Leadership in Law 2013: Oni N. Harton

Associate, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP, Indianapolis Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

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oni-harton01-15col.jpg (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Oni N. Harton’s career is on an upward trajectory. Oni, who practices in the litigation, appellate and insurance groups, has been recognized by her firm for successes on behalf of her clients, receiving the Rainmaker Award and the Appellate Advocacy Award. She attended law school as a fellow of the Indiana Conference for Legal Education Opportunity and received multiple honors for her academic achievement. Before joining Bose McKinney & Evans LLP, Oni clerked for former Indiana Justice Frank Sullivan Jr., who said he was extremely impressed by her intelligence, warm personality and ethical standards. Oni is active on several firm committees and participates in the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Pro Bono Hospice Program and Low Asset Will Program.

What’s the most important thing your mentor has taught you?
Think it through. That is, not to jump in and start working on a problem thinking it will save time and money, but to think through the process before I start. The extra time spent on the front end will result in time saved in the back end.

If you could take a sabbatical from the law for a year to work your fantasy job, what job would you choose?
I would choose not to work at a “job.” Rather, I’d be a stay-at-home mom and community volunteer.

If you could meet and spend a day with one lawyer from history, who would it be and why?
Sandra Day O’Connor. She’s not only a great legal mind and a pioneer but also seems plain-spoken and humorous, yet enigmatic.

If you could go back in time, “when” would you go to and what would you do?
It’s asking a lot (and I’m certainly not worthy) but I’d go back to “In the beginning.” I’d also request the sensory capability to take it all in for several days.

What civic cause is the most important to you?
Family preservation and promotion.

In life or law, what bugs you?
When there’s something that we can do to minimize the effects of unfairness or “bad luck” in people’s lives but fail to do so.

If a drink or sandwich were to be named after you, what would it be called and what would be in it?
“The Flow.” It’s a sandwich that uses the best ingredients working together to create gustatory bliss. My choices would be pesto, provolone cheese, tomato, fresh spinach or lettuce, avocado and a squirt of olive oil between toasted Ezekiel bread.

If you could pick a theme song to describe your life, what would it be?


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.