ILNews

Leadership in Law 2012: James B. Godbold

Attorney, Kightlinger & Gray, Evansville Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

April 25, 2012
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James Godbold (IL Photo/Jordan Barclay)

James Godbold is diligent about having a positive influence on society and potential attorneys. The litigation attorney is active in the Evansville community, working with Teen Court and the Evansville Bar Association High School Mock Trial. He is also involved with the federal court’s Mediation Assistance Program and the Indiana Appellate Pro Bono Project. His professionalism and community service is a blend of competence, experience and dedication.

In 2012, I’d like to
see the Cubs win the World Series (nobody said this had to be realistic).

My long-term career goal is
to make partner with my firm, and maybe eventually become a judge. 

The best advice I could give a recent law school graduate is
to be yourself.  If you try to carry yourself and practice law in a way that does not fit your personality, you will end up being miserable.  Be yourself in the way you handle clients, in the way you deal with opposing counsel, in the way you interact with partners or supervisors.  You will be happier and more successful in the long run if you do this.

The three words that best describe me:
I’m never good at talking about myself, so I asked my wife.  She said humble, compassionate and easy-going. 

If I weren’t an attorney, I’d be
a teacher.

My escape from work is
spending time with my family, reading and Crossfit.

My mentor has taught me
to always remember to be courteous.  You will run into situations and people in this profession that will bother and frustrate you.  The only thing you can control in those situations is yourself, so remember to be courteous. If you develop that reputation early, it will stay with you for a long time and will benefit you in the future.  
 

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  1. Hmmmmm ..... How does the good doctor's spells work on tyrants and unelected bureacrats with nearly unchecked power employing in closed hearings employing ad hoc procedures? Just askin'. ... Happy independence day to any and all out there who are "free" ... Unlike me.

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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