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Memories of Joe Russell

The legal community was shocked by the sudden passing of C. Joseph Russell on July 17, 2013. Joe was an attorney for 33 years, serving as President of the Indianapolis Bar Association in 1999 among many other leadership roles held in both the bar and other legal and civic organizations. He attended Western Kentucky University and received his J.D. from the Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

2009 Indianapolis Bar Association President James H. Voyles shares his fond memories of Joe Russell below.

While still shocked from Joe’s death, having spent the day before and the morning of his death with him, I am trying to adjust my own perception of life based on Joe’s premature departure.

Enjoy each day as it comes, take time to appreciate each day, and take the time with friends and family.  End each day with laughs to relieve ourselves of our stresses.  Joe and I had that in common and I appreciate it even more now that he is gone.

Joe loved the practice of law.  We spent a wonderful two weeks together, with Denny Zahn, trying a federal wildlife case in South Bend before Judge Sharpe.  The best thing that happened was after the case when our client provided us each a large container of deer sausage.  Joe declared it the best he had ever had even though I doubted he was a true connoisseur of deer meat.  Immediately preceding his death, we started work on a new matter together.  Just knowing we were back together as co-counsels brought a smile to my face.  It also gave me confidence that we would work well together all the while having a good time in what we both loved so much – the practice of law.

I will miss Joe and will be reminded of him as I proceed on this new matter without him.  I will constantly be thinking “what would Joe do” on the case.  I will definitely wonder “what would Joe say…” that would be consistent with his cynical sense of humor that always made me laugh.

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