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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. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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