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Sidebars: Lunch at Pioneer Village most fulfilling, leisurely

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Remember folks, the premise behind this article is not merely to make eatery suggestions, it is also to encourage a bit of leisure over the lunch hour with your colleague, mentor/mentee, opposing counsel, or a friend. To break from our billing, our motions, our conference calls, and most importantly, our PDAs for lunch will not cause the judicial system, in whatever capacity you work, to come to a screeching halt.

I was reminded of that when I ate the most of leisurely, entertaining, and fulfilling lunch at the dining table located in Pioneer Village at the State Fair about one week before the fair’s opening. Just hear me out. I promise I’m not writing about fried Hostess treats or candy bars.

I gained this prestigious invitation from a fellow female lawyer who I have always looked up to and respected. Around a humble table within Pioneer Village, about 15 of us gathered at a long table covered with a checkered tablecloth, a mix and match of flatware and dinner plates (not plastic utensils, not paper plates), and ice-cold lemonade. At the table were some of Indy’s “big hitters,” but the important people were the gentlemen, the agricultural professionals – from farmers to Purdue professors – who dedicated so much time to the preservation, presentation, and production of Pioneer Village.

Pioneer Village tremendously displays our state’s agricultural history and the extensive collection of artifacts is that of Purdue University Agricultural Alumni and is among the best in the nation.

The fair was about one week away and a lot of work was still to be done to prep Pioneer Village for this year’s fair. Yet, every day at noon, the dinner bell rings. They gather, often with guests like us, they bow their heads in prayer, and then enjoy the fellowship of the meal for about an hour. They regaled us with stories of particular pieces in the museum, of life on the farms across the state, and of their long history with each other (the ages of our hosts ranged but went up to 88!) Their sophistication was evident in the knowledge they imparted about the agricultural business, then and now. I listened, learned, and laughed. And, crazily enough, I didn’t catch a one of them pulling out their Blackberry from their overalls to check their e-mail!

Of course, when the family-style meal came out, I almost broke into tears given the menu. Cold cucumber and onion salad followed by fried potatoes, big ol’ biscuits and sausage links that were passed around family style. Then my heart skipped a beat as they brought out the biggest bowl of sausage gravy I’d seen in my life! The meal was clearly homemade in the kitchen behind this dining area right inside the Pioneer Village building. The hearty meal only added to the warmth I felt from the setting and my dining companions. The homemade cherry pie completed me. When you stop by the State Fair, check out Pioneer Village and you will see the dining area about which I write and at noon, you will see many of these folks gather around for such a lunch as I have described.

Now, why do I tell you about this experience? Well, it reminded me of why Fred and I write this article. Taking time out of our busy day to stop for lunch and focus on something other than a legal crisis is therapeutic and refreshing. Your e-mail can wait for an hour. The calls can be held for an hour. Believe it or not, that motion, pleading, answer, or whatever it is can wait for an hour. So, go grab a bite with that person, you know the one, you have been promising to hook up for lunch for the last six months. Remember that friend you keep telling yourself you need to call because you know they need someone to confide in, vent to, or share with.

To encourage you, I’m closing with some of Fred’s and my favorite places we have written about over the last couple of years to give you a nudge: Richard’s (Johnson County); Matteo’s (Hamilton County); Shipley’s (Madison County); Carnagie’s (Hancock County); Triple XXX (Tippecanoe County); Country Kitchen (Indy); Vera Mae’s (Delaware County); R Bistro (Indy); Lisa’s Pie Shop (Tipton County); Siam Square (Indy); Bu Dah (Indy); and The Downtown (Warsaw).•

__________

Fred Vaiana and Jennifer M. Lukemeyer practice at Voyles Zahn Paul Hogan & Merriman in Indianapolis, focusing in criminal defense. Vaiana is a 1992 graduate of the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Lukemeyer earned her J.D. from Southern Methodist University in 1994 and is active in the Indianapolis Bar Association, Indianapolis Inn of Courts, and the Teen Court Program. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the authors.

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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