ILNews

Leadership in Law 2012: Hon. Thomas J. Felts

Judge, Allen Circuit Court, Fort Wayne Indiana University Maurer School of Law

April 25, 2012
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Thomas Felts (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Judge Thomas Felts’ legal knowledge and practice advice to young professionals has helped improve the legal community around him. He embraces the idea of mentoring not only his law clerks but also young attorneys litigating in his court. The former president of the Indiana Judges Association board is active in the legal community, including his involvement with the state bar and Commission on Courts. He also devotes time to improving the Fort Wayne community, including his service on the board of the Foellinger Foundation.

The best advice I ever received was
“always keep your eyes open for opportunities.”

I wish I had known when I graduated law school that
the practice of law is, like most things, mostly about relationships.

My best stress reliever is
running.

If I weren’t a lawyer, I’d
be a teacher or professor (but wishing I was singing and playing the piano in a bar somewhere tropical).

In 2012, I’d like to
have an even better year than a pretty-great 2011.

The three words that best describe me are
passionate, busy and well-rounded.

In my community, I’m passionate about
the not-for-profit community and my place in it.

In the movie about my life,
a somewhat younger Michael Douglas would play me.

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  1. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  2. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

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