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IndyBar: I am humbled

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Kelley J. Johnson, 2013 Indianapolis Bar Foundation President Cohen & Malad, LLP
 

johnson-kelly--iba Johnson

I tell my 6-year-old and my 8-year-old that being your Indianapolis Bar Foundation President is a very, very important job and a big responsibility. My kids, however, seem unimpressed at my undertaking and, without fail, do their best to keep me humble. They constantly tell me that I am old; that I am weird; and no matter how many Top 40 songs I can sing back to them – that I am so not cool.

During my service this year as your Foundation President, I am also continually humbled by all of you – IndyBar members – albeit in a much nicer way than my children. As you know, our Foundation helps fund incredible IndyBar programs and initiatives, as well as the yearly Impact Fund grant that is awarded to a deserving community initiative. However, without you, our Foundation simply would not exist without each of your generous donations. I know that, too, and yet I am still humbled by your acts of generosity.

For example, in May I attended the graduation of Bar Leader Series Class X, where each team of five young attorneys presented their successes, challenges and benefits they gave to others during their self-created community service projects. The BLS graduations are a much anticipated celebration after these attorneys, in addition to their paying jobs, work on developing and executing these projects during the nine-month series. As I was leaving the half-day celebration, one of the class members approached me and handed me a wad – and I do mean a wad – of cash that Class X put together to donate to the Foundation. It was their day, and yet they thought of the Foundation. Wow! I was humbled.

In another instance of humility, one of our judicial members recently received an award from the prestigious Richard Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series, which came with an honorarium. This judge generously donated her honoraria to the Foundation. Again, I was humbled.

For the first time at Bench Bar, our Foundation Board of Directors sought to raise visibility and money for the Foundation and again, you IndyBar members didn’t disappoint. We had over 100 members play at our Trivia Night with our volunteer hosts James Bell and Adam Christensen. We also had overwhelming participation in the raffle drawings conducted at dinner and during the trivia night. We recognized those who previously donated to the Foundation with distinct lanyards. Many of you traded in your regular lanyards for the Impact of One lanyards, showing your pride for the Foundation. You came through again. I was humbled.

I have yet to mention the numerous law firms that are contributing to our Lawyer Links Classic this month and our Evening Under the Stars gala in September, in addition to the several, unsolicited individual donations that have come in through the mail, in person and through our online donation link.

Thank you, to each and every one of you who have donated to your Foundation this year. Most importantly, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for keeping me humble and being a little bit nicer than my kids in doing so.•

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  1. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  2. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  3. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  4. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

  5. And so the therapeutic state is weaonized. How soon until those with ideologies opposing the elite are disarmed in the name of mental health? If it can start anywhere it can start in the hoosiers' slavishly politically correct capital city.

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