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. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

  3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.