Evening Under the Stars: These are a Few of My Favorite Things

Many Indianapolis Bar Foundation (IBF) supporters return year after year to the IBF’s hallmark fundraising event, Evening Under the Stars. With an elegant dinner and silent and live auctions, this annual event has become a highly anticipated tradition.

Attendees often take home auction items that remind them of the fun evening for years to come. We reached out to some of our long-time Evening Under the Stars supporters to find out their favorite auction find or memory from the event.

Patricia L. McKinnon, Attorney at Law
I love shopping for bargains at the Evening Under the Stars.

My favorite item that I’ve bought is a granite cutting board supplied by Chris Hickey’s husband Dan. It’s been in my kitchen since the day I bought it. We use it virtually every day and love its beauty and durability.

My second favorite item was my husband’s purchase of a Wii game system the first year the game system was released by the manufacturer. We were the first ones of our family and friends to have a Wii. You could not find a Wii in the stores at Christmastime that year, but we had one for our kids. They were thrilled!

Plan on finding great bargains and unusual items at Evening Under the Stars. My husband and I usually get our Christmas shopping done early each year at the event AND have a blast doing so!

John C. Trimble, Lewis Wagner LLP
Each year my wife Ann and I come to Evening Under the Stars with the plan that we will make a substantial contribution to IBF through our silent auction purchases. For at least two years we bid on and won some beautiful John Hardy jewelry donated by Aronstam.

More recently, we have turned our attention to fine wines. The last 2 years, we have been the lucky bidders for some really nice Italian Brunello wines from the 1985 vintages. We have then taken the wines home and have purchased the latest release from the same winery and have had a “side-by-side” tasting of the old and the new for Christmas dinner. I cannot tell you how much fun it has been.

We attend many charity fundraisers with silent auctions. None rival Evening Under the Stars in the quality and quantity of great items to take home.

Vanessa Lopez Aguilera, Lopez Law Office PC
A few years ago I adopted our dog Sophia from the event. It was the first time the IBF had done that, and it raised about $700. My husband was not happy but we loved her- love at first sight!

Nabeela Virjee, Lewis Wagner LLP
I have attended the IBF’s Evening Under the Stars for the last three years, twice as a law student and once as an attorney. It is a fabulous event to mingle with members of the bar in a non-adversarial setting. It is also fun to see everyone dressed to the nines. Most importantly, though, is the tremendous goal of the event: to raise funds to support the organization’s mission of advancing justice through philanthropy, education and service. I’m looking forward to attending again this year because what girl doesn’t like to have a cocktail and shop (for a good cause) at the same time!

Melanie Reichert, Broyles Kight & Ricafort PC
I’ve been attending Evening Under the Stars for years, and that event is the reason I presently sit on the Foundation board. At the 2011 event, Nissa (Ricafort) and I purchased a stay at a the condo in Maui donated by Lance Cline as part of the live auction. Our two families travelled to Maui in October 2012 and had the most amazing week.

The “condo” is nearly as large as my house, with three huge bedrooms and plenty of space for four adults and five kids. It’s located across the street from the beautiful and exclusive Grand Wailea Resort. Nissa and I ran on the beach each morning and spent the afternoons drinking yummy cocktails and watching our families playing in the surf. We snorkeled, ate pork cooked underground at a luau, and gorged ourselves on fresh seafood. AMAZING vacation. The kids (my three and Nissa’s two) talk about the trip all the time.

Then, at the 2012 silent auction, I purchased granite countertops donated by Dan Hickey. While not as glamorous as a week in Maui, I do love walking into my kitchen every day!

I could go on and on about the Big Girl party, the infamous “prevent divorce basket” from the Family Law Section and some of the fun baskets purchased through the years. Crane Bay provided an amazing venue with good food (which is always important to me), plenty of space and the fun outdoor patio area.

Thankfully, I’ve managed to escape the last few years without bringing home a puppy.
Hawaii 1

Eric M. Cavanaugh, Duke Energy Corporation
My favorite thing at the IBF Silent Auction has been buying wine. We have had a couple of Fellows who over the years have donated wine out of their collections to the silent auction. I have been able to acquire a number of collectable wines that have formed the basis of my own wine collection.

The most memorable night at the IBF dinner and auction is when I bought a slab of granite for our kitchen countertops without alerting my wife, Patti, that I was bidding. She was talking to someone near the bar and heard that I was the winning bid for an amount that I had not consulted with her about. She was upset, until Dan Hickey came over and explained to her about what I had just bought. Dan and his crew were great to work with and did a fabulous job. We love our granite countertops.

Finally, for many years I have put together a basket of single malt scotch for the Silent Auction. The last few years I have gone to that same liquor store to assemble the scotches. Thanks to the helpfulness of the spirits manager at the store, the trip has become an event lasting two to three hours as the spirits manager walks me through the extensive collection of single malts his store has and even gives me a taste or two. My son served as the designated driver this year.

Martha Lehman, Krieg DeVault LLP
Several years ago, my colleagues and friends, Betsy and Joe Russell, asked my husband and me to attend the IBF’s Evening Under the Stars. We had a great time. My husband was amazed at the number of people that he knew, and we enjoyed bidding on auction items. Since then, we have made it a point to attend the event, but my favorite memory comes from the 2013 Evening Under the Stars. I had a couple of extra seats at our table, and I invited my oldest daughter and her then fiancé to attend with us. They walked in and almost immediately lost themselves among the crowd. They found high school friends who were now lawyers and met with some of their friends’ parents. While the evening is always fun and I usually bring home something great from the auction, I enjoyed watching Liz and Aidan enjoy the crowd. They also managed to bring home a few items of their own.

Posted in Legal News | Leave a comment

miniBar Talk: This Week’s Top Post!

Bar Talk Header

New Study Reveals What Makes Lawyers Happy

What makes lawyers happy? That was the question posed in a study of 6,200 attorneys, and the results showed clear winners. The data was broken down into five tiers, with the top tier hosting the most important factors and the bottom tier hosting the least.

At the top of the list: autonomy. In a review of the study, it was noted, “The more control over your life, the happier you tend to be.” Factors such as age and other demographics ranked lowest in determining happiness in the workplace for attorneys.

The full study can be found here, but for a summary and breakdown of the results, as well as ranking of all the factors, check out this article.

To subscribe to more Senior Counsel Division 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!

Posted in Legal News | Leave a comment

IndyBar Member Headlines: Thursday, August 28

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

Andrew J. Norris has joined Riley Bennett & Egloff LLP as an associate focusing in the areas of government relations, lobbying and general litigation.

Tim Caress of Caress Law Group was featured in the Indianapolis Business Journal for his unique focus on personal injury accidents involving cyclists, runners and fitness walkers. Read the article here.

Melanie A. Smith has joined Threlkeld & Associates and will primarily practice in litigation, focusing on insurance defense.

Deborah J. Daniels, partner at Krieg DeVault LLP, has been selected to serve on the board of directors for the National Center for State Courts.

Larissa E. Koshatka joined the Commercial Litigation Practice Group at Quarles & Brady LLP.

Michele L. Jackson of Harden Jackson LLC has been appointed to the Indiana Governor’s Adoption Committee.

Ashleigh Resetarits of George & Farinas LLP will serve as a member on the American Lung Association’s Women’s Leadership Cabinet.

Randall T. Shepard, the former chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, will receive the Advancing American Democracy Award during the 9th annual Mary Tucker Jasper Speaker Series on September 11.

Lloyd Milliken of Frost Brown Todd LLC received the Richard T. Boyette Award for Outstanding Service. The award was presented at the 10th anniversary celebration of the National Foundation for Judicial Excellence in Chicago.

Stephen T. Ramey has joined Faegre Baker Daniels as an associate in the finance and restructuring group.

Posted in Member News | Leave a comment

miniBar Talk: This Week’s Top Post!

Bar Talk Header

Back to School Shopping Raises Child Support Questions

It’s the time of year when kids are going back to school and shopping for the school year, getting things like supplies, clothes and other items they will need. For divorced parents, the money spent on back-to-school shopping can raise questions about who is responsible for paying for them.

Ryan Cassman of Coots Henke & Wheeler PC published a piece discussing this very issue. In “Back To School! Who Pays for School Supplies, Clothes and Fees? Indiana Child Support Guidelines“, Cassman outlines the different categories of child support expenses and how they apply to school costs. This includes the differences between shopping for clothing items, “extraordinary educational expenses” and elementary and secondary education.

Cassman suggests that in order to prevent this issue from arising, couples should detail these costs in the support order. Check out his article here.

To subscribe to more Family Law 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!

Posted in Bar Talk | Leave a comment

Indiana Appellate Institute Moots Eight Cases, Raises Thousands for Scholarships

The Indiana Appellate Institute was created by the IndyBar Appellate Practice Section in 2010 as a resource for lawyers throughout the state who have oral arguments scheduled before the Indiana Supreme Court or Indiana Court of Appeals. Modeled after the Supreme Court Institute at Georgetown Law School, the Indiana Appellate Institute offers “moot” or practice argument sessions before panels of former appellate clerks, seasoned appellate advocates, and subject matter experts who have reviewed the briefs and will ask the sorts of questions an advocate can expect at the actual argument.

In the first six months of 2014, the Institute mooted three Indiana Court of Appeals arguments and five Indiana Supreme Court arguments. Whether preparing for their first argument or their 20th argument, advocates have found the experience enormously helpful and often remarked that several of the questions posed by the judges or justices were ones they encountered in the moot.

The Institute generally schedules a moot argument approximately one week before the actual argument. Panels of either three (Court of Appeals) or four (Supreme Court) lawyers acting as judges pose questions for well over the allotted 20 minutes and then offer constructive feedback to the advocate. The entire experience usually takes about 90 minutes. All moots are confidential, and panelists run conflict checks.

Although the moot arguments were originally offered at no cost, the Institute began charging a $500 fee for some arguments last year. The Institute recently revisited its policy on fees. Advocates representing an indigent or pro bono client are never charged a fee nor are advocates preparing for their first oral argument in any court. Others may apply for a fee waiver or reduced fee by explaining their circumstances. The advocate form and further information is available here.

Advocates in four of the 2014 cases paid a fee, which is being used by the Appellate Practice Section to fund scholarships for Indiana lawyers to attend the Appellate Judges Education Institute (AJEI) conference in Dallas in November.

The Institute is only possible because of the service of many lawyers as volunteer judges. Most spend at least one to as many as several hours preparing for each moot argument in addition to the 90-minute moot. The Institute thanks the following lawyers who served on panels in 2014: Arend Abel, Bryan Babb, Victoria Bailey, Lucy Dollens, Yvonne Dutton, Tyler Helmond, Amy Karozos, Michael Limrick, Patricia McMath, Stephen Peters, Dino Pollock, Joel Schumm, Geoff Slaughter and Suzy St. John.

Lawyers who would like to volunteer to serve on a panel in the future should complete the judge form available here.

Posted in IndyBar News, Legal News, Member News | Leave a comment

R-E-C-Y-C-L-E, Find Out What it Means to Me: Make Recycling the Theme Song of Your Office

For the third year, IndyBar’s Go Green committee is hosting the Green Legal Initiative to encourage law firms to commit to greener practices. We will be publishing tips and tricks throughout the next couple months that can help accomplish this goal. Last time, we talked about ways to save water, and in this edition, we’ll be focusing on ways to reuse and recycle other products.

Each employee generates around 4.7 lbs. of waste each day. Between paper products, aluminum, plastic and glass products, there’s a lot that could be put to better use. Recycled paper produces 73% less air pollution than if it was made from raw materials, recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as incinerating it and recycling a single aluminum can will save the amount of energy it takes to run a TV for three hours. (Source.) Considering the average employee drinks 2.5 canned beverages a day, that can really add up!

Here are some tips for making recycling a part of your firm’s practice:

  •  Make recycling bins accessible at the office. If there’s a recycling bin by every public trashcan, employees will be more likely to use them.
  • Invest in real silverware for the office to avoid plastic utensils being tossed away. If you must stick with plastic ware, make sure it gets put in the recycling bin or washed and reused.
  • Set your printer to automatically print double-sided. This is an in-house solution for getting the most out of each sheet.
  • Once you’ve used both sides, set out a tray for scrap paper for people to toss used paper. Put this box in an open area and then empty it into the recycling bin every other day or so.
  • Go full circle and purchase recycled paper for your office to use in the first place.

Implementing paperless practices can be tricky, especially when it comes to digital paperwork requiring signatures. Don’t let that stump you! This article outlines the solution and also includes other helpful links for getting your paperless practice going.

If recycling is not already in place at your office, be sure to locate your nearest recycling center here.

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


Posted in Legal News | Leave a comment

Get On Board: Straight Talk Straight from the Top

Members of the current IndyBar Board of Directors discuss their roles, responsibilities and also offer advice to those considering serving on the board in 2015. Today’s edition features Magistrate Jason Reyome of Marion Superior Court and Thomas Barnard of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, who both serve as At-Large board members.

Here’s what they had to say about their position on the board and what others considering nomination should expect.

“Wallflowers need not apply”
Magistrate Jason Reyome, Marion Superior Court
Board position: At-Large Member
Board member: 5 years
IndyBar member: 17 years
What does an At-Large member do?
I attend monthly board meetings, meetings of the members and I also try to attend as many section events as I can. As Board Liaison to Criminal Justice Section and the ADR Section, I offer a direct line of communication to the board for the sections I serve. Generally, I work to further the IndyBar mission: to serve our members, promote justice and enhance the legal profession.
Describe the board in a few words: Extremely organized, efficient and effective.
What piece of advice would you give to those considering joining the board?
I would share a modified version of the advice I was given when first asked to serve: Wallflowers need not apply. The current board members are active and engaged. Service on the board can be a lot of work, but it is well worth it. IndyBar staff and our executive director are fantastic. Let them help you. If you have questions, ask. If you have ideas, develop and share them.
Why should someone want to be on the board?
The applicants selected will have the opportunity to collaborate and develop lifelong friendships with some of the most interesting and talented people in the Indianapolis legal community.

“Go for it!”
Thomas Barnard, Partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
Board position: At-Large Member
Board member: Two years
IndyBar member: 34 years
What does an At-Large member do?
Prepare for, attend and participate in monthly board meetings, as well as respond to interim issues involving board consideration (such as potential amicus briefs and legislative proposals).
What will you miss most about being on the board?
Witnessing and being a part of the collective intelligence and wisdom of the IndyBar staff and board members. All of us, as members of IndyBar and the Indiana Bar in general, should be proud of the diligence, sincerity and creative tenacity of this board. Without exception, I have departed each board meeting feeling enriched, having heard some of Indiana’s most respected judges, attorneys and executive staff share ideas and insights. I have been particularly impressed with the leadership and inclusiveness of the board, where difficult issues facing the legal profession, bar organizations and the general public are addressed with the benefit of experience, intelligence and compassion. Every board member’s viewpoint is respected and valued, and this culture encourages productive discussion. In addition, board members are constantly invited to think outside the box and consider cutting edge technologies, embrace new perspectives on service delivery and strive for new and increasing value for IndyBar members.
What piece of advice would you give to those considering joining the board?
Go for it! The board contains a unique combination of history, innovation and stability. You will value your time on the board, and the board will value your time.
Why should someone want to be on the board?
Where else can you witness a nationally renowned executive staff assist some of our state’s leading judges and attorneys discuss and take positions on some of the most pressing issues affecting our beloved profession? If you want to make a positive difference in your own practice while also enriching the lives of fellow attorneys, there is no better place to start.
Any other info you’d like to share about Board of Directors?
I am very fortunate to have fostered and deepened friendships through my Board experience.


Posted in Legal News | Leave a comment

Fellows Demonstrate Community Commitment at Service Events

By Carolyn Clay Hall, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP

The Indianapolis Bar Foundation (IBF), the charitable arm of the Indianapolis Bar Association, chooses a new class of Distinguished Fellows each year. Fellows commit to contributing financially to the IBF, but there is also a service component that helps the Fellows give back to the community in a non-legal way.

iba-vols-15col.jpg IBF Fellows help prepare meals during the 2013 Fellows service project at Indy’s Second Helpings.
(IL Photo/ Aaron P. Bernstein)

The idea to add a service component to each Fellows class began several years ago. In 2011 and 2013, two Fellows classes provided assistance to Second Helpings by preparing food for distribution to those in need. Second Helpings plays an important role in the community by accepting donated food to prepare meals for children and adults, then distributing those meals free of charge through local social service agencies in Indianapolis and surroundings areas.

In addition to each Fellows class volunteering for a particular organization, there are service projects available for all Distinguished Fellows and Senior Fellows throughout the year, regardless of class. For several years, Distinguished and Senior Fellows have volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House by preparing meals for the families of the children staying at Riley Hospital. In 2013, three separate volunteer events gave Fellows meaningful opportunities to participate while spending time with colleagues and family.

Distinguished and Senior Fellows are continuing their service efforts in 2014 with two volunteer events—one at Gleaners Food Bank and another at the Ronald McDonald House—planned so far. At the most recent event on July 23 at Gleaners Food Bank, approximately 20 lawyers and judges along with family members joined forces to pack 1,854 bags with nutritional food and snacks for children. These “Backsacks” are provided to local schoolchildren on Friday afternoons to ensure their access to healthy food over the weekend.

Next up, the Fellows will join together after work on the evening of September 30 at the Ronald McDonald House. Volunteers can either pitch in that night and help provide a full dinner for 35 to 40 houseguests, or they can donate items most commonly needed by the organization, including paper products, plastic ware, and other necessities needed when away from home. An invitation to Fellows will be sent soon asking for volunteers.

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

Pro Bono in the Fast Lane!

In the mood for meaningful pro bono service without the long-term commitment? Check out two one-day-only pro bono opportunities coming up soon with the IndyBar!

Mediation Day: Sept. 26
The IndyBar ADR Section Executive Committee is pleased to announce that it will host its fifth annual Mediation Day Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, at Barnes & Thornburg (11 South Meridian Street). Through Mediation Day, the section provides a service to the courts and community by volunteering time to mediate several screened cases for litigants who qualify for modest means mediation. Barnes & Thornburg has generously volunteered its downtown office to provide ample conference facilities for this joint endeavor.

To make this event a success, 10 volunteers who are registered domestic mediators and have experience mediating paternity cases are needed. Judge Sheryl Lynch in Paternity Court is screening non domestic violence cases and will have 10 cases for volunteers to mediate Sept. 26th. Each volunteer mediator would agree to mediate one case starting at either 8 a.m. or 1 p.m. Volunteers can bring a laptop to assist with drafting agreements, and lunch will be provided. There will also be a judicial officer on site to approve the mediated agreements.

If you wish to volunteer, please email ADR Section Chair Phyllis Armstrong at with a desired start time (8 a.m. or 1 p.m.).

Ask a Lawyer: Oct. 14
Ask a Lawyer, the IndyBar’s largest pro bono effort, is accomplished only through the assistance of scores of lawyers and paralegals who manage sites (paralegals ) and provide free face-to-face legal advice (attorneys) to members of the community at locations throughout the city.

Volunteers are being sought for one of two shifts (2 to 4 p.m. or 4 to 6 p.m.) at 13 library/community center locations in Indy Tuesday, Oct. 14. To volunteer, contact Caren Chopp at•

Posted in Legal News, Member News, Upcoming Events, Volunteer/Pro Bono Opportunity | Leave a comment

Road Mapping with 2015 IndyBar President John C. Trimble

Engage. Invest. And Get on Board.


John C. Trimble

The nominations for IndyBar’s 2015 Board of Directors are now open, and it’s up to you to help determine the future of your local bar association! We talked to next year’s president, John C. Trimble of Lewis Wagner LLP, to get a roadmap of what board members can expect from board participation in 2015.

Q: What can members who join the Board of Directors expect next year?
Trimble: New board members can expect a fun and fast-paced year in which all of us as board members focus on bringing maximum value to our members. This will begin with a getaway weekend in French Lick where we will talk about what we will need to do in 2015 to make our organization sizzle. Our direction in 2015 will be dictated by our strategic plan, and we will review that plan at our retreat.

Our “theme” for 2015 will be “engagement.” We will need to be engaged, and we will want to engage our members and engage attorneys who have not yet joined us.

Q: What are some of the best parts about being on the board?
Trimble: The best part of being on the board is getting to know really fine lawyers and judges from all areas of practice. You will make some friends and referral sources for life.

Q: What type of person should consider joining the board?
Trimble: Only reliable people should apply.  The IndyBar leadership needs board members who will make a priority to attend meetings, events, and luncheons and bring others. We need people who will do what they commit to doing and who are willing to agree to commit to the work of engaging members.

Q: What are the expectations you have for board members next year?
Trimble: We expect board members to attend board meetings, events and luncheons and to encourage others to do so. We also expect them to support the Indianapolis Bar Foundation through a personal contribution and participation in IBF events. With respect to engagement, we hope and expect board members to recruit new members and help us retain existing members.

Applications for nominations can be found online here and will be accepted through Aug. 29. Following the nomination period, the 2015 Nominating Committee, chaired by Phil Isenbarger, will interview applicants before presenting the slate for 2015.

Fast Facts
• Any IndyBar member can be nominated and self-nominations are accepted and encouraged.
• The 2015 Selection Committee is: Phil Isenbarger (Committee Chair), Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP; Hon. Cynthia J. Ayers, Marion Superior Court; Rebecca W. Geyer, Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates PC; Richard J. Thrapp, Ice Miller LLP; Robert W. York, Robert W. York & Associates
• The Board of Directors typically meets once a month throughout the year.
• Positions available in the coming year are: 1st Vice President, Secretary and At-Large Member (five openings for at-large members)
• The term for 1st Vice President is one year. The 1st Vice President will automatically assume the office of President-elect in 2016.
• The term for Secretary and At-Large Members is Jan. 1, 2015 through Dec. 31, 2016.
• Applications for nomination are available online here.
• IndyBar members wishing to seek election outside of the nomination process may file a petition ballot that is available at the bar office. The petition must be filed by Aug. 29 and must contain the signatures of at least 50 attorney members of IndyBar.

Posted in IndyBar News, Member News, Professional Development | Leave a comment