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Leadership in Law 2013: Michael F. Drewry

Managing partner, Drewry Simmons Vornehm LLP, Carmel Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

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mike-drewry02-15col.jpg (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Michael F. Drewry has devoted his legal career to assisting clients involved in all aspects of the construction industry. When he began practicing law, there was very little in the state in the way of organized legal associations devoted to construction law. Mike helped create the Construction & Surety Law Section of the Indiana State Bar Association. He’s also active with the American Bar Association, serving on the inaugural committee for the ABA Forum on Construction Industry Trial Academy. He’s active with construction trade associations, and he has served on the board for the Indiana Construction Roundtable Diversity Initiative, a mentoring program that pairs experienced contractors with minority contractors.

You are a leader in the area of construction law. Are you handy around the house?
Unfortunately, I am not. I am willing but not capable. My wife is the one with hands-on skills, not me. Luckily, she did not know that until after we were married.

If you could take a sabbatical from the law for a year to work your fantasy job, what job would you choose?
I received my master’s degree in European History, so I would enjoy teaching history as a college professor or teaching construction law at a college or law school.

What class in law school did you find the most difficult?
All of the tax classes. I knew right away that I would never be a tax lawyer. I have heeded that self-assessment my entire career.

What civic cause is the most important to you?
I am a big supporter of the Center for Performing Arts next to our Carmel offices. It is nice to see what the arts are trying to bring to the community and to be a part of that.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
The power to make all Purdue sports teams successful.

In life or law, what bugs you?
I hope that this does not sound self-righteous, but it would be the lack of integrity in some people. I was always taught that your word is your bond, that you maintain honor and good faith in your dealings. I took that to heart, and it saddens me when I see people that do not seem to value those principles.

If you could go back in time, “when” would you go to and what would you do?
I would like to go back to the mid-’70s so I could spend more time with my dad who died midway through.

If a drink or sandwich were to be named after you, what would it be called and what would be in it?
“Mike’s Old Fashion” – a really good, aged single barrel bourbon, bitters, orange liqueur, a splash of water and a cherry. No sugar is needed. Served on the rocks.

Would a world without 24/7 technology be a good or bad thing?
A world without 24/7 technology would be a good thing. Old ways had their benefits – you cannot unwind technological developments today.

What do you find scary?
This one is easy. Spiders, all shapes and types. I guess you would say that I have arachnophobia.

What advice would you give your 25-year-old self?
Live a good life!

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  1. Falk said “At this point, at this minute, we’ll savor this particular victory.” “It certainly is a historic week on this front,” Cockrum said. “What a delight ... “Happy Independence Day to the women of the state of Indiana,” WOW. So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)

  2. congratulations on such balanced journalism; I also love how fetus disposal affects women's health protection, as covered by Roe...

  3. It truly sickens me every time a case is compared to mine. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld my convictions based on a finding of “hidden threats.” The term “hidden threat” never appeared until the opinion in Brewington so I had no way of knowing I was on trial for making hidden threats because Dearborn County Prosecutor F Aaron Negangard argued the First Amendment didn't protect lies. Negangard convened a grand jury to investigate me for making “over the top” and “unsubstantiated” statements about court officials, not hidden threats of violence. My indictments and convictions were so vague, the Indiana Court of Appeals made no mention of hidden threats when they upheld my convictions. Despite my public defender’s closing arguments stating he was unsure of exactly what conduct the prosecution deemed to be unlawful, Rush found that my lawyer’s trial strategy waived my right to the fundamental error of being tried for criminal defamation because my lawyer employed a strategy that attempted to take advantage of Negangard's unconstitutional criminal defamation prosecution against me. Rush’s opinion stated the prosecution argued two grounds for conviction one constitutional and one not, however the constitutional true threat “argument” consistently of only a blanket reading of subsection 1 of the intimidation statute during closing arguments, making it impossible to build any kind of defense. Of course intent was impossible for my attorney to argue because my attorney, Rush County Chief Public Defender Bryan Barrett refused to meet with me prior to trial. The record is littered with examples of where I made my concerns known to the trial judge that I didn’t know the charges against me, I did not have access to evidence, all while my public defender refused to meet with me. Special Judge Brian Hill, from Rush Superior Court, refused to address the issue with my public defender and marched me to trial without access to evidence or an understanding of the indictments against me. Just recently the Indiana Public Access Counselor found that four over four years Judge Hill has erroneously denied access to the grand jury audio from my case, the most likely reason being the transcription of the grand jury proceedings omitted portions of the official audio record. The bottom line is any intimidation case involves an action or statement that is debatably a threat of physical violence. There were no such statements in my case. The Indiana Supreme Court took partial statements I made over a period of 41 months and literally connected them with dots… to give the appearance that the statements were made within the same timeframe and then claimed a person similarly situated would find the statements intimidating while intentionally leaving out surrounding contextual factors. Even holding the similarly situated test was to be used in my case, the prosecution argued that the only intent of my public writings was to subject the “victims” to ridicule and hatred so a similarly situated jury instruction wouldn't even have applied in my case. Chief Justice Rush wrote the opinion while Rush continued to sit on a committee with one of the alleged victims in my trial and one of the judges in my divorce, just as she'd done for the previous 7+ years. All of this information, including the recent PAC opinion against the Dearborn Superior Court II can be found on my blog www.danbrewington.blogspot.com.

  4. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  5. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

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