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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. One can only wonder whether Mr. Kimmel was paid for his work by Mr. Burgh ... or whether that bill fell to the citizens of Indiana, many of whom cannot afford attorneys for important matters. It really doesn't take a judge(s) to know that "pavement" can be considered a deadly weapon. It only takes a brain and some education or thought. I'm glad to see the conviction was upheld although sorry to see that the asphalt could even be considered "an issue".

  2. In response to bryanjbrown: thank you for your comment. I am familiar with Paul Ogden (and applaud his assistance to Shirley Justice) and have read of Gary Welsh's (strange) death (and have visited his blog on many occasions). I am not familiar with you (yet). I lived in Kosciusko county, where the sheriff was just removed after pleading in what seems a very "sweetheart" deal. Unfortunately, something NEEDS to change since the attorneys won't (en masse) stand up for ethics (rather making a show to please the "rules" and apparently the judges). I read that many attorneys are underemployed. Seems wisdom would be to cull the herd and get rid of the rotting apples in practice and on the bench, for everyone's sake as well as justice. I'd like to file an attorney complaint, but I have little faith in anything (other than the most flagrant and obvious) resulting in action. My own belief is that if this was medicine, there'd be maimed and injured all over and the carnage caused by "the profession" would be difficult to hide. One can dream ... meanwhile, back to figuring out to file a pro se "motion to dismiss" as well as another court required paper that Indiana is so fond of providing NO resources for (unlike many other states, who don't automatically assume that citizens involved in the court process are scumbags) so that maybe I can get the family law attorney - whose work left me with no settlement, no possessions and resulted in the death of two pets (etc ad nauseum) - to stop abusing the proceedings supplemental and small claims rules and using it as a vehicle for harassment and apparently, amusement.

  3. Been on social security sense sept 2011 2massive strokes open heart surgery and serious ovarian cancer and a blood clot in my lung all in 14 months. Got a letter in may saying that i didn't qualify and it was in form like i just applied ,called social security she said it don't make sense and you are still geting a check in june and i did ,now i get a check from my part D asking for payment for july because there will be no money for my membership, call my prescription coverage part D and confirmed no check will be there.went to social security they didn't want to answer whats going on just said i should of never been on it .no one knows where this letter came from was California im in virginia and been here sense my strokes and vcu filed for my disability i was in the hospital when they did it .It's like it was a error . My ,mothers social security was being handled in that office in California my sister was dealing with it and it had my social security number because she died last year and this letter came out of the same office and it came at the same time i got the letter for my mother benefits for death and they had the same date of being typed just one was on the mail Saturday and one on Monday. . I think it's a mistake and it should been fixed instead there just getting rid of me .i never got a formal letter saying when i was being tsken off.

  4. Employers should not have racially discriminating mind set. It has huge impact on the society what the big players do or don't do in the industry. Background check is conducted just to verify whether information provided by the prospective employee is correct or not. It doesn't have any direct combination with the rejection of the employees. If there is rejection, there should be something effective and full-proof things on the table that may keep the company or the people associated with it in jeopardy.

  5. Unlike the federal judge who refused to protect me, the Virginia State Bar gave me a hearing. After the hearing, the Virginia State Bar refused to discipline me. VSB said that attacking me with the court ADA coordinator had, " all the grace and charm of a drive-by shooting." One does wonder why the VSB was able to have a hearing and come to that conclusion, but the federal judge in Indiana slammed the door of the courthouse in my face.

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