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Getting Along is Not Wrong: An (Unofficial) Mentor

Civility. Courtesy. Respect. Professionalism.

These are words that should be synonymous with “Advocate,” but in a world of high stakes, strong opinions, and a general societal decline in basic manners, how can attorneys fight the good fight while living up to these ideals – especially if the other side doesn’t? We set out to find examples of lawyers who model the way while providing excellent representation.

Getting Along is Not Wrong, an initiative of the IndyBar Standing Committee on Professionalism, is the impressive collection of such positive and compelling behavior. Check out the entry below and continue checking back for future installments.

Ms. Kelley J. Johnson, Cohen & Malad LLP

I have been blessed to be mentored by John Maley for about 13 years. It’s not an official mentor-mentee relationship; I don’t even work for John or his firm. In fact, I work a plaintiff’s firm – the opposite of what John’s firm does. However, I have sought advice from John since before I entered law school and have continued to seek advice from him over the years.

John always has time for me, even if it’s only a quick cup of coffee. You might wonder, since I’m getting the benefits as the mentee, what’s in it for John? Good question – I don’t know. All I can tell you is that I am not his only “unofficial mentee”. John cares about other lawyers. It is just who he is. When I recently achieved one of my biggest career accomplishments of being inducted as Indianapolis Bar Foundation President, John was there, front and center, beaming with pride as if it were his own accomplishment.

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miniBar Talk: This Week’s Top Post!

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Online and In Person: What Attorneys Need to Know About Networking

By Andrea L. Ciobanu, Ciobanu Law PC

The rainmakers of any law firm are excellent networkers. In this fast-paced, social media-oriented society, lawyers must learn the art of networking in person and online. A first impression can also be a lasting impression, so don’t wreck it!   Review these tips for successful online and in person networking and also how to make your connection long term.

This post was written by Andrea L. Ciobanu, Ciobanu Law PC. If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Indy Attorneys Networking Section, please email Mary Kay Price at mprice@indybar.com.

To subscribe to more Indy Attorneys Network Section news like the article above, click here to update your news subscriptions. Your news subscriptions appear in your bi-weekly E-Bulletin and on your personalized IndyBar homepage.

Keep an eye out for our newest e-newsletter for members, Bar Talk, featuring the top IndyBar posts each month!

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ADR Section Hosts Successful Annual Mediation Day

On Friday, Sept. 26, the IndyBar Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Section hosted its annual Mediation Day, which was coordinated by ADR Section Chair Phyllis Armstrong of The Mediation Group. The event had a new host this year, with Barnes & Thornburg LLP volunteering office space and providing lunch for volunteer mediators. For the second year, that law students were invited to shadow the mediation sessions, allowing them to get a firsthand look at the process.

Armstrong says that although there have been new elements introduced over the years, the process is virtually the same each year – because it works. Five paternity cases are seen in the morning, five more are slated for the afternoon, and a commissioner is on site to sign any resolutions. She said that in years past, the majority of the cases are settled.

“It makes an expensive process affordable and allows the parties to work through issues face-to-face outside of court,” Armstrong said.

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Commissioner Marie Kern, Marion Superior Court; Dallin Lykins, Lewis & Kappes PC; and Benjamin Spandau, Robert H. McKinney School of Law, school gather during the 2014 Mediation Day.

The mediators are all volunteer attorneys and are Certified Family Law Mediators from the IndyBar ADR Section. This year’s volunteers were: Dallin Lykins, Lewis & Kappes PC; Marc Matheny, Attorney at Law; Megan Weddle, Stowers & Weddle PC; Robin Kelly, Mitchell Law Group; Detra Mills, Attorney at Law; Amanda Blystone, Broyles Kight & Ricafort PC; Jennifer Bays Beinart, Bays Family Law; Melinda O’Dell, Attorney at Law; Christine Douglas, Harden Jackson LLC; and Melanie Reichert, Broyles Kight & Ricafort PC.

The commissioners for the day were Marion County Commissioner Marie Kern and Marion County Presiding Commissioner Sheryl Lynch. One law student was matched with each attorney to shadow a mediation session, and Armstrong said there was a wait list of students this year who wanted to participate.

Commissioner Kern said that mediation sessions are an invaluable resource to the court system.

“It allows parties to retain control over the outcome,” said Commissioner Kern. “They know best when it comes to what is going to work and what is feasible for them, much better than a judge who only gets a snapshot will. Mediation usually produces longer-term results than a court order can.”

Mediation Day frees up time on the dockets, which Commissioner Kern said is especially beneficial in paternity court. She said it is the busiest court in the state.

Armstrong, Kern and attorney Dallin Lykins agreed that communication is key to making progress in these cases.

“There is a breakdown in communication that leads to conflict,” said Commissioner Kern. “Mediation can help reopen the lines of communication.”

“I try to remind them of what they agree on and build from there,” Lykins said. “Most the time there is more common ground than they realize and it helps us move forward.”

The 2014 Mediation Day was another successful year, so much so that the topic of adding another Mediation Day mid-year was brought up. “It’s certainly something the section would be open to,” Armstrong said.

Interested in getting involved? Contact Armstrong at parmstrong@mede8.com to learn more.

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Getting Along is Not Wrong: Disagreement without Attack

Civility. Courtesy. Respect. Professionalism.

These are words that should be synonymous with “Advocate,” but in a world of high stakes, strong opinions, and a general societal decline in basic manners, how can attorneys fight the good fight while living up to these ideals – especially if the other side doesn’t? We set out to find examples of lawyers who model the way while providing excellent representation.

Getting Along is Not Wrong, an initiative of the IndyBar Standing Committee on Professionalism, is the impressive collection of such positive and compelling behavior. Check out the entry below and continue checking back for future installments.

Laura E. Gorman, Barnes & Thornburg LLP –

One of the well-respected attorneys in our community that served as a mentor to me early on in my legal career was Jim Crum of Coots Henke & Wheeler PC. As an attorney who handles both criminal and civil matters, Jim is often before the court advocating on behalf of his clients. In doing so, I observed that although our profession is an adversarial profession, Jim was always able to zealously represent his clients without being uncivil to opposing parties. He maintained positive courtroom demeanor and was always prepared to respectfully argue the factual and legal issues before the court, thereby demonstrating further respect to the court. Jim could disagree with a party’s position or a court’s ruling without attacking such opinions or resorting to personal attacks. Jim is able to recognize what others in our legal community so often forget – incivility has a price and often only harms the client.

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IndyBar Frontlines: October 14

TED Talk Fan? Help bring them to the IndyBar!
We’re organizing a series of small group discussions centered around the popular TED Talk programs. Would you like to be part of selecting the topics? We’ll be viewing the talks followed by small group discussions while sampling local craft beer or wine.  If you’re interested, contact Julie Armstrong at jarmstrong@indybar.org.

Government Practice Section Awards Scholarship to Carrie Brennan
The IndyBar’s Government Practice Section awarded its third annual scholarship to Carrie Brennan of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

As attorneys who represent government agencies, or who assist clients in matters involving government agencies, the members of the Government Practice Section award the $1,000 scholarship to a second- or third-year law student with a strong academic record and a demonstrated interest in government practice.

This year, the Section’s Executive Committee reviewed applications from talented students attending each of Indiana’s law schools. The Section commends Ms. Brennan for standing out among a group of intelligent, motivated, and service-minded applicants.

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Abrams: Professionalism and Civility

By Jeffrey A. Abrams, Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP

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This past week made two marks on my personal challenge to promote and encourage professionalism and civility. On Tuesday, the IndyBar honored Justice Brent Dickson and Philip “Skip” Kappes with the Silver Gavel Award and 2014 Professionalism Award. These two individuals demonstrate the epitome of class, civility and professionalism in our world. Justice Dickson had a remarkable career in Lafayette prior to ascending to the Supreme Court. He led our Supreme Court for several years with distinction. Skip Kappes, at the young age of 92, still provides leadership and counsel to the young attorneys at Lewis & Kappes while being known as one of the best and kindest attorneys in our community.

Our Professionalism Committee, chaired by Tricia McMath, did a superlative job in recognizing these two individuals for service to our community and to our profession. If you see Tricia or any of her committee members (listed below), please thank them for their tireless efforts in promoting professionalism and civility in our community in recognizing these two pioneers of remarkable vintage.

2014 IndyBar Standing Committee on Professionalism

Chair:

Patricia Caress McMath, Marion County Public Defender Agency

Committee Members:

Kellie M. Barr, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana

Marie D. Castetter, Foley & Abbott

Justice Steven H. David, Indiana Supreme Court

Erin M. Durnell, Broyles Kight & Ricafort PC

Courtney S. Figg, Eads Murray &Pugh PC

Laura E. Gorman, Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Hon. Clayton A. Graham, Marion Superior Court

Susanne A. Heckler, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana

Daniel W. Kiehl, Law Office of Deborah M. Agard

Amanda J. Miller, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

MaryAnn Totino Mindrum, U.S. Attorney’s Office

Kevin A. Morrissey, Lewis & Kappes PC

Magistrate Victoria M. Ransberger, Marion Superior Court

Charles P. Schmal, Woodard Emhardt Moriarty McNett & Henry LLP

Fenton D. Strickland, Indiana Supreme Court

James H. Voyles Jr., Voyles Zahn & Paul

Hon. Heather A. Welch, Marion Superior Court

Brian K. Zoeller, Cohen & Malad LLP

Beginning Friday night and continuing until sundown on Saturday, I spent time in our Temple at Yom Kippur Services where we repented for transgressions against God as well transgressions against each other. I spent several hours contemplating how I can personally continue to improve how I treat people and conduct my life. All of us have times where we regretted sending that email or speaking those words. But we are human and make mistakes. We can, however, strive to improve our legal community by making wise choices and respecting the people with whom we work.

Ted Koppel once said, “Aspire to decency. Practice stability toward one another. Admire and emulate ethical behavior whenever you find it. Apply a rigid standard of morality to your life; and if, periodically, you fail as you surely will adjust your lives, not the standards.” And P.T. Barnum once said, “Politeness and civility are the best capital ever invested in business. Large doors, gilt signs, flaming advertisements, will all prove unavailing if you or your employees treat your patrons abruptly. The truth is, the more kind and liberal a man is, the more generous will be the patronage bestowed upon him.”

These two wise men said it quite well. And you always have the sage advice from the “Golden Rule” – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It is just as easy to speak kindly to the attorney on the other side of the court room or a deal as to be rude, abrasive and annoying.

Wake up every morning and remember to say something kind to at least one person throughout your day. You will be remembered for those kind words more than winning a case or extracting terms in a document. The choice is always yours and I would encourage you to strive to make the right one. The quality and success of your career will ALWAYS be enhanced if you follow these simple rules.

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IndyBar Member Headlines: Thursday, October 9

Share your news with the IndyBar by contacting Mary Kay Price, Director of Marketing & Communications, at mprice@indybar.org.

Brent D. Mosby has joined Ice Miller LLP’s business group as of counsel.

Shokrina Beering has been named Indiana University associate vice president for capital planning and facilities.

Theresa M. Ringle has joined Kopka Pinkus Dolin. & Eads PC and will focus on architecture and construction defense.

Leslie B. Pollie has joined Kopka Pinkus Dolin. & Eads PC and will focus on insurance defense.

Julia S. Hudson has joined Quarles & Brady LLP’s health law group as an associate.

Amy L. Stewart, family law and divorce attorney, and Timothy J. Bender, trust and estate planning attorney, have joined Mallor Grodner LLP as partners.

Daniel S. Chamberlain has joined Cohen & Malad LLP as a partner.

 

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Getting Along Is Not Wrong: Family Law Role Models

Civility. Courtesy. Respect.

Professionalism. These are words that should be synonymous with “Advocate” but in a world of high stakes, strong opinions, and a general, societal decline in basic manners, how can attorneys fight the good fight while living up to these ideals – especially if the other side doesn’t? We set out to find examples of lawyers who model the way while providing excellent representation.

Getting Along is Not Wrong, an initiative of the IndyBar Standing Committee on Professionalism, is the impressive collection of such positive and compelling behavior. Check out the newest entry below, and find new installments online at indybar.org/blog.

Mr. Eric J. Olson, Olson Law Office LLC -

I have been practicing law for about 11 years and have always done family law. I would estimate that I have handled more than 100 family law cases in those 11 years. Three attorneys stand out to me over those years.

First, Drew Soshnick. I opposed Drew on a case about three years ago. Drew has a reputation of being one of the best and most sought after attorneys in our state. Drew could not have been more fair, honest and accessible to me during our case. Since that case, Drew has offered me his mobile number and has always promptly returned phone calls of mine when I had any questions.

Second, Sheila Marshall. I have opposed Shelia on two different cases. Sheila was also very kind, honest and fair. Sheila is a wonderful attorney and a difficult attorney to oppose – not because she is unprofessional in any way, but because she is a very hard worker.

Finally, Erin Durnell. I found her to be very ethical, fair, honest and accessible. I also remember Erin offering evidence that could have been kept away from me until she needed it for rebuttal, which would have blindsided me. I will remember that and have very high respect for Erin.

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Bar Talk October: Legal News You Need to Know

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The latest legal scoop to keep you in the loop: Here are the top five stories from the IndyBar this month.

Please note: IndyBar news and updates are provided as a member benefit. You may be prompted to log-in to view some articles

Second Annual Day of Service a Success
By Andrea L. Ciobanu, Ciobanu Law PC
Indy Attorneys Network Section members volunteered their time for the second Annual Day of Service on September 20. Find out more about what they did and check out pictures from the day in this post by Andrea Ciobanu.
For more Indy Attorneys Network Section news, subscribe to this content here!

Indiana Supreme Court Reaffirms Separate Indiana Summary Judgment Standard
By Arend J. Abel, Cohen & Malad LLP
A unanimous Indiana Supreme Court decision has reaffirmed the Indiana summary judgment standard. Read more about the case in this piece by Arend J. Abel.
For more Appellate Practice Section news, subscribe to this content here!

WLD Volunteers: Making Meals and Making a Difference
By Roxana Bell, Bingham Greenbaum Doll LLP
Dozens of Women and the Law Division volunteers prepared meals for The Julian Center and Eskenazi EMBRACE Program’s families on September 6 and September 9. Roxana Bell writes about the event and what participants did to help in this post.
For more Women and the Law Division news, subscribe to this content here!

IP Attorney Deals in Digital Currency
IndyBar member Paul Overhauser is one of the only attorneys in the state to adopt Bitcoin into his legal practice, and a segment of his clients now pay using the digital currency. Find out more about how he’s branching into the Bitcoin market in this spotlight article. 
For more Intellectual Property Section news, subscribe to this content here!

Confessions of a Mediator
By Megan Weddle, Stowers & Weddle PC
This post by Megan Weddle talks about the frustrations and triumphs of working as a mediator. She also gives advice on how to make mediation more effective.
For more ADR Section news, subscribe to this content here.

If you’re hanging out with people who aren’t lawyers, here’s something even they will find interesting: Apple’s iOS 8 has sparked a battle between privacy and public interest, whether or not users realize it yet.

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miniBar Talk: This Week’s Top Post!

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Law Professor’s Clinic Targets Revenge Porn and Patent Trolls

Brooklyn Law School professor Jonathan Askin has involved law students in Incubator Project, which gives new tech companies free legal advice. At the most recent legal hack-athon, the students created a website to put an end to revenge porn. The site, “Take My Photo Down”, generates cease-and-desist letters for people to send companies that host explicit photos of them without their permission.

The project has produced a variety of other solutions for more than 700 new companies who can’t afford legal counsel. They focus on helping these startups fight patent trolls, draw up terms of services agreements and deal with getting sued.

To read more about how Askin hopes to bring the “hacker ethos to the legal profession” while giving students hands-on experience in the field, check out this article.

This content was submitted by Christina Clark of Wabash National Corporation. If you would like to submit content or write an article for a section webpage, please email Mary Kay Price at mprice@indybar.org.

To subscribe to more Women and the Law, Intellectual Property or Law Student news like the article above, click here to update your news subscriptions. Your news subscriptions appear in your bi-weekly E-Bulletin and on your personalized IndyBar homepage.

Keep an eye out for our newest e-newsletter for members, Bar Talk, featuring the top IndyBar posts each month!

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