Professionalism can be difficult to define, but it’s easy to spot. When it comes to the 2012 recipients of the Indianapolis Bar Association Professionalism Awards, professionalism is a characteristic that quickly rises to the top when they are considered by their peers.
Chosen by the bar’s Professionalism Committee, the 2012 recipient of the Silver Gavel Award is the Hon. Anthony Metz III of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana, while the 2012 Professionalism Award will be presented to Sally Zweig of Katz & Korin PC. Both recipients were roundly praised for their professionalism by the committee, which is chaired by David K. Herzog of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.
Judge Metz has served as U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge since 1997, with 2012 marking his retirement. His time on the bench will be closed out by serving as chief judge of that court since May 2010. A native of Indianapolis, Judge Metz served as a Commissioner on the Marion Circuit Court and a Judge in the Marion Superior Court before joining the federal bench. Judge Metz’s law career includes several years as a private practice attorney and as an assistant attorney general in the Indiana Attorney General’s Office.
Judge Metz earned his J.D. from Indiana University Maurer School of Law—Bloomington and has been involved with numerous professional and civic organizations throughout his career, including the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, the Indiana University Alumni Association, the Eiteljorg Museum and the Indianapolis Zoological Society.
Judge Metz’s involvement with the IndyBar has spanned numerous committees, task forces and boards since the late 1980s, including service on the IndyBar Board of Directors in 1989, 1990, 2010 and 2011 and on the Indianapolis Bar Foundation Board from 1995 to 1997. Judge Metz received the Paul H. Buchanan Jr. Award of Excellence, the bar’s highest honor, in 2001.
For Judge Metz, professionalism has continued to play an important role throughout his career, whether in private practice or on the bench.
“Attorneys should be doing their best when they are representing their clients, and judges should be doing their best when they are deciding cases. Being a professional comes with the responsibility to do your job to the best of your ability whether you are a lawyer or a judge,” says Metz. “Also, being a judge does not come with a pass on treating attorneys and litigants in a courteous manner. To do otherwise would be highly unprofessional.”
Zweig, a graduate of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and a current member of the bar’s Board of Directors, concentrates her practice in complex commercial litigation and health care law, while also representing clients with administrative and governmental contract concerns.
“To communicate professionalism, I aspire with every interaction to walk away thinking that there is nothing I would have said or done differently. Mind you, that is not always the case, but that is explicitly my goal,” says Zweig, commenting on the role that professionalism plays in her career. “I learned early on that table-banging and other shenanigans never signal strength or skilled advocacy. That stuff is simply ineffective and the refuge of the lazy.”
Zweig’s legal community service is wide-ranging. She recently accepted an appointment to the Indiana Pro Bono Commission after having served on the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission from 2000 to 2011. In addition to extensive involvement in the legal community, Zweig serves the community through a number of local organizations, including the Indianapolis Art Center, the Immigrant Welcome Center and the Festival Music Society.
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Zweig was one of the founders of Indiana’s first Guardian Ad Litem/Court Appointed Special Advocate project, which laid the groundwork for providing independent representation and services statewide to children in the juvenile court system due to abuse and neglect.
Judge Metz and Zweig will be honored at the bar’s Professionalism Luncheon, to be held Thursday, October 11 at noon at the Columbia Club. The luncheon will also feature special guest speaker Hon. Sarah Evans Barker of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. Registration can be found online at www.indybar.org.•