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Kimbrough Bar serves NW Indiana

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Bar Crawl

Shelice R. Tolbert, a partner at the Crown Point office of Kopka Pinkus Dolin & Eads, was sworn in as president of the James C. Kimbrough Bar Association by a longtime bar association supporter and member, Indiana Supreme Court Justice Robert D. Rucker, who has personal and professional ties to northwest Indiana.

She replaces Trent A. McCain, principal of McCain Law Offices in Merrillville, as head of the association with a historically African-American membership. Her term will last until April 30, 2011. Her husband, Michael Tolbert, is a past president of the organization.

Justice Rucker also swore in vice president Alger V. Boswell III of The Boswell Law Office in Hammond; secretary Joann M. Price of The Law Offices of Joann M. Price in Merrillville; and treasurer Barbara A. Bolling of the Law Office of Barbara Bolling in Gary.

Tolbert said while the organization never went away completely, the involvement of members, the group’s community work, and its visibility among non-members has been increasing in recent years. One of her goals is not only to get more young members to join, whether that’s working with Valparaiso University School of Law – which many members have ties to, including Justice Rucker – reaching out to younger members in the area’s legal community, or even reaching out to more experienced members who aren’t as active as they once were.

She said they also welcome Chicago attorneys who have ties to the area and want to remain active in networking with northwest Indiana lawyers. She said membership is also encouraged for Valparaiso students and recent grads who’ve considered moving to Chicago.

Tolbert said she and past leaders have helped the organization to become more involved with the Indiana State Bar Association, as well as bar associations in the area and the state’s other historically African-American bar association, the Marion County Bar Association in Indianapolis.

In June, members of the Kimbrough Bar Association were invited to the ISBA’s Solo and Small Firm Conference in Merrillville, and many attended the annual diversity dinner. In January 2011, the organization will host an ISBA president for the third time with a reception.

That event is open to members, law students, and leaders of other bar associations in the area, including the Lake County Bar Association, the Women’s Bar Association, and the Hispanic Bar Association.

Past ISBA president R. William Jonas and current president Roderick Morgan have both attended receptions hosted by the Kimbrough Bar Association. Tolbert said she expects ISBA president-elect Jeffrey Lind, who will become president in October, to also attend a reception for him and others in January.

The organization will also continue community service, she said.

Members participate in Law Day activities at area high schools, as well as Operation LIFT – Lawyers Intercepting Family Trouble. Past projects have included donations directly to families and the Red Cross following floods in the area. The group also collects food and grocery store gift cards to provide to local churches during the holidays.

For those looking to get involved, Tolbert said they can contact her at srtolbert@kopkalaw.com or (219) 794-1888.

As far as taking over the role her husband had a couple terms ago?

“He tries to stand back and let me do things on my own, but he will give me tips and advice if I ask him,” she said. “He’s always been willing to step up any time we need him to.”•

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Bar Crawl is Indiana Lawyer’s new section that will highlight bar association news around the state. We try to include bar association news and trends in our regular stories, but we want to include more news from specialty and county bars. If you’d like to submit an update about your bar association or a photo from an event your bar association has hosted to Indiana Lawyer, or if you have questions about having your bar association news included in the newspaper, please send it to Rebecca Berfanger, rberfanger@ibj.com, along with contact information for any follow up questions at least two weeks in advance of the issue date.

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  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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