ILNews

Leadership in Law 2012: Brian C. Bosma

Partner, Kroger Gardis & Regas, Indianapolis Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

April 25, 2012
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Brian Bosma (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Brian Bosma has practiced law for 28 years. But he is best known throughout the state as Indiana’s Speaker of the House of Representatives. In both his private practice and political capacity, peers describe him as strong in his beliefs, but confident enough to consider other points of view. His “keep calm and carry on” mantra has earned him a reputation as a consistent and judicious leader. Brian’s professional accomplishments, balanced with his community commitment, have made him a role model for many young lawyers.

The best advice I ever had
was from my dad, who was a WWII combat veteran, small businessman and served in the Indiana Senate for 21 years. When tough decisions came up that generally had one or both sides upset, my dad used to say “Just concentrate on doing what’s right, and let the politics shake out for itself.” My dad’s been gone for nearly 30 years, but I quote that advice at least twice a week as I am counseling legislators concerned that their actions will have adverse political consequences. It’s advice I truly try to live by.

I wish I had known when I graduated law school
that management and marketing responsibilities would be such a large part of a professional practice.

If I weren’t a lawyer, I’d be
a civil engineer. Actually, that was my undergraduate degree from Purdue, and it has assisted me greatly in my law practice which focuses on construction, environmental and municipal finance matters. There are some mornings I wake up and just feel like I have to build something.

My best stress reliever is
outdoor activities – take your pick. Depending on the season, we love to camp, backpack, horseback ride, kayak, shoot sporting clays or even sit around the fire pit in the backyard and look at the stars. I even consider yard work therapeutic, probably going back to the days when we did a lot of outdoor work in our family dairy business with my grandfather, my dad and lots of cousins. We worked hard and long and were taught to enjoy it.

The three words that best describe me are
thorough, determined, surprisingly funny (okay, that’s four words, but hey – I am a lawyer in politics).

In 2012, I’d like to
return to the remote village in Haiti that our family has been dedicated to assisting over the last three years. I hope to block the time out to join my son, who will be there for another summer, leading volunteers and assisting folks in the remote village of Chambrun, 10 kilometers outside of Port Au Prince. In a moment of weakness I agreed to lead a project to build a water tower to provide consistent clean water for our planned hospital, and that is at the top of my to do list.

In the movie about my life,
John Travolta would play me. Well, that’s my opinion anyway. My wife says Kelsey Grammer, as in Frasier. Apparently she believes I have some control issues. I’m listening…

In my community, I’m passionate about
services for the blind and visually impaired. As the founding director of Bosma Industries for the Blind (now Bosma Enterprises) and the Chairman of the Bosma Visionary Opportunities Foundation, and more importantly, the father of a son with lifetime vision challenges, Cheryl and I do all that we can to provide opportunities for those with vision challenges.

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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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