ILNews

Ladendorf takes helm as ITLA president

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Mark Ladendorf is a small-firm attorney who’s never shied away from taking the big cases. The Indianapolis personal-injury lawyer leads Ladendorf & Ladendorf, a practice of five attorneys – three of them in the family.

Ladendorf recently was named president of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association for 2013-2014. Here’s what he had to say in a recent Q&A with Indiana Lawyer, touching on the personal and the professional.

Q. Taking office as president of Indiana Trial Lawyers Association in May and serving until next April, what would you like members to know about you?

il-mark-ladendorf01-15col.jpg New Indiana Trial Lawyers Association President Mark Ladendorf of Ladendorf & Ladendorf takes great pride in serving those who need representation when the odds are stacked against them. (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

A. Born and raised in Hammond, Ind., the oldest of four children, I learned the value of hard work at an early age. My first jobs included the steel mills, a chemical plant, a railroad yard and working as a mechanic’s assistant at a diesel trucking garage. These blue-collar endeavors gave me real-world experiences in the various walks of life that would be forthcoming. Most importantly, they taught me the value of a higher education and what it would mean in my future.

Q. What are some major practice concerns for trial lawyers that you’ll talk about during your term as president?

A. I view my role as a facilitator for the growth of the ITLA in the many endeavors in which we already partake. Our outreach includes legislative, administrative, PAC, interaction with the judiciary, fundraising, CLE seminars and social events. All of these efforts are undertaken with the promotion of a strong civil justice system in mind. With the pervasive overview of the ITLA in the many aspects of the legal profession, I will attempt to balance many roles and bring my 33 years of legal experience to the table.

I feel fortunate to serve my administration under the guidance of Micki Wilson, Jason Bell, Lindsay Meyer and Bridget Gross as well as the executive committee who steer this great organization.

Q. If you had to give a brief “State of the ITLA” address, what would you say?

A. The practice of law is ever-changing: dynamic, creative, far-reaching and something that never rests. We must address the issues at hand to make sure we are doing the right thing for our clients and the citizens of Indiana. We have been given great responsibility in society to right the wrongs that are so easily inflicted on those who need us most.

Q. What is your favorite thing about being a trial lawyer?

A. I take great pride in being a trial lawyer, not for myself, but for being able to serve others who seek representation when the odds are stacked against them. Not that I have a “Robin Hood” persona, but it is always gratifying to assist someone who needs you most, especially against some of our society’s most powerful interests.

Q. We see that your son Lance joined Ladendorf & Ladendorf not too long ago, and you also work alongside your brother Dan. What’s that dynamic like?

A. Having Lance and “Uncle Dan” with me has been a blessing and a challenge. Dan is extremely competent and creative in the law and legislative endeavors, and Lance has a keen insight into the kind of lawyer he wants to become. The future looks bright.

Q. Staying with family for a moment, what in your mind is the difference between fatherly advice and legal advice?

A. Fatherly advice is tougher as sometimes you walk a fine line between reason and logic on one hand, and on the other, emotions and love. Combining all of these into a positive energy is a life-long journey that every parent hopes to attain.

Q. Besides Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” who’s your favorite fictional lawyer?

A. I enjoyed Harrison Ford in his role in “Regarding Henry.” Sometimes it doesn’t matter when the truth surfaces, as long as it does.

Q. We are granting you the imaginary power to change or enact one law in the state of Indiana. What’s your pleasure?

A. I would overturn Stanley v. Walker as it unfairly benefits the insurance industry while punishing the injured party who paid premiums for health insurance coverage. A close second would be to abolish the Medical Review Panel which has no purpose in tort law other than to delay cases indefinitely and allow the “fox to guard the henhouse.”

Q. Your son came out of law school at a time when many people are concerned about the future of legal education and prospects for careers in law. What would you tell a young person considering law school?

A. I would agree that it is much more difficult to graduate from law school today and engage in a legal career than it was 33 years ago. Having said that, there are enormous opportunities for a person who holds a legal degree as it is the most versatile degree in society. Go forth and serve and good things will happen.

Q. If you had not become a lawyer, what would you be doing?

A. I would be a psychology professor doubling as a basketball coach at a small college in northern Michigan.

Q. What’s your assessment of civility among attorneys today compared with when you entered the profession?

A. There is not as much camaraderie today as there was years ago. This can account for the difficulties in amicably resolving a case.

Q. Is there one particular case you’ve worked on that stands out as the most difficult?

A. By far, the toughest case I worked on was seeing my friend and fellow attorney, Joan Irick, pass as a result of malpractice. To everyone who knew Joan, she was a terrific person and consummate professional. My representation of her in the last years of her life was one of the most heartbreaking and wrenching experiences I have been part of. She will be endeared and missed forever.

Q. You’re working one very high-profile case at the moment, representing a motorcycle victim of a crash involving Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer David Bisard. Any tips on smaller firms like yours taking on resource-heavy cases?

A. My advice would be to circle the wagons, my friend. Strap on your seatbelt and get ready to ride the tide for a long upheaval in a case you will become far too familiar with. Be prepared for power struggles and always fight for your cause, your client and for justice. Remember, nothing good comes easy.

Q. Something that hardly anyone knows about me is that I am a huge fan of _____.

A. Butterflies and birds because they can fly and I can’t.

Q. The philosophy that best describes my outlook on life is:

A. I wish I could say something clever such as that written by a far Eastern philosopher, but “The Serenity Prayer” is the best I can do. It simply says: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

Also remember that all glory is fleeting. Never be too high on yourself or too low. Try to find a balance.

Q. Got any summer vacation plans?

A. By the time you read this, I will hopefully be catching a big walleye for shore lunch with Lance netting it. I also hope to take a family trip to a ranch in Montana to reaffirm the fact that I was never meant to be a cowboy.

Q. Any closing remarks?

A. I would like to thank everyone who stood by me in my life, especially my wife, Debi, my children, Lance, Luke and Hannah; and my parents, Bob and Shirley Ladendorf. •

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

ADVERTISEMENT