The Indianapolis Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Professionalism seeks to promote positive images of lawyers throughout the Indianapolis community and within our bar. To this end, we acknowledge local practitioners who exemplify professionalism and civility. At the recommendation of a Marion Superior Court Judge, the Committee extends a Nod to Professionalism to Jon Pinnick of Schultz & Pogue and Lance Cline of Cline Farrell Christie & Lee for their exceptional professionalism and advocacy in a complex and lengthy medical malpractice jury trial.
According to Mr. Cline, attorneys should focus on three tenets of professionalism at trial: (1) The golden rule – and be serious about this; (2) Remember we are all officers of the court – we have equal responsibilities to the court, its staff, and opposing counsel; and (3) Preparedness for trial. Mr. Pinnick echoes these sentiments and stresses that preparedness of counsel is “everything.”
This past August, Mr. Cline and Mr. Pinnick embodied each of these tenets of professionalism during an complex and lengthy jury trial involving over 20 witnesses, most of whom were expert witnesses. Both attorneys earned the trust of their peers, the jury, and the court through their preparedness, professionalism, and civility to each other. Despite arguing disputed evidentiary questions, both attorneys remained calm and respectful throughout the litigation. The judge commented that both Mr. Pinnick and Mr. Cline handled evidentiary objections professionally, direct and cross examination of witnesses professionally, and made their arguments to the bench or to the jurors and did not argue with each other or lose their professionalism or civility throughout the two-week jury trial. The judge commented that she wished that she could have videotaped this trial to play to young or inexperienced attorneys to demonstrate that attorneys can be professional and respectful of each other and still represent their client.
The jury expressed to the judge how much they enjoyed both attorneys and wondered if all attorneys were as competent, professional, and civil as Mr. Pinnick and Mr. Cline. Both attorneys embodied the ideals of professionalism and civility and as a result eight citizens/jurors left with a positive imagine of attorneys in the Indianapolis community. This trial demonstrates that attorneys who conduct themselves with civility and professionalism are the most effective advocates for their clients.
The Standing Committee on Professionalism compliments attorneys Jon Pinnick and Lance Cline for their exemplary example of professionalism and civility at its best.