Cline Farrell Christie & Lee
pinnick-jon-mug.jpg Jon Pinnick Schultz & Pogue LLP

The Indianapolis Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Professionalism seeks to promote positive images of lawyers throughout the Indianapolis community and within our bar. To this end, we acknowledge local practitioners who exemplify professionalism and civility. At the recommendation of a Marion Superior Court Judge, the Committee extends a Nod to Professionalism to Jon Pinnick of Schultz & Pogue and Lance Cline of Cline Farrell Christie & Lee for their exceptional professionalism and advocacy in a complex and lengthy medical malpractice jury trial.

According to Mr. Cline, attorneys should focus on three tenets of professionalism at trial: (1) The golden rule – and be serious about this; (2) Remember we are all officers of the court – we have equal responsibilities to the court, its staff, and opposing counsel; and (3) Preparedness for trial. Mr. Pinnick echoes these sentiments and stresses that preparedness of counsel is “everything.”

This past August, Mr. Cline and Mr. Pinnick embodied each of these tenets of professionalism during an complex and lengthy jury trial involving over 20 witnesses, most of whom were expert witnesses. Both attorneys earned the trust of their peers, the jury, and the court through their preparedness, professionalism, and civility to each other. Despite arguing disputed evidentiary questions, both attorneys remained calm and respectful throughout the litigation. The judge commented that both Mr. Pinnick and Mr. Cline handled evidentiary objections professionally, direct and cross examination of witnesses professionally, and made their arguments to the bench or to the jurors and did not argue with each other or lose their professionalism or civility throughout the two-week jury trial. The judge commented that she wished that she could have videotaped this trial to play to young or inexperienced attorneys to demonstrate that attorneys can be professional and respectful of each other and still represent their client.

The jury expressed to the judge how much they enjoyed both attorneys and wondered if all attorneys were as competent, professional, and civil as Mr. Pinnick and Mr. Cline. Both attorneys embodied the ideals of professionalism and civility and as a result eight citizens/jurors left with a positive imagine of attorneys in the Indianapolis community. This trial demonstrates that attorneys who conduct themselves with civility and professionalism are the most effective advocates for their clients.

The Standing Committee on Professionalism compliments attorneys Jon Pinnick and Lance Cline for their exemplary example of professionalism and civility at its best.•

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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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