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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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  1. Bill Satterlee is, indeed, a true jazz aficionado. Part of my legal career was spent as an associate attorney with Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans in Valparaiso. Bill was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing me to jazz music, thereby fostering my love for this genre. We would, occasionally, travel to Chicago on weekends and sit in on some outstanding jazz sessions at Andy's on Hubbard Street. Had it not been for Bill's love of jazz music, I never would have had the good fortune of hearing it played live at Andy's. And, most likely, I might never have begun listening to it as much as I do. Thanks, Bill.

  2. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  3. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  4. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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