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IBA: Seeking to Honor Excellence

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Awarding professional excellence on the bench and in the bar is the purpose of the Indianapolis Bar’s Silver Gavel and Professionalism Awards. Given annually, these awards honor two individuals whose achievements and demeanor display the best practices to which all legal professionals should aspire. Nominations are now being sought for the 2010 awards.

Created just a few years ago by the Bar’s Professionalism Committee, the Silver Gavel Award is designated for a member of the judiciary. The criteria for the award states, “Individuals whose contributions in the area of judicial professionalism set an example of insight into the demands of legal professionalism, dedication to the highest level of ethical conduct, and a vision of constant improvement of the perception judges in the public will merit strong consideration in the evaluation of nominees for the award. Significant scholarly contributions made in academic settings, creative judicial or legislative initiatives undertaken to advance the professionalism of judges, and other related types of contributions justify submission of nominations as well.”

Past recipients of the Silver Gavel include The Honorable John Tinder of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, The Honorable Ted Boehm of the Indiana Supreme Court and the late Honorable Charles Deiter.

The Professionalism Award is given to an attorney whose achievements are measured by the same criteria as the Silver Gavel Award but with emphasis on enhancing the perception of attorneys.

The Honorable James Kirsch of the Indiana Court of Appeals, Kristin Fruehwald of Barnes & Thornburg and Karl Mulvaney of Bingham McHale LLP are among the past recipients of the Professionalism Award.

Nomination forms for these awards may be found at www.indybar.org. The nomination period closes on Friday, August 5.

The awards will be presented at the Bar’s Mentors Who Matter luncheon which is scheduled for September 30 at the Conrad Hotel. Tickets will soon be on sale for $30 per person. The luncheon will also feature remarks from the newest judges to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Judges Jane Magnus-Stinson and Tanya Walton Pratt.•

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  3. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

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