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Civility, Courtesy, Respect

Getting Along Logo v1Civility. 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.

The Power of a Simple Gesture

Matt Neumann, Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP

One anecdote of “professionalism” that comes to mind was a case opposite Travis Jensen of Johnson Jensen LLP. Some heated depositions and contentious discovery in the social media realm made it a unique and challenging case. I would characterize the litigation as hard-fought but civil and professional in all respects.

The case settled before trial, and Travis took a brief moment to call and tell me that he had enjoyed working on the case and commended me and the other lawyers involved in the case on a job well done. To a relatively young attorney, this was a meaningful gesture. It multiplied my respect for Travis, which was not lacking to begin with, and galvanized my opinion that civility and professionalism can be maintained even in contentious litigation.

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miniBar Talk: This Week’s Top Post

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Interstate Medical License Compact Makes it Easier for Multi-State Physicians

By Alao Mayo, Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman PC

Alabama and Minnesota have become the seventh and eight states to adopt model legislation seeking to realize the full potential of telemedicine. With these two states on board, Federation of State Medical Board’s interstate compact becomes a reality making it easier for physicians to become licensed in multiple states and help alleviate physician shortages in rural and underserved regions.Read more here.

This post was written by Alao Mayo of Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman PC. If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Health Care and Life Sciences Section page, please email Rachel Beachy at rbeachy@indybar.org.

To subscribe to more sports and entertainment law 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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Implicit Bias: We All Have It

IBA-trimble-john-2015Imagine for a moment: A senior partner in a law firm is caught in an impromptu partner meeting as a important new client arrives at the firm. The client is placed in a conference room and grows increasingly angry as a short wait turns into 20 minutes. An associate greets the partner as the partner exits the meeting and advises that the new client is irate. As the partner opens the door to the conference room chest pains erupt. The associate sees the pain on the face of the partner and runs immediately to call 911…

Here is the little quiz: As you read the description of the events above, how did you see the characters in your mind’s eye? Is the senior partner male or female? Black or white? Young or old? Is the associate male or female? Black or white? Young or more senior? Is the irate client male or female? Black or white? Young or old?

There are no right or wrong answers to this quiz; the images of the characters in your mind’s eye were not based upon fact because the descriptions were neutral. Your images were a product of what has come to be known as “implicit bias.”

So, what is implicit bias? According to the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University, implicit bias refers to “the attitudes and stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. These biases, which encompass both favorable and unfavorable assessments, are activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness or intentional control….[I]mplicit biases are not accessible through introspection.”

Implicit biases are the fabric of who we are. They are the product of our upbringing, education, experiences, neighborhoods, television, social media, and what we have consciously learned or unconsciously learned from our families and friends. Our implicit biases are impacted by the regions of the country where we were raised and by differences between, urban, suburban, and rural living. Almost anything that has touched our life during our formative years has had an impact on our implicit bias.

Clearly, your implicit bias impacts how you interact with anyone who may be different from you. Your implicit bias also impacts how you react to everyday situations, to news stories, to politics, and to co-workers and friends. It also impacts how judges judge, how lawyers represent clients, and how juries decide cases.

Psychologists and social scientists will tell you that implicit bias impacts where you will sit in the waiting room of your doctor’s office. It will impact how you feel if you are pulled over by a police officer for a traffic offense. And, as demonstrated by the scenario at the outset of this article, implicit bias will cause you to assume things about other people or the stories you hear even when the facts don’t support your assumptions.

Unfortunately for all of us, we cannot change our implicit biases. They are embedded. We cannot control them. However, we can recognize that we have implicit bias, and we can also recognize that others may be seeing things as a result of their own implicit biases. While we cannot control them, we can recognize them when they surface, and we can do our best to behave in a way that overcomes our implicit biases. We can pause, assess our reaction to a person or event, and seek to be objective and to see things through the other person’s eyes. Recognition of our implicit biases can help us all accept and embrace greater diversity of all types. It can help us overcome prejudices.

Implicit bias is one of the most significant reasons why many people resist change. We are more comfortable with what we know, who we know, and what we like. Our legal profession is changing rapidly and in ways we do not yet recognize. All of us are going to have to wrestle with our implicit biases if we wish to succeed as we are confronted by change.

You may ask, “Why is any of this important?” My answer is simple. Lawyers and judges make, interpret, and administer law. We stand up to speak when the public is concerned or enraged by a recent event. We are called on as individuals and in our profession to be the voice of calm and reason. Most importantly, we are the guardians of our system of justice. If we do not understand our implicit biases, then we will be challenged in our ability to carry out the responsibilities we have as lawyers in our society. We lawyers as a profession need to be as objective and unbiased as we possibly can be.

Is it difficult? Yes. Can we do it? Yes, but only if we are aware of our implicit biases and overcome them. #WILLYOUBETHERE?

I wish to acknowledge Arin Reeves of Nextions for enlightenment on this subject and for the “senior partner” example I cited.

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IndyBar Member Headlines: Thursday, July 30

Share your news with the IndyBar by contacting Rachel Beachy, Communications Coordinator, at rbeachy@indybar.org.

Josh Minkler has been sworn in as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.

Michele Richey of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP has been selected as a member of the Make-A-Wish Indiana Young Professional Advisory Council.

 

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On Tap at the IndyBar: July 27 – August 2

Everybody loves a local bar, so check out what yours is serving up this week with upcoming IndyBar events and happenings below!

On the Docket

Attorneys or Acrobats: Strategies for Balancing Time and Due Process in Administrative Hearings
Tuesday, July 28 from noon to 1 p.m.
IndyBar Education Center
Information and registration can be found here.

Effective Use of Experts in Construction Disputes
Wednesday, July 29 from 8:30 a.m. to noon
IndyBar Education Center
Information and registration can be found here.

The Supreme Court’s Labor and Employment Cases: Current Decisions and Continuing Developments
Wednesday, July 29 from noon to 1:30 p.m.
BMO Harris Bank Plaza Conference Center, 135 N. Pennsylvania St., 7th Floor
Information and registration can be found here.

Evaluating Portability: Does Funding a Credit Shelter Trust at the First Spouse’s Death Still Make More Sense?
Wednesday, July 29 from 4 to 5 p.m.
IndyBar Education Center
Information and registration can be found here.

Commercial Guarantees: Before and After Execution
Thursday, July 30 from noon to 1 p.m.
IndyBar Education Center
Information can be found here.

Lawyer Supervision and Civility in the Bar
*Includes 1.0 ethics credit*
Thursday, July 30 from noon to 1 p.m.
BMO Harris Bank Plaza Conference Center, 135 N. Pennsylvania St., 7th Floor
Information can be found here.

Paralegal Appreciation Luncheon
Thursday, July 30 from noon to 1 p.m.
Conrad Indianapolis, 50 W. Washington St.
Information can be found here.

Check out the full slate of IndyBar events here, and don’t forget to check out the IndyBar on Facebook for the latest event photos.

News You Can Use

  • Make the Connection with Mentor Connect – The newest IndyBar program makes it easier than ever to find a mentor. This service is free, comfortable and easy. Plus participants get free CLE and exclusive access to special events! Learn how to get started here.
  • Bar Talk July: Legal News You Need to Know – This month’s Bar Talk features the top five member-written articles and includes information about two recent Supreme Court decisions, an update on Rezone Indy and more. Check it out here.
  • IndyBar Welcomes New Citizens at Naturalization Ceremonies – IndyBar attorneys have a unique opportunity to help hopeful individuals’ dreams of becoming United States citizens come true. Learn how you can volunteer for Naturalization Ceremonies here.
  • Nominations Now Accepted for Board of Directors – The nomination period has begun for the 2016 Board of Directors of the Indianapolis Bar Association. Those interested should forward a letter of interest or nomination form to the IndyBar office by August 13, 2015. Click here to read more about the selection committee and for more information.
  • The Glass is Half Full at the IndyBar! – We have a lot in store for the next six months, and non-members can check it out for HALF PRICE for a limited time. Plus, included with this half price dues offer is six months FREE on Indy Lawyer Finder (a $900 value!).  Check out the details.
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Make the Connection with Mentor Connect

“You need a mentor to be a successful lawyer,” they say…but they don’t say how to find one!

Your search is over with Mentor Connect, a new IndyBar program that matches mentor and mentee pairs to help create meaningful and productive mentor relationships.

Free from a laundry list of requirements, Mentor Connect lets the mentor/mentee pair work together to decide what works best for them. Plus, mentor pairs get access to special IndyBar programming—including free CLE!

The project is spearheaded by the IndyBar Professionalism Committee. Committee chair Chuck Schmal of Woodard Emhardt Moriarty McNett & Henry LLP notes, “As a result of the changing of the profession, there is a greater risk of attorneys not being mentored by other attorneys. The long-term impact of losing mentoring relationships could harm professional civility, increase malpractice, and devalue the roles of attorneys in society. We hope that this mentorship program will help to guide attorneys starting in their careers.”

Visit indybar.org/mentorconnect to fill out a simple form to participate.

Mentor Connect is:

Free: There is no fee to participate.

Comfortable: We provide ideas to help get the conversations rolling.

Easy: No laundry list of requirements…just meet informally each month and attend quarterly events.

Value Added: Get free CLE and exclusive access to special events!

What’s involved?

Mentees seeking a mentor fill out this form and return it to Caren Chopp. The deadline for the first round of mentor/mentee matching is August 14, 2015.

Mentees will be paired with mentors based on a variety of factors, personal interests and/or practice area preferences if possible.

Mentor pairs should meet monthly, but what you do is up to you! We’ll provide suggested topics to get the conversations rolling. Mentor pairs will have exclusive access to free CLE and other special IndyBar programming.

The Mentor Connect program officially takes place over the course of 12 months, but the mentor relationship will last far longer than that!

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Bar Talk July: 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.

Supreme Court Rules in Same-Sex Marriage Case
By Richard A. Mann, Richard A. Mann PC
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled on June 26, 2015, in Obergefell v. Hodges, that state laws banning same-sex marriage and denying recognition of such marriages lawfully entered in other states are unconstitutional. Read more here.
For more Family Law Section news, subscribe to the content here!

Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Subsidies
By Ammon R. Filllmore, Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman PC
On Thursday, June 25, the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, upheld a key provision of the Affordable Care Act. Read more here.
For more Health Care & Life Sciences Section news, subscribe to this content here!

Citing “Advice of Counsel” Has Pitfalls in Decision Making
Provided by the Labor & Employment Law Section Executive Committee
Check out this post for some of the downsides of referring to “advice of counsel” in defending adverse employment actions.
For more Labor & Employment Law Section news, subscribe to this content here!

Favorable Recommendation Given for “Rezone Indy”
By Russell Brown, Clark Quinn Moses Scott & Grahn LLP
On June 17, the Metropolitan Development Commission gave a favorable recommendation to the Indianapolis City-County Council for the “Rezone Indy” comprehensive update of the Indianapolis/Marion County Zoning Ordinance. Read more.
For more Real Estate & Land Use Section news, subscribe to this content here!

Technology is Critical in Litigation – So Embrace It!
By Timothy F. Deveraux, Ladendorf Law
Check out this post for insight and tips for effectively incorporating technology into litigation.
For more Litigation Section news, subscribe to this content here!

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IndyBar Welcomes New Citizens at Naturalization Ceremonies

For attorneys, the courtroom is often rife with conflict and anxiety. But for some hopeful individuals, the courtroom is where their dreams of becoming United States citizens officially become reality.

IndyBar attorneys have a unique opportunity to take part in these momentous occasions in the lives of our newest compatriots. Twice a month, the IndyBar sends representatives to the Naturalization Ceremonies to give welcoming words to the new citizens. Ceremonies are held in the Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse, last about an hour and are held on Thursday mornings.

IndyBar volunteers have two responsibilities: to welcome the new citizens with a short speech (a sample is provided) and to distribute a welcome gift following the ceremony. The IndyBar gives each new citizen a copy of the United States and Indiana Constitution Book.

Many agencies participate in the ceremonies. As an IndyBar volunteer, you will arrive at the Court and be seated with the others in the jury box. An agenda will be provided and you will be called upon by name at the appropriate time by the Judge.

Naturalization Ceremonies feature the recitation of the United States Oath of Citizenship and provide newly naturalized citizens with a welcome to the United States, a brief overview of the justice system and the importance of citizenship, and greetings and congratulations from city and state officials and local organizations.

Volunteers are often struck with how emotionally moving the experience can be.

“There’s a lot I enjoy about being involved in the IndyBar. I must confess, though, that about the best thing I have been able to do several times over the past few years is represent the IndyBar at naturalization ceremonies conducted by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana,” Past IndyBar President Scott Chinn noted in his July 2012 Indiana Lawyer President’s Column.

“There are a lot of moments during these events that tug at your heart and induce mist in your eyes, like when the eldest new citizen is provided a flag that’s flown over the U.S. Capitol and when the youngest new citizen leads all those assembled in the pledge of allegiance.”

If you would like to find out more or volunteer, please contact Caren Chopp at cchopp@indybar.org.

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On Tap at the IndyBar: July 20 – 26

Everybody loves a local bar, so check out what yours is serving up this week with upcoming IndyBar events and happenings below!

On the Docket

Business Law Skills Series: Indiana Legislative Developments – Business Entities: Benefit Corporations, Virtual Shareholder Meetings and More
Tuesday, July 21 from noon to 1 p.m.
IndyBar Education Center
Information and registration can be found here.

Same-Sex Marriage Issues Presented
Wednesday, July 22 from noon to 1 p.m.
IndyBar Education Center
Information and registration can be found here.

Indy Attorneys Network Quarterly Coffee
Thursday, July 23 from 8 to 9 a.m.
Starbucks at the Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre, 31 W. Ohio St.
Information can be found here.

Human Trafficking: Case, Legislative and Policy Updates
Thursday, July 23 from noon to 1 p.m.
IndyBar Education Center
Information and registration can be found here.

Paralegal Open Meeting: What IndyBar Membership Does for You
Thursday, July 23 from noon to 1 p.m.
IndyBar Education Center
Information and registration can be found here.

Revised Article 9: The Changes Are Here
Thursday, July 23 from 4 to 5 p.m.
IndyBar Education Center
Information and registration can be found here.

Update on the Specialized Driving Privilege Laws and Other Title 9 Changes
Thursday, July 23 from 4 to 7 p.m.
The Rathskeller, 401 E. Michigan St.
Information and registration can be found here.

Family Law Section Baseball Outing
Thursday, July 23 from 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Victory Field, 501 W. Maryland Street (left field picnic area)
Information and registration can be found here.

Free Video Replay CLE: How to Fire Your Client…And What About Your Retaining Lien?
Friday, July 24 from noon to 1 p.m.
IndyBar Education Center
Information and registration can be found here.

Check out the full slate of IndyBar events here, and don’t forget to check out the IndyBar on Facebook for the latest event photos.

News You Can Use

  • Nominations Open for Professionalism Awards - The IndyBar Professionalism Committee is currently soliciting nominations for the 2015 IndyBar Professionalism Award (Attorney) and IndyBar Silver Gavel Award (Judge). Nominations are due by 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, August 20. Get more information here.
  • Member Headlines: Thursday, July 16 – We’re halfway through the summer and IndyBar members are working full steam ahead. Get the latest updates and member news here.
  • Solo and Small Practice: It Takes Courage and Strength – In the latest article from IndyBar President John C. Trimble of Lewis Wagner LLP, he encourages all lawyers to “think like a solo.” Read more here.
  • Nominations Now Accepted for Board of Directors – The nomination period has begun for the 2016 Board of Directors of the Indianapolis Bar Association. Those interested should forward a letter of interest or nomination form to the IndyBar office by August 13, 2015. Click here to read more about the selection committee and for more information.
  • Get your school supplies ready for donations on the circle! – For the third year in a row, the IndyBar will collect office and school supplies to benefit Teachers’ Treasures. Donations are due this Wednesday, July 22, and will be collected on the south side of Monument Circle. Check out this post for more information.
  • Talking Points with the Top Paralegal – Learn more about the IndyBar Paralegal of the Year in this article with Arlene L. Morris of Whitham Hebenstreit & Zubek LLP. Ms. Morris will be recognized at the Paralegal Appreciation Luncheon on Thursday, July 30 at The Conrad Indianapolis. Register here today!
  • The Glass is Half Full at the IndyBar! – We have a lot in store for the next six months, and non-members can check it out for HALF PRICE for a limited time. Plus, included with this half price dues offer is six months FREE on Indy Lawyer Finder (a $900 value!).  Check out the details.
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Talking Points with the Top Paralegal

The Indianapolis Bar Association is proud to recognize Arlene L. Morris of Whitham Hebenstreit & Zubek LLP as the association’s Paralegal of the Year for 2015. Ms. Morris will be recognized for this honor at the IndyBar Paralegal Appreciation Luncheon on Thursday, July 30 from noon to 1 p.m. at The Conrad Hotel.

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Arlene Morris

For Ms. Morris, the greatest reward as a paralegal comes from her clients.

“I am rewarded by knowing that I am making a difference to the clients that our office services on a daily basis,” she said. “I work for two very busy attorneys, and it is so nice to come to work and be able to feel that you are part of a team. I actually look forward to Monday mornings.”

Ms. Morris has been practicing as a paralegal for over 20 years and has been in the legal profession for 30 years. She joined the IndyBar in 1994 and is currently the vice chair of the Paralegal Committee.

“I became involved in the IndyBar when Debi Binkley invited me to one of the council meetings and have never looked back,” Ms. Morris said. “I enjoy the meetings with other paralegals who are members of the IndyBar. I don’t think I would be as involved today if it wasn’t for that extra push that Debi Binkley gave me and the constant encouragement that the paralegal committee gives each other as we all strive to be the best we can be in our profession.”

She is in her second year of chairing the Bears on Patrol program for the committee. Last year, over 3,600 bears were donated to the sheriff’s office, fire departments and police departments for children in traumatic situations through this program. Ms. Morris is also the vice president of the Indiana Paralegal Association and has chaired and organized their Charitable Partner Silent Auction. Last year, the auction raised over $2,500 for Out Reach, a charity that assists homeless teens in Indy. In addition to her devotion to these professional organizations, Ms. Morris also works weekly with the Post Road Christian Church Children’s Ministry.

“I continue to strive to learn new things every day,” she said. “My example is my father, who always taught me to do your very best and always give 110 percent in everything you do.”

This advice clearly translates in her career.

“She works extremely hard and takes great pride in her work, which shows in the work product she helps to promptly and efficiently produce,” her nomination writes. “That is no small task given that she now works in a general, civil practice and is asked to deal with a variety of legal issues to which she has not been previously exposed.”

Get to know more about Ms. Morris and honor the paralegal in your life at this year’s Paralegal Appreciation Luncheon. Register today here.

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