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IndyBar: Interrogatories - Samantha DeWester

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By Tyler D. Helmond, Voyles Zahn & Paul
 

dewester-samantha.jpg DeWester

Samantha DeWester, Office of Corporation Counsel

She is a graduate of Indiana University and the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. She is Deputy Corporation Counsel, City Prosecutor, and Public Access Counselor at the Office of Corporation Counsel. She was previously a Marion County Deputy Prosecutor and Marion County Deputy Public Defender. She is Samantha DeWester, and she has been served with interrogatories.


Q: What is your favorite memory from a Bench Bar Conference past?
A: What happens at Bench Bar, stays at Bench Bar. I can neither confirm nor deny if anything memorable happens at Bench Bar. Seriously, I have been attending Bench Bar since my first year of law school. It is always a great time! My favorite IndyBar CLE memory was in Las Vegas with Judge Bill Nelson a few years ago. While boarding the roller coaster on the roof of the New York New York hotel, Judge Nelson reminded us he was just released from the Heart Hospital weeks earlier!

Q: Who has had the biggest influence on your lawyering philosophy?
A: Johnnie Walker. Oh, an actual person. There is not just one person who has influenced or helped mold me into the lawyer I am today. Rather, it is a combination of watching, listening, learning and doing. You know it when you see the attorney you NEVER want to be. You have to be comfortable in your own skin, but also learn from mistakes you make and those of others.

Q: You have worked in and around the City-County Building (CCB) for most of your career. This is a three-part question. How would you describe the smell in the elevators? Where does it come from? And if you had to bottle it and sell it as perfume or cologne, what would you call it?
A: The warmer months are definitely worse than the cooler months, for both apparel and fragrance. I don’t know if I can assign words that give the CCB odors justice. It does not come from one source but instead is a combination of many things within the CCB.

Q: Choose a historical mock trial and appoint present-day lawyers and judge from the Indiana bar. How does it play out?
A: Since it is the 20th anniversary of the O.J. Simpson trial, I would say Scott Newman & Ralph Staples vs. Jim Voyles, Jack Crawford & Jenny Lukemeyer. Judge Sheila Carlisle presiding. Judge denies Jenny’s offer to reenact the Bronco chase around 465. Hung jury.

Q: What do you now know that you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?
A: Money really can buy you happiness…especially when you have massive law student loan payments and work for the government! Honestly, I love, love, love what I do and truly enjoy working for the great people of Indianapolis. I could not be happier and would not have it any other way!

Q: If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you do and would you continue to use your lawyer skills/law degree?
A: Depends on the size of the pot! I would first take a much needed vacation/hiatus with friends and relax for a few months, somewhere far away! Then I would hire an attorney and investment broker to handle my winnings and take care of my future (see student loans in previous question). But, I would certainly continue to use my skills, whether philanthropic or legal, to help those around me.

Q: Reggie Miller or Peyton Manning?
A: Come on now….Reggie Miller. You don’t replace old with new!

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  1. IF the Right to Vote is indeed a Right, then it is a RIGHT. That is the same for ALL eligible and properly registered voters. And this is, being able to cast one's vote - until the minute before the polls close in one's assigned precinct. NOT days before by absentee ballot, and NOT 9 miles from one's house (where it might be a burden to get to in time). I personally wait until the last minute to get in line. Because you never know what happens. THAT is my right, and that is Mr. Valenti's. If it is truly so horrible to let him on school grounds (exactly how many children are harmed by those required to register, on school grounds, on election day - seriously!), then move the polling place to a different location. For ALL voters in that precinct. Problem solved.

  2. "associates are becoming more mercenary. The path to partnership has become longer and more difficult so they are chasing short-term gains like high compensation." GOOD FOR THEM! HELL THERE OUGHT TO BE A UNION!

  3. Let's be honest. A glut of lawyers out there, because law schools have overproduced them. Law schools dont care, and big law loves it. So the firms can afford to underpay them. Typical capitalist situation. Wages have grown slowly for entry level lawyers the past 25 years it seems. Just like the rest of our economy. Might as well become a welder. Oh and the big money is mostly reserved for those who can log huge hours and will cut corners to get things handled. More capitalist joy. So the answer coming from the experts is to "capitalize" more competition from nonlawyers, and robots. ie "expert systems." One even hears talk of "offshoring" some legal work. thus undercutting the workers even more. And they wonder why people have been pulling for Bernie and Trump. Hello fools, it's not just the "working class" it's the overly educated suffering too.

  4. And with a whimpering hissy fit the charade came to an end ... http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2016/07/27/all-charges-dropped-against-all-remaining-officers-in-freddie-gray-case/ WHISTLEBLOWERS are needed more than ever in a time such as this ... when politics trump justice and emotions trump reason. Blue Lives Matter.

  5. "pedigree"? I never knew that in order to become a successful or, for that matter, a talented attorney, one needs to have come from good stock. What should raise eyebrows even more than the starting associates' pay at this firm (and ones like it) is the belief systems they subscribe to re who is and isn't "fit" to practice law with them. Incredible the arrogance that exists throughout the practice of law in this country, especially at firms like this one.

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