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Lawyers sweat it out in ethics CLE

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Sneakers, shorts and T-shirts aren’t what most attorneys typically wear to continuing legal education sessions. But on Jan. 30, lawyers put on their workout gear and hit the gym for a one-hour CLE on ethics.

Led by Indiana Supreme Court Justice Steven David, the CLE combined spinning – riding stationary exercise bikes – and a lecture and PowerPoint presentation on ethics. David’s co-presenter was Don Lundberg, former executive secretary of the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission and current chair of the Indiana State Bar Association’s Committee on Wellness.

The sold-out session was part of the state bar’s new “Fit to Practice” initiative, which encourages attorneys to lead an active, healthy lifestyle.

David – in his first time leading a spinning class – presented on issues that arose during his time as chief defense counsel for Guantanamo Bay detainees.

Deputy Attorney General Jordan Church participated in the program and said he liked the way David presented the information.

“He kind of took you through a slideshow, so as we were riding the spin bikes, it was as if we were going on a bike tour, going to Cuba, going down to Guantanamo, seeing it through his eyes and what his experience was like,” Church said.
 

spinning-15col.jpg Indiana Supreme Court Justice Steven David (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Participants seemed to be more engaged in the presentation than they might typically be at a standard CLE, because they weren’t able to access their smartphones or read a newspaper, Church added.

“There was some concern that the folks taking the class might not get as much out of it in that format, but I think people were actually more focused and got more out of it because of the limited distractions,” he said.

Getting people moving

C. Erik Chickedantz announced last year as incoming bar president that one of his primary goals was to get lawyers to be more active. David explained that the wellness committee’s goal is simple.

“They’re just trying to get lawyers doing something – and if they’re already doing something, then doing a bit more,” he said.

David exercises regularly and plans to run a marathon this year.

“I like to engage in multiple activities and probably do them poorly,” he said. “In the past 20 years, I’ve done a plethora of triathlons … so I’m a mediocre swimmer, a mediocre biker, a mediocre runner.”

Rushville attorney Julie Newhouse does Pilates two days a week and some type of cardiovascular exercise twice a week, but she wondered if she would be able to keep up with the class.

“I was really afraid that I was going to tank, but I made it through the whole hour without tanking!” she said.


spinning02-15col.jpg Lawyers learn about ethics while getting a workout. (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Church, who regularly bikes to work, enjoyed the combination of fitness and learning.

“It got some attention, and it really did just put a nice point on: here’s a way to combine a normal activity with wellness and exercise, and I think it really did a nice job of emphasizing Erik Chickedantz’s focus on fitness,” he said.

David believes the wellness committee has been discussing offering similar opportunities, although combining fitness and CLE does have it limits.

“Obviously, swimming and CLE may not work,” he said.•

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  1. Too many attorneys take their position as a license to intimidate and threaten non attorneys in person and by mail. Did find it ironic that a reader moved to comment twice on this article could not complete a paragraph without resorting to insulting name calling (rethuglican) as a substitute for reasoned discussion. Some people will never get the point this action should have made.

  2. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

  3. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

  4. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

  5. I have dealt with more than a few I-465 moat-protected government attorneys and even judges who just cannot seem to wrap their heads around the core of this 800 year old document. I guess monarchial privileges and powers corrupt still ..... from an academic website on this fantastic "treaty" between the King and the people ... "Enduring Principles of Liberty Magna Carta was written by a group of 13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical king. There are two principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate to this day: "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." "To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice." Inspiration for Americans During the American Revolution, Magna Carta served to inspire and justify action in liberty’s defense. The colonists believed they were entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, rights guaranteed in Magna Carta. They embedded those rights into the laws of their states and later into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution ("no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.") is a direct descendent of Magna Carta's guarantee of proceedings according to the "law of the land." http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/

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