ILNews

Leadership in Law 2013: Eric D. Schmadeke

Deputy prosecutor, Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, Indianapolis University of Dayton School of Law

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eric-schmadeke02-15col.jpg (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

While prosecution is often a thankless job with no real winners in the end, Eric D. Schmadeke has committed himself to work tirelessly and zealously as a deputy prosecutor for more than six years. He’s prosecuted more than 60 major felony cases, with a success rate of more than 90 percent. Eric partnered with the Office of the Indiana Attorney General on the Conference of Western Attorneys General Alliance Partnership, where he trained Mexican judges, prosecutors, investigators and forensic scientists. He’s also partnered with the Western Regional Child Advocacy Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, to prepare medical and legal teams for child abuse court cases. Eric has volunteered as a guardian ad litem and court-appointed special advocate.

What civic cause is the most important to you?
It has been estimated that for every $7 spent on non-working adults, the federal budget allocates $1 for children. I would like to see that change in my lifetime.

What’s the most important thing your mentor has taught you?
There is not a case worth winning or bad guy worth taking down at the expense of your honor, integrity and reputation.

If you could take a sabbatical from the law for a year to work your fantasy job, what job would you choose?
Snow ski tester – Vail, Colorado.

Numerous TV shows center around lawyers and their practices. Are any of them close to realistic?
A TV show (even the closest to reality) about a criminal jury trial (which most of them are) is like taking the eight most dramatic five-minute segments from a 200-plus-hour documentary. You get to watch all the fun, but not everything you do to get there. And whereas Jack McCoy gets to focus all of his energy on one rape, murder or molest at a time, right now I have 41 open and active.

What class in law school did you find the most difficult?
The ones that took attendance. But seriously … Professor Jegen’s Income Tax. You had to be test-ready every day in preparation for his barrage. I loved that challenge.

If you could meet and spend a day with one lawyer from history, who would it be and why?
I would be standing behind Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre waiting to snatch that little J.W.B. and toss him over the balcony (it only broke his leg). “Sic Semper Interfector,” I would say. He stole the three-and-a-half years our country had left with Lincoln. I want it back.

In life or law, what bugs you?
It bugs me that the great deputy prosecuting attorneys – the John Keiffners, the Steve Owenses, the Janna Skeltons, and the scores of others – here, and around the state – aren’t often recognized in the legal community for being top-notch lawyers in their own right. Also, you know when windshield wipers leave streaks worse than the raindrops? Ugh. That is the worst!

Would a world without 24/7 technology be a good or bad thing?
Objection. Calls for speculation.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I really didn’t read comic books, so my known options are limited. I guess to be able to always write my thoughts on paper as they are in my mind or Jedi mind-tricks to speed my way through motions hearings?

What do you find scary?
I have phobophobia. I’m frightened of being afraid.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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