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Leadership in Law 2014: Joseph T. Bumbleburg

President/senior partner, Ball Eggleston P.C., Lafayette • Indiana University Maurer School of Law, 1961

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15col-Bumbleburg.jpg Joseph T. Bumbleburg (Photo by Vincent Walter)

When Joseph T. Bumbleburg earned his law degree in 1961, instead of joining a firm, he shipped out on active duty in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps until 1964. He was commissioned First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve. He joined Ball Eggleston P.C. in 1964, where he focuses on real estate development, municipal law, zoning and subdivision law. He also has extensive civil trial experience. Joe serves as judge advocate for the American Legion Department of Indiana, a position he’s held since 1999. He’s active with his law school alma mater, often serving as a judge for the Sherman Minton Moot Court Competition. Joe was on the board of trustees for Ivy Tech Community College for 15 years and currently sits on the board of directors for the Tippecanoe County chapter of the American Red Cross.

You’ve been practicing law for 50 years. What legal skills or traditions have faded away over the years that you would like to see return?

Civility; extemporaneous speaking in the courtroom.

We hear a lot about civility. Have you noticed a change in how attorneys treat each other since you began practicing?

Yes. The “take no prisoners” attitude and the use of discovery not as a legal tool, but as a weapon.

If you couldn’t be a lawyer, what would you do for a living?

Teach history.

Who is your favorite fictional lawyer?

Atticus Finch (“To Kill a Mockingbird”); Hans Rolfe (“Judgment at Nuremburg”).

What is the best thing about practicing law in Lafayette?

Lafayette is home, and I’m helping many people that I grew up with.

What was the worst or most memorable job you had prior to becoming an attorney?

I enjoyed three years of military practice in the Army and attendance at the U.S. Army Infantry School that was required before the Judge Advocate School.

What’s something you’ve learned over the years that you wish you could go back in time and tell your younger self?

Make time to be with family.

What are some tips for achieving a work/life balance?

Find a hobby and do it.

What hobbies do you enjoy?

Antiques and going to auctions.

What’s something about you not many people know?

I tend to be an open book.

Why practice in the area of law that you do?

I enjoy it. It’s a field that needs to be done.

What’s been the biggest change in the practice of law you’ve seen since you began?

Computers and electronic research.

Why do you think people often have negative stereotypes about lawyers?

TV has not helped. Many people do not know what lawyers really do.

What civic cause is the most important to you?

Continued growth of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana.


 

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  1. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  4. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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