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. So men who think they are girls at heart can use the lady's potty? Usually the longer line is for the women's loo, so, the ladies may be the ones to experience temporary gender dysphoria, who knows? Is it ok to joke about his or is that hate? I may need a brainwash too, hey! I may just object to my own comment, later, if I get myself properly "oriented"

  2. Heritage, what Heritage? The New Age is dawning .... an experiment in disordered liberty and social fragmentation is upon us .... "Carmel City Council approved a human rights ordinance with a 4-3 vote Monday night after hearing about two hours of divided public testimony. The ordinance bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, among other traits. Council members Rick Sharp, Carol Schleif, Sue Finkam and Ron Carter voted in favor of it. The three council members opposing it—Luci Snyder, Kevin Rider and Eric Seidensticker—all said they were against any form of discrimination, but had issues with the wording and possible unintended consequences of the proposal." Kardashian is the new Black.

  3. Can anyone please tell me if anyone is appealing the law that certain sex offenders can't be on school property. How is somebody supposed to watch their children's sports games or graduations, this law needs revised such as sex offenders that are on school property must have another non-offender adult with them at all times while on school property. That they must go to the event and then leave directly afterwards. This is only going to hurt the children of the offenders and the father/ son mother/ daughter vice versa relationship. Please email me and let me know if there is a group that is appealing this for reasons other than voting and religion. Thank you.

  4. Should any attorney who argues against the abortion industry, or presents arguments based upon the Founders' concept of Higher Law, (like that marriage precedes the State) have to check in with the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program for a mandatory mental health review? Some think so ... that could certainly cut down on cases such as this "cluttering up" the SCOTUS docket ... use JLAP to deny all uber conservative attorneys licenses and uber conservative representation will tank. If the ends justify the means, why not?

  5. Tell them sherry Mckay told you to call, they're trying to get all the people that have been wronged and held unlawfully to sign up on this class action lawsuit.