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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. Such things are no more elections than those in the late, unlamented Soviet Union.

  2. It appears the police and prosecutors are allowed to change the rules halfway through the game to suit themselves. I am surprised that the congress has not yet eliminated the right to a trial in cases involving any type of forensic evidence. That would suit their foolish law and order police state views. I say we eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes committed by members of congress and other government employees. Of course they would never do that. They are all corrupt cowards!!!

  3. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  4. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

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