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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. 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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