It’s Easy to Go Green! A Simple Switch Makes A World of Difference.

For the third year, IndyBar’s Go Green committee is hosting the Green Legal Initiative to encourage law firms, agencies and legal organizations to commit to greener practices. We’ll share tips and tricks throughout the next couple months that can help accomplish this goal. It may seem small, but committing to just one or two of these changes can make a world of difference!

Our first tip comes from Eco-Cycle, a non-profit recycler. They say:

“Making copy paper from 100% recycled content fiber instead of 100% virgin forest fibers reduces total energy consumption by 44%, net greenhouse gas emissions by 38%, particulate emissions by 41%, wastewater by 50%, solid waste by 49% and wood use by 100%” (Environmental Paper Network, 2007. State of the Paper Industry).

Half of the world’s tropical and temperate forests are now gone, and it’s important to protect what’s left. Try switching your firm’s copy paper to 100% recycled content fiber and you can make a difference on a global scale.

Keep checking back for more Green Legal News tips and tricks, and check out the Go Green homepage here. To commit your firm to greener practices and join our Green Legal Firms list, just review the documents below and submit your application to The deadline for applications is September 13.

Green Legal Initiative: Program Details and Information
Application Form

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IndyBar Member Headlines: Thursday, July 3

Share your news with the IndyBar by contacting Mary Kay Price, Director of Marketing & Communications, at

Julian Harrell of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP has been named to Lawyers of Color’s 2014 Hot List.

Jacob McClellan has joined Bose McKinney & Evans LLP as an associate in the Public Finance Group.

Shelley Jackson of Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP has been appointed to the Board of Directors for the Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation effective August 1.

George Plews, founding partner of Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP, was honored with the 2014 Hoosier Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award during the 30th annual Hoosier Heritage Night fundraiser on June 11.

Ashley N. Leonard has joined Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP as an associate.

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You Can Do It! Volunteer to Take a Pro Bono Family Law Case

By Joe Mulvey, Rubin & Levin PC

The lack of licensed attorneys willing to assume responsibility for routine family law matters is a universal concern for pro bono legal service providers. Although volunteer programs such as the IndyBar’s Legal Line and Ask A Lawyer events provide general information to direct those with legal needs in the right direction, these independent events do not provide the ongoing legal services often necessary to fully resolve a particular issue.

Although assuming responsibility for a pro bono legal matter is a healthy step forward in commitment from a closed-ended legal advice session, the need is great. There are resources out there to assist you, and the benefit provided can be tremendous. Here are some frequently-asserted reasons for not taking a pro bono family law case, and some responses.

  1. I don’t know anything about family law and I’m worried about making a mistake. Basic family law CLEs provide the fundamental information, forms and resources for taking on a family law case. The Heartland Pro Bono Council, for example, offered a two hour CLE in late February of this year, providing draft divorce petitions, engagement letters, client questionnaires and an abundance of literature on various low-income family law programs that can be offered to pro bono clients. They are offering a similar CLE in July. The trainings also establish points of contact to experienced family law attorneys who can help provide guidance when more sophisticated issues arise. Importantly, most service providers tailor their referrals to match the experience level of the volunteering attorney—i.e., uncontested, no-asset, no children divorces can be assigned to family law rookies.


  1. I have too much work to do and don’t have time to take on a pro bono case. This is an obvious concern with respect to both personal time and billable hours (working on a pro bono case will encroach on one or the other), but it is a manageable one. From a billable hour perspective, most firms permit attorneys to count at least a portion of their pro bono work towards billable hour goals. Although taking on a pro bono case may mean a few extra hours in the office, pro bono veterans find that helping someone truly in need of legal representation can offset the weariness generated by the daily grind of handling cases in your typical practice area.


  1. I don’t even know where to begin the process of taking on a pro bono case. The IndyBar receives more referrals for family law pro bono matters than it has volunteers to handle—you can email Caren Chopp at to request or discuss a potential referral. The Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic and the Heartland Pro Bono Council ( and ) have a similar need.


We are excited that the IndyBar Ask A Lawyer event on April 8th provided a record number of 705 people with free legal advice, and we implore those individuals who selflessly donated their time to that and other similar events to consider taking a step forward in the continuum of pro bono service.

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Getting Along is Not Wrong: “Winning” by “Losing”

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. Check out the debut entry below and continue checking back for future installments.

“Winning” by “Losing”

The Chronological Case Summary reads: “Pre-trial conference held to discuss Defendant’s Motion to Continue Trial. Discussion held. Counsel for Plaintiff strongly objects to the Continuance. Motion to Continue is granted over objection and matter is reset for a first-choice trial on…”

Want the rest of the story? The trial was set on a day that the Defense Counsel had longstanding plans to be on vacation. He made it clear in his motion that his vacation was the conflict and the reason for the Motion to Continue. The Plaintiff was livid and wanted the case to proceed to trial on the day scheduled. The Plaintiff’s counsel asked for a pre-trial conference to discuss the matter rather than filing a written objection to the Motion to Continuance. Respecting the Defense Counsel’s desire to go on vacation, she did not want to oppose the Motion to Continue, but her client demanded that she “fight it.” All of this was discussed during the telephoned pre-trial conference between counsel and the Judge. The Chronological Case Summary set forth above was then issued.

The Defense Counsel got his Continuance. The Plaintiff’s counsel “lost” her objection but “won” enhanced respect of the opposing counsel and the Court. The Plaintiff, while not happy with the Trial Judge’s ruling, got to read the CCS entry and was at least happy with his attorney’s effort in “opposing” the motion. Oh, and by the way, while on the telephone, a new conflict-free date was set for the trial. It did go to trial and was one of the best tried bench trials I ever presided over.

Getting along is not wrong. Professionalism and civility are good business.

-Hon. Steven H. David, Indiana Supreme Court

Have your own story of civility? Share it on Twitter with #gettingalongisnotwrong or submit it to

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IndyBar Member Headlines: Thursday, June 19

Share your news with the IndyBar by contacting Mary Kay Price, Director of Marketing & Communications, at

Judge Sarah Evans Barker of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is the recipient of NUVO’s 2014 Cultural Vision Awards Lifetime Achievement Award.

Angela Hopson was elected secretary of the Indianapolis Law Librarians’ Association during their election on May 14th. She will serve from 2014 to 2016.

Alice Morical has been named equity partner of Hoover Hull LLP. She has practiced with the firm since its formation in 2001.

Lainie Hurwitz has been named partner at Ruppert & Schaefer PC.

Gary Roberts, Dean Emeritus of Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, will join Bose McKinney & Evans LLP effective September 1, 2014.

Karen Sharp, Susan Traynor Chastain and Michelle Cooper have joined Lewis & Kappes as Directors.

Stephanie Franco Holtzlander is now practicing at Coots Henke & Wheeler. She continues to represent hospitals, physicians and other health care professionals.

Bryan Strawbridge has joined Frost Brown Todd’s Indianapolis office as Managing Associate.

Vanessa Davis, J. Michael Hearon and Michael A. Rogers have joined the Indianapolis office of Quarles & Brady LLP.

George Hopper has joined Cohen & Malad LLP as of counsel.

Christina L. Essex has joined Kopka Pinkus Dolin & Eads as an associate in the firm’s Indianapolis office.

The law firm of Keller Macaluso LLC has relocated its office to 760 3rd Avenue SW, Suite 210 in Carmel. The firm’s phone and fax numbers remain the same.

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IndyBar President’s Message: Another Bench Bar

IBA-Abrams-Jeffrey1By the time you are reading this article, I will be on my way to the 21st Annual Bench Bar in Cincinnati, Ohio. So, I asked myself when I attended my first Bench Bar, what is a Benesch commercial real estate lawyer going to do at a Bench Bar Conference? The answer? Lots of things.

The Bench Bar Committee routinely provides quality CLE for all of us. I enjoy listening to some of the speakers even as a commercial real estate lawyer. I have the opportunity to reminisce with judges who were in law school with me but with whom I have very little contact anymore as a result of our separate paths in the legal profession. We talk about our kids. We talk about some recollections during law school and embarrassing moments. We talk about some of the people and where they are today. This is all very worthy of our time. Continue reading

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Interrogatories: Candid Q&A with Samantha DeWester

By Tyler D. Helmond, Voyles Zahn & Paul PA

dewester-samanthaShe is a graduate of Indiana University and the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. She is Deputy Corporation Counsel, City Prosecutor, and Public Access Counselor at the Office of Corporation Counsel. She was previously a Marion County Deputy Prosecutor and Marion County Deputy Public Defender. She is Samantha DeWester, and she has been served with interrogatories.

Continue reading

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IndyBar Member Headlines: Friday, May 9

Share your news with the IndyBar by contacting Mary Kay Price, Director of Marketing & Communications, at

Quarles & Brady announced Thursday that it has opened an Indianapolis office.  Partners at the Indianapolis office, its ninth worldwide, include IndyBar members Joshua B. Fleming, Daniel M. Long, Lucy R. Dollens, Joel Tragesser, Kristen L. Gentry and Randall R. Fearnow.

Eric N. Engebretson has been named partner at the law firm of Whitham Hebenstreit & Zubek LLP. Engebretson will continue to practice in the non-criminal general practice of law including bankruptcy, family law and estates.

Christopher Bayh has joined Barnes & Thornburg LLP as an associate in the firm’s litigation department.

IndyBar member Tarek Mercho of Mercho Donaldson LLC plans to open “Sangrita,” a southwestern-style cantina, on July 1 in the former location of Greek’s Pizzeria at 834 E. 64th Street in Broad Ripple.

Several IndyBar members are at the center of “Hotel Tango Whiskey,” a micro-distillery preparing to open on Virgina Avenue in the Fletcher Place neighborhood. Bar members Travis Barnes, Adam Willfond and Nabeela Virjee are among the five partners who started the company in 2013. They received their license to begin producing whiskey, gin, moonshine and vodka this year and hope to open in August.

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Bell’s Sound Off: Belfast, 1972, The Troubles and the Confrontation Clause

Bell’s Sound Off
(An Off Beat Sort of Legal Commentary)

By James J. Bell, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP

On an evening in September 1972, a stray bullet pierced a window of an apartment complex near the Falls Road in downtown Belfast, Northern Ireland. The bullet entered a single apartment and penetrated the wall directly above the stove where a woman had been cooking just 30 seconds beforehand. Continue reading

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IndyBar Member Headlines: Friday, May 2

Share your news with the IndyBar by contacting Mary Kay Price, Director of Marketing & Communications, at

Katherine Strawbridge and Eric McNamar have joined Lewis Wagner LLP. Both practice in the firm’s litigation group.

Sandra L. Davis has joined Wooden & McLaughlin as an associate.

Johnathan Armiger has opened a law firm. Armiger Law represents individuals in medical and dental malpractice and personal injury cases.

Trenton Hahn has been promoted to vice president of Bose Public Affairs Group; Ahmed Young has joined as second vice president.

Michael D. Chambers of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP has been appointed to the Board of Directors for Imagine Indiana Life Sciences Academy West.

Tracy N. Betz of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP has been appointed to the Child Advocates Board of Directors.

Curt Hidde, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, has been named President of the Ronald McDonald House of Indiana’s Board of Directors.

Kathleen DeLaney, DeLaney & DeLaney LLC, has been elected a member of the American Law Institute.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry received the Above and Beyond Award from the Indiana Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense office, in recognition of extraordinary support of employees who serve in the Indiana Guard and Reserve.

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