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IndyBar: Interrogatories with John Trimble

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By Tyler D. Helmond, Voyles Zahn & Paul PA

John C. Trimble
Lewis Wagner LLP

He is a graduate of Hanover College and the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. He is a partner at Lewis Wagner LLP. And he is President-Elect of the Indianapolis Bar Association. He is John C. Trimble, and he has been served with interrogatories.

Q: You are a Top 10 Indiana Super Lawyer. This a two-part question. How did you become so super, and how does it feel to be so super?
A: The first time my peers honored me by putting me into this category my mentor and partner, Robert Wagner, said, “John, this just goes to show what you can accomplish through a lifetime of shameless self-promotion.” Seriously, there are so many super lawyers in Indiana that I could not begin to count them or rank them. I am blessed every day to know them and count many of them as friends. Despite my years in practice, I still learn something from great lawyers almost every day. To the extent that I have developed any skills it has been due to great mentoring from Robert Wagner and from other stalwarts in the bar. I do genuinely appreciate the recognition of my peers. But, most importantly, it makes my 80-year-old parents proud.

Q: Your office is on the canal, and this is another two-part question. What is the best part about having an office on the canal, and what is the strangest thing you have seen going on down there?
A: Sunrise along the canal in spring and summer is my favorite time of day. Although my office looks out over the canal, I like to go down to our canal level early in the morning and work on something as the sun is coming up and people are out running and walking. I also love that we have a large portico where we can hold receptions, pitch-in lunches, and networking events. On the strange side, we have had a flasher or two come by our canal-level offices and conference rooms for a quick and unexpected flash or butt press. I will also never forget the quiet summer morning when a rower in a single shell rowed silently by as I was sitting outside on a bench reading the morning paper.

Q: Who has had the biggest influence on your life as a lawyer?
A: Without question, my partner and mentor, Robert F. Wagner, has been the biggest influence. Early in my career he tossed me into the fray and made me sink or swim. He has also always been a model for integrity, civility, preparation, and love of our profession. He has also shown me the best of storytelling and oration. In the fictional world, Atticus Finch has also been a character who I have admired for what he represents as a model of our profession.

Q: You’re an experienced appellate advocate. What is your process for writing a brief?
A: These days, my process begins with finding a colleague in the firm who will be the actual writer. I then work with them and the client to craft an outline of the arguments. I also enjoy the role of editor and proofreader as the drafts of the brief progress.

Q: You might have the distinction of being the most accomplished Indiana lawyer on Twitter. Who would you be most excited to see re-tweet one of your tweets?
A: At this juncture my list of followers is small enough that I would be surprised and gratified if anyone retweets one of my tweets. I did have one recent re-tweet experience that I enjoyed. I have been following a really splendid singer from Indianapolis named Josh Kaufman who is competing on the NBC program, “The Voice.” After one of his performances, I tweeted some words of praise and encouragement about him. He re-tweeted it from the show in LA, and that was fun. (It also convinced my doubting wife, Ann, that there really is someone out there who gives a darn about what I have to say.)

Q: Coca-Cola or Pepsi?
A: I am a Diet Coke guy all the way. If Pepsi is my only choice, I would take water. Having said this, I have to confess that I did a blind taste test of Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi and failed miserably. As a result, I am now more inclined to lean toward locally brewed craft beers …•
 

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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