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The IndyBar & the IBF: Together We are Making a Difference

By Whitney L. Mosby, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP

It is a good time of the year to highlight the significant impact that your financial contributions to the Indianapolis Bar Foundation (IBF) are having on the community. The IBF awards thousands of dollars to community service programs each year. Without the generosity and energy of the directors, fellows and donors of the IBF, the various community service programs offered by the IndyBar simply would not exist. Some of the programs funded by the IBF include:

1. Service to the Community

The IBF directly supports the pro bono programs of the IndyBar. These programs benefit a wide spectrum of our community – from the homeless and families in crisis to local business owners and those in hospice care. A few of the IndyBar pro bono efforts funded by the IBF include:

  • Ask a Lawyer. Individuals are given the opportunity to meet with qualified, licensed attorneys to ask basic legal questions free of charge at the IndyBar’s “Ask A Lawyer” event. This is a one-day community event sponsored by the IndyBar and the IBF in cooperation with the Indianapolis Public Library and Indianapolis Public Schools. The next Ask a Lawyer event is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 14, from 2 to 6 p.m. at various locations. Visit indybar.org for location information.
  • Low Asset Wills Program. Through the Low Asset Wills program, qualified individuals are given the chance to meet privately with IndyBar attorneys who will draft a last will and testament and advance directive free of charge. The application period for the 2014 Low Asset Wills program is now closed but will be available again in 2015.
  • Legal Line. IndyBar attorneys provide free legal advice on a variety of topics on the second Tuesday of the month by phone from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Bankruptcy Help Line. Twice a month, attorneys from the IndyBar’s Commercial and Bankruptcy Law Section staff this telephone-only service focused solely on bankruptcy-related issues.

In addition, the IBF provides free copies of the “United States and Indiana State Constitution Book” and voter registration information to the individuals sworn in as new U.S. citizens at naturalization ceremonies conducted throughout the year.

2. Service to the Profession

The IBF funds the IndyBar’s Diversity Job Fair that will be held Aug. 21 and 22 at the Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites. The Diversity Job Fair brings together diverse law students from law schools around the country with local legal employers. The job fair showcases Indianapolis as a great place to work and live, and introduces top law students to legal firms and government agencies as well as to corporations and businesses in Indianapolis.

The IBF also publishes the “Commonly Asked Questions About Indiana Law: A Guide for Pro Bono Service,” which is a comprehensive guide to providing answers to basic legal questions. This guide is provided free of charge to all volunteers participating in IndyBar-sponsored pro bono events.

3. Leadership Training/ Scholarships

IBF provides scholarships for IndyBar programming, including the Bar Review course, the Applied Professionalism course, the Bench Bar Conference, and the Bar Leader Series. The IBF also funds law student scholarships each year.

4. Educational Initiatives – The Bench Bar Conference

The IBF provides educational grants and program funding to boost the level of professionalism and collegiality in the Indianapolis legal community. Programs funded by the IBF include the annual Bench Bar Conference. This event attracts more than 300 attorneys, judicial officers and guests. The 2014 Bench Bar Conference held in Cincinnati, Ohio, was a huge success! Next year’s conference will be held June 18-20, 2015, at the Louisville Marriott Downtown in Louisville, Kentucky. Registration will open in 2015.

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Jodie L. Bergeron Named IndyBar Paralegal of the Year

The Indianapolis Bar Association is proud to recognize Jodie L. Bergeron of Cohen & Malad LLP as the association’s Paralegal of the Year for 2014. Bergeron will be recognized for this honor at the IndyBar Paralegal Appreciation Luncheon, to be held Thursday, Aug. 14 from noon to 1 p.m. at The Conrad Indianapolis.

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Bergeron

Bergeron joined the Indianapolis Bar Association in 2008. She is an at-large committee member for the association’s Paralegal Committee, having chaired the committee in 2011, and helps to organize the committee’s Bears on Patrol Teddy Bear Drive. She has led the way for the Cohen & Malad team, which has placed in the top three firms that collect the most bears for the past several years. In addition to her work with the Paralegal Committee, Bergeron currently serves as a site coordinator for the association’s Ask A Lawyer program.

While Bergeron participates in many events through the IndyBar, she takes advantage of volunteer opportunities through her firm as well. She participates on the firm’s Race for the Cure team and has helped raise funds through sponsorships and bake sales for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. She also serves on Cohen & Malad’s Green Legal Committee, which serves to aid the firm’s commitment to the association’s Green Legal Initiative.

Bergeron’s nomination notes, “Jodie Bergeron is an outstanding individual who takes her commitment to the firm and to the Indianapolis legal community seriously. Jodie shows a great deal of initiative in ensuring that our personal injury and product liability practice has an organized client intake process, timely file follow-up procedure, and thorough trial preparation standard. She always has a big smile on her face and is eager to find a way to make something work. No challenge is too big for Jodie.”

Join us in honoring Bergeron and the work of many dedicated paralegals at the Paralegal Appreciation Luncheon Aug. 14. Register for the event here.

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Green by Example – Going Green Starts at the Top

Going green isn’t something that happens overnight – but Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor David Stippler says it doesn’t take much longer than a night to see the changes adding up. “At the end of a few days, at the end of a week, you really start to see how much you’re saving,” Stippler said.

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David Stippler

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is one of the organizations that has committed to IndyBar’s Green Legal Initiative this year. As a government agency, the OUCC has more regulations than the average law firm, but that hasn’t stopped them from making environmentally friendly changes. Stippler said there are a few keys to effectively becoming a greener organization.

“It has to start at the top,” Stippler said. He said that having leadership that sets the tone and drives home awareness of green efforts is an important first step. He also noted that, “It’s important to lead by example.”

iba-green-logo.jpg At the OUCC, the changes have been incremental but have added up. They have a water cooler with washable cups for employees and also installed a dishwasher so employees could reuse utensils. There are numerous recycling receptacles in the office that employees are strongly encouraged to use, and they have also transitioned to virtual filing for cases, which has saved them “millions of pages.” Double-sided printing has also helped to cut down on paper waste.

“Take simple steps that become big strides as you move along,” Stippler said. “If everybody does their share, those steps add up.”

While leading by example from the top is important, Stippler has found that office challenges help engage employees. At the OUCC, they challenged staff to reduce color printing and presented a bar graph each month showing the progress. Stippler found that it helped motivate others to see tangible results from their efforts. He also said that recognizing employees for helping to make a difference created a positive office environment.

Stippler said he hopes employees take the green strategies home and that the benefits will extend into the community. He notes that the practices not only help the environment but are also a way to reduce costs, and ultimately those savings come back to the employees.

“We walk the talk and we do that every day,” Stippler said. “We are committed to living by those principles.”

To get your firm or business Green Legal Certified and join the OUCC’s efforts, visit the Go Green page to access information about the program and applications. Applications are due Sept. 13. Participating firms will be recognized at the bar’s Recognition Luncheon Nov. 13.

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Attorney Volunteers Needed for IndyBar Homeless Shelter Project

Want to make an impact? The IndyBar Homeless Shelter Project is looking for attorney volunteers. Through this project, IndyBar volunteers visit four local homeless shelters each month, giving legal advice and occasionally offering limited representation.

Volunteers typically serve four two-hour shifts per year, from 7 to 9 p.m., and visit the shelters in pairs. Training is not provided, but volunteers are given the “Commonly Asked Questions About Indiana Law” resource guide and will be paired with a veteran volunteer. To volunteer or get further information, please contact Caren Chopp at cchopp@indybar.org.

One longtime volunteer describes his participation like this: “Offering limited representation can be equally rewarding for the client and the attorney. For example, one client not only was homeless and trying to raise his son after his wife died, but all of his possessions other than the clothes on his back were being wrongfully help by a storage company. It is hard to describe the joy in the client’s eyes when he received his property back from the storage facility at no cost.

It is more than just answering legal questions—it is providing hope and encouragement to individuals who many times have no reason to hope. Just volunteer and you will experience joy in helping people every time equal to the joy experienced handling your first case out of law school.”

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Moberly Appointed Chief Bankruptcy Judge

The Hon. Robyn L. Moberly of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana will replace Judge James K. Coachys as the chief judge of the court Aug. 1. Judge Moberly currently serves as the Indianapolis Bar Association’s first vice president and will lead the association as president in 2016.

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Moberly

Judge Moberly became Indiana’s first woman to be appointed to the federal bankruptcy bench when she began a 14-year term on the bankruptcy court in November 2012, replacing Chief Judge Anthony Metz III, who retired. Prior to her appointment, she served as a judge in Marion Superior Court since 1996. Judge Moberly earned her B.A. from Indiana University and her J.D. from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

Judge Moberly was nominated to the position of first vice president by the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Nominating Committee in 2013. In addition to this position, she has also served on the Board of Directors as secretary, treasurer, vice president and as an at-large member, in addition to roles within the association as chair of the Senior Counsel Division and chair of the Pro Bono Standing Committee. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation.

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Honor the Best of the Best

The IndyBar Professionalism Committee is soliciting nominations for the 2014 IndyBar Professionalism Award (Attorney) and IndyBar Silver Gavel Award (Judge). Nominations are due by 8:30 a.m. Monday, July 21.

The awards were created in 2004 to summon to the spotlight lawyers and judicial officers whose careers exemplify the high calling and higher achievement of lawyers and judges in modern society. Visit IndyBar.org to see award criteria, and nominate a deserving legal professional by emailing cchopp@indybar.org.

Recipients will be honored at the Professionalism Luncheon on Tuesday, Sept. 30, which will feature special guest speaker Hon. John D. Tinder of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Register for the luncheon here.

Past award recipients include: Hon. Anthony Metz, U.S. Bankruptcy Court; Sally Zweig, Katz & Korin; Hon. Sarah Evans Barker, US District Court, Southern Division; Marty Hollingsworth, Bingham McHale LLP; Douglas J. Hill, Hill Fulwider McDowell Funk & Matthews; Hon. John D. Tinder, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh District; Karl L. Mulvaney, Bingham McHale LLP; Hon. Charles J. Deiter, Marion Superior Court, Probate Division; Hon. Patricia J. Gifford, Marion Superior Court, Criminal Division; and John R. Maley, Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

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Indy Legal Community to ‘Stock the Schools’ for Teachers’ Treasures

With over half of the children in Marion County unable to afford school lunch, it shouldn’t be a surprise that there are little funds available for these students to purchase the supplies they need to succeed in the classroom. That’s why the Indianapolis legal community is once again “Stocking the Schools” before the school buses roll out for a new year.

Spearheaded by the Indianapolis Bar Association Professionalism Committee, local law firms and agencies are encouraged to collect new and gently used school supplied to be donated to local non-profit Teachers’ Treasures, which connects teachers with free supplies they can use to assist their students. This school supply drive will culminate in a public drop-off site on the south side of Monument Circle on July 30 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

“We’re building on last year’s successful collection to continue to help teachers help children, and we’re doing it in a very public way on the Circle in order to showcase the efforts of IndyBar attorneys to serve our community,” says Patricia McMath, chair of the Professionalism Committee.

Representatives from firms and agencies are being recruited to help spread the word about the program in their office, to receive empty boxes for the collection and to arrange for the delivery of the supplies to Monument Circle. Those interested in representing their office should contact Laura Gorman at lgorman@btlaw.com or Courtney Figg at cfigg@eadsmurraypugh.com. Donations can also be dropped in donation boxes at the IndyBar office and in front of the Office of Student Affairs at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

In addition to the legal community, members of the public are encouraged to donate items for the drive and can visit Monument Circle on July 30 to contribute their items.

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Professionalism Committee members help load donations during the 2013 Stock the Schools collection day on Monument Circle.

View a list of items needed by Teachers’ Treasures on their website here. Individuals interested in contributing are encouraged to collect any items on this list, whether purchased new or donated from old or unneeded personal or business supplies.

Working with more than 240 schools to benefit over 100,000 Marion County school children, Teacher’s Treasures has been operating as a free school supply store since 2000. Teachers “shop” once each month for the items their students need to complete homework and class assignments. By using items donated by businesses and individuals, Teacher’s Treasures provides a unique way to transfer unneeded surplus items to teachers and children in need.•

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IndyBar Member Headlines: Thursday, July 17

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

Norman Tabler of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP received a 2014 Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing.

Alan Hux, partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, has been elected to the board of directors for the Indiana Children’s Wish Fund.

Melissa Avery has been named co-chair of the Sponsorship Committee for the ABA Family Law section, as well as having been nominated to a second term on the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Blake Schulz has joined Faegre Baker Daniels as an associate in the real estate practice.

Adam Cobb has joined Ice Miller real estate group as an associate.

Judge Robyn L. Moberly has been appointed as the chief judge for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

Briana Clark of Bingham Greenebaum Doll placed 1st in the Indy Criterium Cycling Race & Festival in the women’s division on July 12.

David J. Theising of Harrison & Moberly has been elected to a three-year term on the Governing Committee of the American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry.

Kelly Eskew has joined the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana as staff attorney.

Denise Barkdull has joined Frost Brown Todd’s finance and real estate and government services practice groups.

April L. Aldridge has joined Krieg DeVault as a paralegal.

John F.W. Fleming has joined Densborn Blachly LLP as a partner.

Eric D. Schmadeke has joined Densborn Blachly LLP as senior trial counsel.

Todd J. Janzen, partner at Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP, has been reappointed chair of the American Bar Association’s Agricultural Management Committee.

Jonathan G. Polak, partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, has been selected as a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America.

Kevin Erdman has joined Brannon Sowers & Cracraft PC as a director.

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

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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 mprice@indybar.org. 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 mprice@indybar.org.

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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