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. This new language about a warning has not been discussed at previous meetings. It's not available online. Since it must be made public knowledge before the vote, does anyone know exactly what it says? Further, this proposal was held up for 5 weeks because members Carol and Lucy insisted that all terms used be defined. So now, definitions are unnecessary and have not been inserted? Beyond these requirements, what is the logic behind giving one free pass to discriminators? Is that how laws work - break it once and that's ok? Just don't do it again? Three members of Carmel's council have done just about everything they can think of to prohibit an anti-discrimination ordinance in Carmel, much to Brainard's consternation, I'm told. These three 'want to be so careful' that they have failed to do what at least 13 other communities, including Martinsville, have already done. It's not being careful. It's standing in the way of what 60% of Carmel residents want. It's hurting CArmel in thT businesses have refused to locate because the council has not gotten with the program. And now they want to give discriminatory one free shot to do so. Unacceptable. Once three members leave the council because they lost their races, the Carmel council will have unanimous approval of the ordinance as originally drafted, not with a one free shot to discriminate freebie. That happens in January 2016. Why give a freebie when all we have to do is wait 3 months and get an ordinance with teeth from Day 1? If nothing else, can you please get s copy from Carmel and post it so we can see what else has changed in the proposal?

  2. Here is an interesting 2012 law review article for any who wish to dive deeper into this subject matter: Excerpt: "Judicial interpretation of the ADA has extended public entity liability to licensing agencies in the licensure and certification of attorneys.49 State bar examiners have the authority to conduct fitness investigations for the purpose of determining whether an applicant is a direct threat to the public.50 A “direct threat” is defined as “a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices or procedures, or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services as provided by § 35.139.”51 However, bar examiners may not utilize generalizations or stereotypes about the applicant’s disability in concluding that an applicant is a direct threat.52"

  3. We have been on the waiting list since 2009, i was notified almost 4 months ago that we were going to start receiving payments and we still have received nothing. Every time I call I'm told I just have to wait it's in the lawyers hands. Is everyone else still waiting?

  4. I hope you dont mind but to answer my question. What amendment does this case pretain to?

  5. Research by William J Federer Chief Justice John Marshall commented May 9, 1833, on the pamphlet The Relation of Christianity to Civil Government in the United States written by Rev. Jasper Adams, President of the College of Charleston, South Carolina (The Papers of John Marshall, ed. Charles Hobson, Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2006, p, 278): "Reverend Sir, I am much indebted to you for the copy of your valuable sermon on the relation of Christianity to civil government preached before the convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Charleston, on the 13th of February last. I have read it with great attention and advantage. The documents annexed to the sermon certainly go far in sustaining the proposition which it is your purpose to establish. One great object of the colonial charters was avowedly the propagation of the Christian faith. Means have been employed to accomplish this object, and those means have been used by government..." John Marshall continued: "No person, I believe, questions the importance of religion to the happiness of man even during his existence in this world. It has at all times employed his most serious meditation, and had a decided influence on his conduct. The American population is entirely Christian, and with us, Christianity and Religion are identified. It would be strange, indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and exhibit relations with it. Legislation on the subject is admitted to require great delicacy, because freedom of conscience and respect for our religion both claim our most serious regard. You have allowed their full influence to both. With very great respect, I am Sir, your Obedt., J. Marshall."