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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. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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