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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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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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