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Leadership in Law 2013: Ronald E. Elberger

Partner, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP, Indianapolis American University Law School

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ron-elberger02-15col.jpg (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Ronald E. Elberger is one of the engines that drives his firm’s litigation, entertainment and sports, and professional responsibility practice areas. Over the years, he has served as attorney for David Letterman, as vice president and general counsel of Emmis Broadcasting Corp., and as counsel for many local television news employees.

His office houses several works of art dedicated to his children Seth and Becca, whose ongoing support, along with that of his wife, he credits as the force that got him where he is today. Ron is very active in the community, including the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. He was instrumental in the building of several facilities on the school’s campus, including two independent living houses for older students.

What advice would you give your 25-year-old self?
Have fun but work hard and diligently while adhering to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

You often represent famous people. What famous person would you most like to meet?
“John Doe,” as being “famous” does not create any desire to meet with someone merely because he or she bears the label.

If you could pick a theme song to describe your life, what would it be?
The theme from “Rocky.”

If you could take a sabbatical from the law for a year to work your fantasy job, what job would you choose?
I thought I have been on such a sabbatical for many years.

What civic cause is the most important to you?
The one that is then unmet. We establish funds and encourage support for specific causes to address issues and problems that have been overlooked.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Healing others.

In life or law, what bugs you?
A liar.

What class in law school did you find the most difficult?
Tax. Need I say more?

If you could meet and spend a day with one lawyer from history, who would it be and why?
Abe Fortas, former associate justice of SCOTUS, to continue our numerous and varied discussions about the law and our society from which I learned much.

If a drink or sandwich were to be named after you, what would it be called and what would be in it?
I don’t know, but if such existed, it should be at the Carnegie Deli on 7th Avenue by 54th Street in NYC.

Numerous TV shows center around lawyers and their practices. Are any of them close to realistic?
I tend to avoid the circus of such programming as I don’t believe the shows depict reality but, rather, a fanciful writer’s embellishment geared toward generating ratings and revenue.

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  1. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

  2. Such is not uncommon on law school startups. Students and faculty should tap Bruce Green, city attorney of Lufkin, Texas. He led a group of studnets and faculty and sued the ABA as a law student. He knows the ropes, has advised other law school startups. Very astute and principled attorney of unpopular clients, at least in his past, before Lufkin tapped him to run their show.

  3. Not that having the appellate records on Odyssey won't be welcome or useful, but I would rather they first bring in the stray counties that aren't yet connected on the trial court level.

  4. Aristotle said 350 bc: "The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of an modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.

  5. Oh yes, lifetime tenure. The Founders gave that to the federal judges .... at that time no federal district courts existed .... so we are talking the Supreme Court justices only in context ....so that they could rule against traditional marriage and for the other pet projects of the sixties generation. Right. Hmmmm, but I must admit, there is something from that time frame that seems to recommend itself in this context ..... on yes, from a document the Founders penned in 1776: " He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good."

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