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Indy attorney named Notre Dame AD

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A longtime partner at Baker & Daniels' Indianapolis office is leaving the law firm after 28 years to become the new athletic director at his alma mater, the University of Notre Dame.

After a quick stop in Beijing with his Summer Olympic clients, that is.

John "Jack" Swarbrick will start his new position officially Aug. 18. He'll be the university's 12th athletic director, which means the sports law and economic development attorney will leave the firm he's been with for almost three decades.

"Sports is a very important industry in Indianapolis, and this is an extraordinary job opportunity to get me away from a truly extraordinary law firm," the 54-year-old said.

Those in the Indianapolis sports world know his name well; Swarbrick is the former chairman of the Indiana Sports Corp., was instrumental in securing the NCAA headquarters here, and was a key player in getting the 2012 Super Bowl and men's basketball NCAA Tournament to come to Indianapolis.

Swarbrick said he's had a number of offers throughout the years, but this possibility started to seem interesting following head football coach Tyrone Willingham's 2004 firing, Charlie Weis' subsequent hiring, and the recent decision by Athletic Director Kevin White to leave the school for Duke University.

"I believe pretty passionately in this enterprise because it's a great way to complement the educational experiences," he said. "My vision revolves around the tradition at Notre Dame."

Through the years, Swarbrick's clients have included individual athletes, owners of sports teams, and organizations that sanction or conduct athletic competitions. He's served as general counsel for many national governing bodies of Olympic sports, including USA Gymnastics and USRowing.

He expects his legal background will be of great assistance in the new position because many items will probably have legal implications and he'll be able to consult with the governing board in understanding those issues.

"The principal difference is being responsible for a very large staff and being (in) a university environment," he said.

Much of his current job involves more consulting work than what he describes as traditional legal work, handling economic development projects, and licensing and deal negotiations, Swarbrick said he will focus most of his time wrapping that up before Aug. 1.

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  3. 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.

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