Section & Division Committee Call-Outs: Step Up for Success in 2015!

Set yourself up for success in 2015 by stepping up to lead on an IndyBar section or division committee today! There are currently openings on three section/division committees with even more to come. As a committee member, you’ll have the opportunity to impact the group’s educational programming and community service initiatives for 2015 while working with other driven, passionate and like-minded individuals in your field.

You must be an IndyBar member and member of the respective section or division to be considered for any of the available positions. You can become a member or update your section/division memberships here.

See below for the current committee openings and keep checking back for more!

Commercial & Bankruptcy Law Section

  • One position available: Executive Committee Social Chair
  • Responsibilities: Plan and organize activities of the Section, including CLE events and the Annual Holiday Party; Attend committee meetings approximately every 90 days
  • To apply: Contact Chris Walsh at by Friday, November 14
  • More information can be found here.


Litigation Section

  • Positions available: Executive Committee members
  • Responsibilities: Attend monthly meetings (over lunch on the second Tuesday) to plan and execute the section’s various programs and initiatives, including educational, social and philanthropic efforts
  • To apply: Contact Chris Walsh at by noon on Tuesday, November 11
  • More information can be found here.


Young Lawyers Division

  • Positions available: Executive Committee members and sub-committee members
  • Responsibilities: Executive Committee meets monthly; Sub-committees work to plan and execute social events, education programming and community service initiatives
  • To apply: Submit a brief, one-page Statement of Interest to Tabitha Rhoda at by 11 a.m. on Monday, November 10
  • More information can be found here.


Make a resolution to get in the game in 2015 and take the first step by applying for section leadership today!

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Generosity Shines Bright at the Evening Under the Stars

By David J. Duncan, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP


The IBF’s 2014 Evening Under the Stars Dinner and Auction was a resounding success. Thanks to all of you who were able to attend the dinner, donated items to the silent or live auctions or donated your time planning and setting up the event. I cannot thank you enough for you contributions. As a result of your generosity and support, I am delighted to report that the dinner exceeded its fundraising goal of $80,000! This set a new record of funds raised by the members at the dinner. This is no doubt due to the 438 attendees, yet another record for this event.

Our thanks, recognition and gratitude is also extended to all of our sponsors for the dinner. BGBC, the Pinnacle Sponsor for the dinner, just renewed a three-year term on their sponsorship and we cannot thank them enough for their continued support of the Foundation. Barnes & Thornburg LLP was the Platinum Sponsor for the dinner and Cross Pennamped Woolsey & Glazier PC was the sponsor of our first ever VIP Reception.

I would also like to thank the co-chairs of this year’s Dinner Committee, Briana L. Clark, of Bingham Greenbaum Doll LLP, and Erin M. Durnell, of Broyles Kight & Ricafort, P.C., and all other members of the Dinner Committee: Beth A. Behrens, Ashley A. Butz, Victoria Lewinski Cain, Marie D. Castetter, Erin A. Clancy, Erica K. Drew, Elizabeth A. Eichholtz, Eric N. Engebretson, Raegan M. Gibson, Alicia A. Gooden, Audrey K. Hagedorn, Meaghan Klem Haller, Samantha R. Hargitt, Mariellen Katzman, Martha R. Lehman, Kevin A. Morrissey, Aubrey Kuchar Noltemeyer, Mary Foley Panszi, Erin M.R. Romer, and Leah B. Silverthorn. Your committee did an amazing job planning this event and your outstanding efforts are largely responsible for the success of the dinner.

And a special thanks to the IndyBar staff. We greatly appreciate the behind-the-scenes support you contribute every year. This event would not be the special evening we have all come to look forward to every year without your support.

Evening Under the Stars Co-Chairs Bri Clark (left), Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP, and Erin Durnell (right), Broyles Kight & Ricafort PC, are all smiles with IBF Past President Kelley Johnson, Cohen & Malad LLP at the 2014 Evening Under the Stars Dinner and Auction.

If you did not have an opportunity to attend the Evening Under the Stars then I apologize that you had to miss such a wonderful time with your fellow members of the IndyBar. However, you can still help the IBF have meaningful impact within our community. IndyBar dues renewals have just been mailed and I thank you in advance for your consideration of participating in the annual dues check-off campaign.

Also, we are having a quarterly Trivia Night on Oct. 29th at the Fox and Hound on East 82nd Street from 5 to 7:30 p.m. This is always a fun evening and is sure to be a good time on the eve of Halloween. Costumes are not mandatory, but are strongly encouraged if you are so inclined.

Finally, your contributions to the Foundation are what make many of the IndyBar programs possible. Every IndyBar member can make a tangible impact by donating to the Foundation. Please commit to being a part of our Impact of One campaign and donate your one billable hour at•

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miniBar Talk: This Week’s Top Post!

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How You Learn, How You Work: Knowing Both Saves You Time, Money

By The Hon. Tim Oakes, Marion Superior Court

When I was a young freshman at Wabash College, I was struggling initially. I consulted upperclassmen and even books on how to study. Tech High School had came easily for me and now I found myself up against much better competition. One of the lines in a book I read was “know whether you are a sprinter or marathoner.” In other words, are you a person who can sit and study for hours at a time without breaks or do you need to study in short intervals? It had never occurred to me that not everybody learns the same way.

Later, when I was a young lawyer, a friend quoted Mike Loveall, a lawyer from Johnson County, as saying, “You make more money on the cases you don’t take than on the cases you do.” There are multiple points in that statement, but one is to know how you work. Knowing how you work will save you time and money and make you more efficient. Know what will work for you.

This article discusses this concept in the form of emails and how you handle them. I don’t think one way is the right way for everyone, but taking the time to figure out what works for you might make you more productive as litigators inside the ever increasing demands of the current marketplace.

To subscribe to more Litigation Section 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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Recognition Awards Honor Indy’s Leading Legal Professionals

Each year, the IndyBar takes time to honor and celebrate local leaders with innovative ideas at the Indianapolis Bar Association and Foundation Recognition Luncheon. On Thursday, Nov. 13, join your colleagues at the Columbia Club at noon as we recognize the following individuals and initiatives that have made outstanding contributions to the legal profession. Registration for the event can be found here.

The Board of Directors Award will be awarded to Richard Mann of Richard A. Mann PC for his work as the chair of the Family Law Section. Mann has excelled at sharing information with the section, especially with regard to the impact of HJR-3 and other same-sex marriage developments this year. Under Mann’s leadership, the Family Law Section has given timely communication updates to its members and has planned pertinent educational seminars. The section also sponsored this year’s Take a Law Student to Lunch event.

The Diversity Job Fair Committee will be recognized with the President’s Award for Service to the Profession for its record-breaking success at this year’s fair. Over 400 scheduled interviews by 28 employers took place, and 84 students registered along with 18 sponsors. The committee was led by Sara R. Blevins of Lewis & Kappes PC and also included Kimberly S. Adams, Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman PC; Roxana S. Bell, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP; Joseph R. Delamater, Delamater Law Office; Jon A. Ferguson, Indiana Department of Correction; Charise R. Frazier, Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman PC; Shelley M. Jackson, Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP; Dionne C. McCoy, WellPoint Inc.; Abigail T. Rom, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana; Edward D. Thomas, Lewis Wagner LLP; Chasity Q. Thompson, IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law; Lakesha D. Triggs, Office of the Attorney General; Kania D. Washington, Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis; and Camille T. Wiggins, Ice Miller LLP.

The recipient of the President’s Award for Service to the Association is John Kautzman of Ruckelshaus Kautzman Blackwell Bemis & Hasbrook for his work leading the IndyBar’s Justice Center Task Force. Kautzman kept communication open with the city when the plan to build a new criminal justice center was announced and has since ensured that the lines of communication stay open as plans continue to develop. He has established the bar as a stakeholder in this project and has organized two town hall forums to allow members to ask questions and share ideas with city representatives.

Receiving the Young Lawyer of the Year Award is Ronan Johnson, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP. Johnson currently serves as chair of the Young Lawyers Division and has been instrumental in the division’s success this year, including planning the inaugural Intro to Indy series.

The following recipients will be honored with the Pro Bono Awards for their efforts on behalf of the Indianapolis community:

Law Firm: Richard A. Mann PC

Attorneys in this firm support pro bono service in a variety of ways. Through the Marion County Juvenile Court, they volunteer as Guardians Ad Litem (GAL) in juvenile delinquent (JD) cases and serve as GALs for incapacitated adult parties in Child in Need of Services or JD cases. Year after year, attorneys from the firm volunteer for Ask a Lawyer or take family law cases through the IndyBar/Indiana Legal Aid Society referral program. Rick takes his own time to help recruit volunteers to support that effort through personal outreach and as the chair of the Family Law Section. But most notably is the firm’s support of Kids’ Voice of Indiana. In 2014 alone, the firm spent 240 hours on GAL cases.

Attorney Aiding Individuals: Jacqueline Pimentel Gannon, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP

In her three years at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Jacqueline has contributed over 500 hours of service. She volunteers for the IndyBar’s Ask a Lawyer program, for the Low Asset Wills program and for the firm’s EMBRACE program. She prepared wills and advance directives for a Lilly/Faegre clinic held at Eskenazi Health and for the recent Wills for Heroes program. Jacqueline has secured guardianships through the firm’s medical legal partnership and through the McKinney Health and Human Rights clinic. She’s handled Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) cases with the National Immigrant Justice Center. The Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic has also benefitted from her generosity: she participated in their green card refugee adjustment clinic and their Homeowner Property Tax Clinic.


Paralegal: Debi Binkley, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

Debi has served as a site coordinator for the Ask a Lawyer program for several years now, making both attorney volunteers and potentially nervous members of the public feel comfortable. She has often stepped in to pitch in when others have conflicts. She helps recruit and train other paralegals for the role and thinks strategically about how to serve more people and how to make the program better. Debi also gives of her time by serving on the IndyBar Paralegal Committee.

Law Student: Tyler Smith, Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

Tyler has recorded a contribution of 375 pro bono hours through the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic’s Expungement Help Desk at the City-County Building. He has helped hundreds of people navigate the complex expungement law in an effort to move beyond their criminal record and make a better life for themselves. While he goes to school in the evenings, he is a student ambassador for the Admissions office and serves on the Executive Board of IU McKinney’s Professional Responsibility Association.

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IndyBar Member Headlines: Thursday, October 23

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

Tracy N. Betz was selected as the winner in the law category for the 2014 Indy’s Best and Brightest Awards. Congratulations, Tracy!

Steven J. Peters joined Plunkett Cooney PC as managing partner of the Indianapolis office.

L. Leona Frank has reopened her solo practice, Frank Law. Her practice will focus on general business, real estate, bankruptcy and estate planning

Janet A. McSharar, Paul (Rick) Rauch III and A. Barclay Wong have joined Drewry Simmons Vornehm LLP in Carmel as partners.

Jennifer L. Strange has joined Drewry Simmons Vornehm LLP as an associate.

Andrea Brandes Newsom, formerly court administrator for Marion County Superior Court, has joined the University of Indianapolis as director of facility and space planning.

Kurt Jones has accepted the position of assistant general counsel – senior IP counsel with Celanese Corporation in Houston. Jones was previously a partner at Woodard Emhardt Moriarty McNett & Henry LLP.

L. Leona Frank has been elected secretary of the American Bar Association Law Practice Division.

The Hon. David J. Certo of Marion Superior Court received the Patient Health Advocate Award on September 7 during the Indiana State Medical Association’s annual convention.

Hannah Brown, Charlotte Fillenwarth and Janice Pascuzzi have joined Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman.

David B. Meehan has joined Krief DeVault LLP as an associate.


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Getting Along is Not Wrong: An (Unofficial) Mentor

Civility. 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 entry below and continue checking back for future installments.

Ms. Kelley J. Johnson, Cohen & Malad LLP

I have been blessed to be mentored by John Maley for about 13 years. It’s not an official mentor-mentee relationship; I don’t even work for John or his firm. In fact, I work a plaintiff’s firm – the opposite of what John’s firm does. However, I have sought advice from John since before I entered law school and have continued to seek advice from him over the years.

John always has time for me, even if it’s only a quick cup of coffee. You might wonder, since I’m getting the benefits as the mentee, what’s in it for John? Good question – I don’t know. All I can tell you is that I am not his only “unofficial mentee”. John cares about other lawyers. It is just who he is. When I recently achieved one of my biggest career accomplishments of being inducted as Indianapolis Bar Foundation President, John was there, front and center, beaming with pride as if it were his own accomplishment.

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miniBar Talk: This Week’s Top Post!

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Online and In Person: What Attorneys Need to Know About Networking

By Andrea L. Ciobanu, Ciobanu Law PC

The rainmakers of any law firm are excellent networkers. In this fast-paced, social media-oriented society, lawyers must learn the art of networking in person and online. A first impression can also be a lasting impression, so don’t wreck it!   Review these tips for successful online and in person networking and also how to make your connection long term.

This post was written by Andrea L. Ciobanu, Ciobanu Law PC. If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Indy Attorneys Networking Section, please email Mary Kay Price at

To subscribe to more Indy Attorneys Network Section 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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ADR Section Hosts Successful Annual Mediation Day

On Friday, Sept. 26, the IndyBar Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Section hosted its annual Mediation Day, which was coordinated by ADR Section Chair Phyllis Armstrong of The Mediation Group. The event had a new host this year, with Barnes & Thornburg LLP volunteering office space and providing lunch for volunteer mediators. For the second year, that law students were invited to shadow the mediation sessions, allowing them to get a firsthand look at the process.

Armstrong says that although there have been new elements introduced over the years, the process is virtually the same each year – because it works. Five paternity cases are seen in the morning, five more are slated for the afternoon, and a commissioner is on site to sign any resolutions. She said that in years past, the majority of the cases are settled.

“It makes an expensive process affordable and allows the parties to work through issues face-to-face outside of court,” Armstrong said.

Commissioner Marie Kern, Marion Superior Court; Dallin Lykins, Lewis & Kappes PC; and Benjamin Spandau, Robert H. McKinney School of Law, school gather during the 2014 Mediation Day.

The mediators are all volunteer attorneys and are Certified Family Law Mediators from the IndyBar ADR Section. This year’s volunteers were: Dallin Lykins, Lewis & Kappes PC; Marc Matheny, Attorney at Law; Megan Weddle, Stowers & Weddle PC; Robin Kelly, Mitchell Law Group; Detra Mills, Attorney at Law; Amanda Blystone, Broyles Kight & Ricafort PC; Jennifer Bays Beinart, Bays Family Law; Melinda O’Dell, Attorney at Law; Christine Douglas, Harden Jackson LLC; and Melanie Reichert, Broyles Kight & Ricafort PC.

The commissioners for the day were Marion County Commissioner Marie Kern and Marion County Presiding Commissioner Sheryl Lynch. One law student was matched with each attorney to shadow a mediation session, and Armstrong said there was a wait list of students this year who wanted to participate.

Commissioner Kern said that mediation sessions are an invaluable resource to the court system.

“It allows parties to retain control over the outcome,” said Commissioner Kern. “They know best when it comes to what is going to work and what is feasible for them, much better than a judge who only gets a snapshot will. Mediation usually produces longer-term results than a court order can.”

Mediation Day frees up time on the dockets, which Commissioner Kern said is especially beneficial in paternity court. She said it is the busiest court in the state.

Armstrong, Kern and attorney Dallin Lykins agreed that communication is key to making progress in these cases.

“There is a breakdown in communication that leads to conflict,” said Commissioner Kern. “Mediation can help reopen the lines of communication.”

“I try to remind them of what they agree on and build from there,” Lykins said. “Most the time there is more common ground than they realize and it helps us move forward.”

The 2014 Mediation Day was another successful year, so much so that the topic of adding another Mediation Day mid-year was brought up. “It’s certainly something the section would be open to,” Armstrong said.

Interested in getting involved? Contact Armstrong at to learn more.

Posted in IndyBar News, Volunteer/Pro Bono Opportunity | Leave a comment

Getting Along is Not Wrong: Disagreement without Attack

Civility. 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 entry below and continue checking back for future installments.

Laura E. Gorman, Barnes & Thornburg LLP –

One of the well-respected attorneys in our community that served as a mentor to me early on in my legal career was Jim Crum of Coots Henke & Wheeler PC. As an attorney who handles both criminal and civil matters, Jim is often before the court advocating on behalf of his clients. In doing so, I observed that although our profession is an adversarial profession, Jim was always able to zealously represent his clients without being uncivil to opposing parties. He maintained positive courtroom demeanor and was always prepared to respectfully argue the factual and legal issues before the court, thereby demonstrating further respect to the court. Jim could disagree with a party’s position or a court’s ruling without attacking such opinions or resorting to personal attacks. Jim is able to recognize what others in our legal community so often forget – incivility has a price and often only harms the client.

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IndyBar Frontlines: October 14

TED Talk Fan? Help bring them to the IndyBar!
We’re organizing a series of small group discussions centered around the popular TED Talk programs. Would you like to be part of selecting the topics? We’ll be viewing the talks followed by small group discussions while sampling local craft beer or wine.  If you’re interested, contact Julie Armstrong at

Government Practice Section Awards Scholarship to Carrie Brennan
The IndyBar’s Government Practice Section awarded its third annual scholarship to Carrie Brennan of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

As attorneys who represent government agencies, or who assist clients in matters involving government agencies, the members of the Government Practice Section award the $1,000 scholarship to a second- or third-year law student with a strong academic record and a demonstrated interest in government practice.

This year, the Section’s Executive Committee reviewed applications from talented students attending each of Indiana’s law schools. The Section commends Ms. Brennan for standing out among a group of intelligent, motivated, and service-minded applicants.

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