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Leadership in Law 2013: Timothy A. Emerick

Associate, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, South Bend Valparaiso University Law School

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emerick-tim-6901-15col.jpg (IL Photo/Shephard Imageworks, Mark Shephard)

When Timothy A. Emerick participated in a Masters of Accounting program at the University of Illinois, he convinced the law school to allow him to take a course as an elective. After his first class, the certified public accountant knew that law school was in his future. His CPA experience is invaluable to his legal practice that focuses on mergers and acquisitions, financings and real estate transactions. Each year, he volunteers at the University of Notre Dame/St. Mary’s Tax Assistance program, providing free income tax preparation to low-income families. Tim has also assisted with numerous general corporate and real estate matters for nonprofits on a pro bono basis.

If you could meet and spend a day with one lawyer from history, who would it be and why?
I would like to spend a day with Tim Russert. His life story is impressive and inspiring.

What do you find scary?
The tendency for our society to run to the extremes and refuse to be reasonable and cooperate. From playgrounds to Washington, the trend seems to be for everyone to dig in their heels and hold onto their positions at all costs, a dangerous trend.

What’s the most important thing your mentor has taught you?
Think long-term. With a legal career that will hopefully span nearly 40 years, a few bad days are bound to happen. That’s hard to remember some days, but great advice.

What civic cause is the most important to you?
I’m a member of the board of Unity Gardens Inc., an organization that strives to “grow” stronger communities while providing everyone access to affordable, healthy food.

In life or law, what bugs you?
Inconsiderate and selfish people.

If a drink or sandwich were to be named after you, what would it be called and what would be in it?
“The InTiminator” – grilled cheese on rye with tomato, bacon and pesto.

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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