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IndyBar: Interrogatories - Eric Schmadeke

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By Tyler D. Helmond, Voyles Zahn & Paul

Eric Schmadeke
Densborn Blachly LLP

He is a graduate of Indiana University and the IU McKinney School of Law. He was a Marion County Deputy Prosecutor before joining Densborn Blachly LLP. He is a 2013 Indiana Lawyer “Up and Coming Lawyer.” He is Eric Schmadeke, and he has been served with interrogatories.

Q:You recently transitioned from prosecuting criminal cases to civil litigation in private practice. What has been the hardest part about that?
A:Without a doubt – sitting down and typing.  Trials and contested hearings were once the routine; now it feels like I am going out for ice cream every time I get to argue on my feet. The rule jockeying which seems to plague civil litigation can become a little arduous at times too.  I really believe good outcomes would happen more often for our clients if we all focused on the merits a little more and rules ending in something like (m)(38)(P)(xxi) a little less.   

Q:…and the easiest part?
A:Transitioning from a job where I was surrounded by incredibly talented, hard-working and honest lawyers who would rather be hit by a bus than let down their victims, to a job where I am surrounded by incredibly talented, hard-working and honest lawyers who would rather be hit by a bus than let down their clients.

Q:Your office is now on the north side instead of downtown. What are your feelings about that?
A:Densborn Blachly LLP built a first-class modern law office as appealing and fun to work in as any other I have ever seen, and it is quite nice to walk into a place like that every day.  It also happens to be on the north side where I have grown up and currently reside, along with a lot of our clients too. 

On the other hand, I do miss the energy of downtown.  There was always just a touch of excitement that came with the uncertainty of what you might see that day, good or bad.  Am I going to be accosted by a vagabond whose breath smells like after-shave or see a couple silently and tearfully embrace on the sidewalk after learning their adoption has just been finalized?  Or both?  You never knew.  That is what I miss. 

Q:Describe your technology setup.
A:Smart phone, laptop, and docking station with dual monitors.  Big fan of the dual monitors.  Densborn Blachly LLP also makes use of cutting-edge practice management technologies that utilize the cloud.  The firm decided to make a commitment to staying ahead of the tech curve.  So far, that bet has paid off big time for us and our clients. 

Q:If you could bring one historically notable dead person back to life, who would it be and why?
A:Mark Twain.  He said of Jane Austen, “Every time I read ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”  If that is how he reviewed a novel about manners, I am dying to know what he would have to say regarding the 113th United States Congress, or TMZ.com.  It would also be fun to ask him why he kept reading ‘Pride and Prejudice.’

Q:Who is the most challenging judge you have practiced before?
A:Tough one.  It would be easier to name judges who would describe my practice before them as “most challenging.”   By the way, did you choose an adjective that means both inspiring and impudent on purpose?  If so, well played – but I am not biting. 

Q:You have tried more than 75 juries in a relatively short career, and rumor has it, you are pretty hard to beat.  What’s the secret?
A:First, there is no secret.  I am merely the common denominator.  It is truly the work of the investigators, paralegals, expert witnesses, administrative staff and co-counsel who have supported, taught and tolerated me over the years who won these cases.  Second, I would like to ask my grandmother to stop spreading rumors.

However, imagining for the moment that there is a “secret” recipe to win juries, I suspect it would read something like:

Six parts – good facts;
Five parts – preparation;
Four parts – co-counsel and support staff (only the finest quality);
Three parts – jury selection;
Two parts – persuasive story-telling and the cogent use of analogies to make relevant facts relatable;
One part – Providence, and –
A dash of pluck.

Q:What is your favorite Indiana craft beer?
A:Sun King: Cream Ale on the golf course or Indians Lager at the ballpark.•

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  • Hero
    My daughter called Mr Schmadeke a super hero in a tie after he successfully prosecuted a very evil man. We wish him great success in his private practice.

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  1. It really doesn't matter what the law IS, if law enforcement refuses to take reports (or take them seriously), if courts refuse to allow unrepresented parties to speak (especially in Small Claims, which is supposedly "informal"). It doesn't matter what the law IS, if constituents are unable to make effective contact or receive any meaningful response from their representatives. Two of our pets were unnecessarily killed; court records reflect that I "abandoned" them. Not so; when I was denied one of them (and my possessions, which by court order I was supposed to be able to remove), I went directly to the court. And earlier, when I tried to have the DV PO extended (it expired while the subject was on probation for violating it), the court denied any extension. The result? Same problems, less than eight hours after expiration. Ironic that the county sheriff was charged (and later pleaded to) with intimidation, but none of his officers seemed interested or capable of taking such a report from a private citizen. When I learned from one officer what I needed to do, I forwarded audio and transcript of one occurrence and my call to law enforcement (before the statute of limitations expired) to the prosecutor's office. I didn't even receive an acknowledgement. Earlier, I'd gone in to the prosecutor's office and been told that the officer's (written) report didn't match what I said occurred. Since I had the audio, I can only say that I have very little faith in Indiana government or law enforcement.

  2. One can only wonder whether Mr. Kimmel was paid for his work by Mr. Burgh ... or whether that bill fell to the citizens of Indiana, many of whom cannot afford attorneys for important matters. It really doesn't take a judge(s) to know that "pavement" can be considered a deadly weapon. It only takes a brain and some education or thought. I'm glad to see the conviction was upheld although sorry to see that the asphalt could even be considered "an issue".

  3. In response to bryanjbrown: thank you for your comment. I am familiar with Paul Ogden (and applaud his assistance to Shirley Justice) and have read of Gary Welsh's (strange) death (and have visited his blog on many occasions). I am not familiar with you (yet). I lived in Kosciusko county, where the sheriff was just removed after pleading in what seems a very "sweetheart" deal. Unfortunately, something NEEDS to change since the attorneys won't (en masse) stand up for ethics (rather making a show to please the "rules" and apparently the judges). I read that many attorneys are underemployed. Seems wisdom would be to cull the herd and get rid of the rotting apples in practice and on the bench, for everyone's sake as well as justice. I'd like to file an attorney complaint, but I have little faith in anything (other than the most flagrant and obvious) resulting in action. My own belief is that if this was medicine, there'd be maimed and injured all over and the carnage caused by "the profession" would be difficult to hide. One can dream ... meanwhile, back to figuring out to file a pro se "motion to dismiss" as well as another court required paper that Indiana is so fond of providing NO resources for (unlike many other states, who don't automatically assume that citizens involved in the court process are scumbags) so that maybe I can get the family law attorney - whose work left me with no settlement, no possessions and resulted in the death of two pets (etc ad nauseum) - to stop abusing the proceedings supplemental and small claims rules and using it as a vehicle for harassment and apparently, amusement.

  4. Been on social security sense sept 2011 2massive strokes open heart surgery and serious ovarian cancer and a blood clot in my lung all in 14 months. Got a letter in may saying that i didn't qualify and it was in form like i just applied ,called social security she said it don't make sense and you are still geting a check in june and i did ,now i get a check from my part D asking for payment for july because there will be no money for my membership, call my prescription coverage part D and confirmed no check will be there.went to social security they didn't want to answer whats going on just said i should of never been on it .no one knows where this letter came from was California im in virginia and been here sense my strokes and vcu filed for my disability i was in the hospital when they did it .It's like it was a error . My ,mothers social security was being handled in that office in California my sister was dealing with it and it had my social security number because she died last year and this letter came out of the same office and it came at the same time i got the letter for my mother benefits for death and they had the same date of being typed just one was on the mail Saturday and one on Monday. . I think it's a mistake and it should been fixed instead there just getting rid of me .i never got a formal letter saying when i was being tsken off.

  5. Employers should not have racially discriminating mind set. It has huge impact on the society what the big players do or don't do in the industry. Background check is conducted just to verify whether information provided by the prospective employee is correct or not. It doesn't have any direct combination with the rejection of the employees. If there is rejection, there should be something effective and full-proof things on the table that may keep the company or the people associated with it in jeopardy.

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