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IndyBar: IBF Scholarship Recipients: Where Are They Now?

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By Tracy N. Betz, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

While many are aware of the good the Indianapolis Bar Foundation does for the Indianapolis legal community, some might not be aware that the IBF has been responsible for awarding more than 75 scholarships to law students since 1983. These scholarships help alleviate the high cost of law school and provide students more affordable access to post-graduate education.

The IBF is proud of its work awarding scholarships and is especially proud of the success stories of its scholarship recipients. I recently caught up with two such recipients, Teresa Hall and Matthew Albaugh, to find out more about their practices.

Teresa Hall, Marion County Prosecutor’s Office
F. Emerson Boyd Scholarship, 1999

Q: While in law school, where did you see yourself after graduation?
A: I always thought I would go into health law. I had been a paramedic for 10 years before starting law school and had worked as a supervisor for the ambulance service at Wishard. Once I started working in an internship in health law I quickly discovered that it was not what I wanted to do, and I refocused to pursue my dream of being a trial attorney.

Q: What path did you take to end up in your current position as a Marion County prosecutor in a major felony division?
A: I became a certified legal intern while in law school and actually tried 14 jury trials during that time. After graduation, I joined the public defender’s office for several years until I became the chief of staff for Madame Clerk Beth White. From there I went to work in a non-legal role for Clarian Hospital as a director of its Lifeline program. In April 2010, I became a master commissioner of the Marion County Superior Courts. After about two-and-a- half years as a commissioner, I went into private practice handling family law and criminal cases. I was recently offered the tremendous opportunity to be a deputy prosecutor in the major crimes division.

Q: What did you learn about practicing law by being a commissioner?
A: To always look at both sides of an issue, and understand that nothing is black and white and there are two sides to everything.

Q: What type of community organizations do you devote time to?
A: I am very active in my church and in the EMS (emergency medical service) community. I am still certified as a paramedic and often serve as a guest lecturer for paramedics and EMTs.

Q: What advice would you give to a new lawyer who wants to end up in position like yours?
A: Pull from your own life experiences when handling your cases. Make a concerted effort to understand and learn where both sides are coming from and you will be become a better trial attorney.

Q: What is your most memorable experience as a lawyer? 
A: I was prosecuting a defendant for ­­operating a vehicle after being suspended for life. The defendant testified that his wife was driving the car and not him. During my cross examination I actually got him to confess on the stand to committing the crime. After he confessed, I just stopped talking. I didn’t want to mess that up!

Matthew Albaugh, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
Hon. S. Hugh Dillin Scholarship, 1999

Q: While in law school, where did you see yourself after graduation?
A: At the time, I thought I’d end up in academia. I loved (and still love) school and really admired my professors, like Professor James Nehf. I’ve channeled my inner-educator, and am active in mentoring and recruiting young associates. I use the same skills to help navigate my clients through complex business issues.

Q: Walk me through the career path that led to your current position.
A: I clerked for Randall T. Shepard, chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, after law school. I then worked as a litigation associate at Jenner & Block in Chicago until 2005, when I joined the business litigation group at Baker & Daniels in Indianapolis. I’ve been a business litigation partner at Faegre Baker Daniels since 2010, specializing in class-action defense, mass torts, and trade secret misappropriation.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 
A: I enjoy what I do and the colleagues and clients with whom I work, so exactly where I am at Faegre Baker Daniels. That said, I always strive to be a better writer, advocate, and lawyer.

Q: What type of community organizations do you devote your time to?
A: I’m a big fan of Indy’s urban neighborhoods. I’ve been active with the Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Association for years, and I also serve on the Midtown Economic Council, an organization empowered to oversee various Midtown Indianapolis neighborhoods’ interests in the North Midtown TIF District.

Q: What advice would you give to a new lawyer that wants to end up in position like yours?
A: Courtesy of Jay Ham, a retired Faegre Baker Daniels partner and one of my mentors: “Don’t get in the mud with pigs. You’ll only get dirty, and the pigs like it.” Be thoughtful, professional, and polite. Don’t be a jerk.

Q: What’s your most memorable experience as a lawyer?
A: As part of a representation of a Hollywood movie studio, I worked on-site from sunrise until midnight one day. I was exhausted and my eyes were getting blurry, so I got up to stretch my legs. I ducked into a restroom that was just outside one of the massive sound stages. I splashed water on my face, grabbed a towel to dry my face, and then turned around. Standing three feet in front of me was a muscular, 6’5” actor in full Star Trek Klingon make-up and costume. I screamed like a little girl and jumped behind a bathroom stall. We had a good laugh once I figured out what I was looking at. The next day, I walked by the same sound stage, and eight or so similarly attired actors were sitting outside on a staircase smoking cigarettes. To this day, I regret not grabbing a photo with them.•
 

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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.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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