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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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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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