IndyBar: Should You Go to Bench Bar?

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Bell Bell

By James J. Bell
IndyBar President-elect
Paganelli Law Group

IndyBar President Nissa Ricafort has bestowed upon me the honor of writing this issue’s president’s message. With this honor, I wanted to address one of the biggest issues facing every attorney, judge, law student and paralegal in central Indiana: Should I go to the Bench Bar Conference?

The answer to this question is likely, “Yes, I should go to Bench Bar.” For some of you, the answer may be that, “I need to go to Bench Bar.” However, in the interest of not being too presumptuous, my firm colleague Raegan Gibson and I, along with IndyBar staff, have set up this decision-making flow chart to help guide you through this complex issue. We hope that you will find it useful.

If you waded through the flow chart and find that you “should,” in fact, go to Bench Bar, ACT NOW! Hotel rooms are filling up fast. Register for the conference online and get the link for our room block at

We hope to see you there. See the flow chart.


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  1. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  2. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  3. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  4. Different rules for different folks....

  5. I would strongly suggest anyone seeking mediation check the experience of the mediator. There are retired judges who decide to become mediators. Their training and experience is in making rulings which is not the point of mediation.