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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. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  2. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  3. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

  5. I am the father of a sweet little one-year-old named girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. To anyone who reads this who may be considering the decision to terminate, please know that your child will absolutely light up your life as my daughter has the lives of everyone around her. There is no part of me that condones abortion of a child on the basis that he/she has or might have Down Syndrome. From an intellectual standpoint, however, I question the enforceability of this potential law. As it stands now, the bill reads in relevant part as follows: "A person may not intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion . . . if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome." It includes similarly worded provisions abortion on "any other disability" or based on sex selection. It goes so far as to make the medical provider at least potentially liable for wrongful death. First, how does a medical provider "know" that "the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion SOLELY" because of anything? What if the woman says she just doesn't want the baby - not because of the diagnosis - she just doesn't want him/her? Further, how can the doctor be liable for wrongful death, when a Child Wrongful Death claim belongs to the parents? Is there any circumstance in which the mother's comparative fault will not exceed the doctor's alleged comparative fault, thereby barring the claim? If the State wants to discourage women from aborting their children because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I'm all for that. Purporting to ban it with an unenforceable law, however, is not the way to effectuate this policy.

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