Trimble: It’s Still The Right Thing To Do…Try It!

John C. Trimble, Lewis Wagner LLP

John C. Trimble, Lewis Wagner LLP

By John C. Trimble, Lewis Wagner LLP

In 1979, when I joined the Indianapolis Bar Association as a law student, my mentor, Robert F. Wagner, told me that it was my duty as a lawyer to join the bar. In those days, any poll of bar members would have revealed that more than 80 percent of members joined their voluntary bar associations out of a sense of duty. It was simply the right thing to do.

Today, most polls are finding that fewer than 20 percent of lawyers join or remain members of the bar out of a sense of duty. These days, lawyers are joining to network, obtain information and education, and to gain other member services. A sense of duty to join and belong is simply not a driver any longer.

Anyone who is paying attention to writers and futurists understands that the foundation of the legal profession is shifting under our feet like sand. More and more people are choosing to represent themselves with the help of online forms and legal help services. Big business is reducing legal spend, and more companies are taking legal work in house in lieu of the hourly billing. Large pieces of legal work have been commoditized, and are being performed off shore or paraprofessionals are doing work once performed by lawyers. Technology has radically changed the way law is being practiced and now allows for competition from afar.

These changes are here to stay, and some would say that they are overdue. There are excellent legal jobs available for lawyers, but the traditional law firm model is changing forever. In the early going, the changes were most apparent in “big law.” However, even solo practitioners are soon going to see their practices change.

Sadly, many lawyers are oblivious to the change that is occurring, or they think that it will not affect them. Soon, many will find themselves working harder for less return, or they will find themselves out of work completely.

If there was ever a time that our profession needed its bar associations, the time is now. We need to be the advocate for our profession at the same time that we provide services and support for all of our members. As law jobs change and evolve, we need to be the ones educating our members and the public about the changing face of law. We need to manage the change and, we need to accept what we cannot resist, and we need to resist what may not be best for consumers.

I submit to you that there is still a duty (and a pressing need) for lawyers to join and support their bar associations. We need everyone at the table. It is STILL the right thing to do. Please join us.


Posted in President's Message | Leave a comment

miniBar Talk: This Week’s Top Post!

Bar Talk Header

Solo/Small Firm Attorneys Have the Opportunity for Big Impact

By D. Elizabeth Cox, Cox & Koons

Just because you are not a member of a “big” firm does not mean that you can’t be an active leader in your community. Three members of the Solo/Small Firm Practice Section, Kristen Caldwell of Duvall Bloomer & Caldwell PC, Jane Glynn of Wanzer Edwards PC, and D. Elizabeth Cox of Cox & Koons, are participants in this year’s Bar Leaders Series. Through this IndyBar program, they are learning what it takes to be true leaders in our community and gaining valuable connections to make it possible.

Prompted by the series, this spring, they’ll participate in the introduction of a new teen dating violence prevention program, Learn-Teach-Lead, at Northwest High School. As solo/small firm attorneys, we know that days are usually filled from dawn until dusk. However, we also know that it is equally as important to find time be involved and make an impact on our community.

Solo/small firm practitioners make up the majority of the population of practicing attorneys in this community and our opportunities for impact are great. The IndyBar makes it easy with a variety of opportunities for solo/small firm practitioners to get involved and give back. To get started, check out the IndyBar events page or contact a Solo/Small Firm Practice Section committee member today. Watch for upcoming articles about the impact Solo/Small firm practitioners are making in our city!

This post was written by D. Elizabeth Cox of Cox & Koons. If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Solo/Small Firm Practice Section page, please email Rachel Beachy at

To subscribe to more Solo/Small Firm Practice 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!

Posted in Bar Talk | Leave a comment

Measure to Alter Selection of Judges Fails in Committee

On Wednesday, Feb. 18, Indianapolis Bar Association President John C. Trimble spoke before the Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee in opposition to Senate Joint Resolution 15, a bill which would have altered the selection process for appellate and Supreme Court judges. The IndyBar is pleased to report the measure failed in committee by a 4-6 vote.

During testimony, Trimble noted that the prevailing viewpoint among IndyBar members responding to a recent survey was that, if enacted, the measure would unnecessarily further politicize a process that is not currently perceived to be broken. Numerous other speakers echoed the sentiment. Trimble also remarked that if enacted, the proposed process would likely “scare away qualified candidates from applying for the court” and could have negative impact on economic development by creating doubt among foreign and out-of-state businesses about the integrity and quality of our judiciary.

The Legislative Committee of the Indianapolis Bar Association is following a variety of bills of particular interest to attorneys during this General Assembly. For a full listing please visit the IndyBar Bill Watch page at

Posted in IndyBar News, Legal News | Leave a comment

IndyBar Member Headlines: Thursday, February 26

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

Brett J. Ashton is now a partner at Krieg DeVault LLP.

Russell L. Brown is now partner of Clark Quinn Moses Scott & Grahn LLP.

Brian M. Heaton is now partner at Krieg DeVault LLP in the Carmel office.

Rebecca W. Geyer of Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates has been named a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

Daniel Byron of Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP has been elected president and CEO of the Indiana Debate Commission.

Julian Harrell of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP has been elected to the Just the Beginning Foundation’s Associate Board.

Elizabeth King of Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP  has been appointed to the Indy Reads Board of Directors.

Jacob Bradley has joined Quarles & Brady LLP as an associate in the commercial litigation practice group.

Nicholson Davey Neal has joined Clark Quinn Moses Scott & Grahn LLP and serves as president of Clark Quinn Public Affairs.

Steven V. Shoup has joined Littler Mendelson PC.

Travis Stegemoller is now an attorney at Gutwein Law.

Posted in Legal News | Leave a comment

Give Your Career a Lift with The Bar Boost Series

There are many things law school can teach you. For everything else, there’s The Bar Boost Series. This year, the IndyBar’s Law School Outreach Subcommittee is rolling out this brand new series, which features a set of programs designed to fill in the gaps that law school leaves behind. This series will enhance the skills of not only attorneys who are fresh in the field, but law students as well.

“We’re excited to kick off this series, which is designed to present time-tested practical tips in a fun and engaging way that connects those just entering the legal profession with those who have made their mark,” said committee chair Christine Hickey of Rubin & Levin PC. “These events are truly not ones to miss!”

The first program is lined up for Wednesday, March 4, and will address the crucial task of “Marketing Your Brand.” This session will feature Meredith Roney of Tactic Marketing. Roney will give attendees advice and strategies for marketing themselves successfully to ensure that they put their best foot forward when making strides in their careers.

Additional programs will take place in April, May, August, September and October. Each program will feature experienced Indianapolis attorneys and judges who can lend insight into the professional world.

“Often, the things that are most important in your legal career are not found in a classroom or on pages in a book,” said Hickey. “Those ‘nuggets’ of legal life skills is what this series is all about.”

For more information about the series and to register, go to To register for the first program, click here.


Posted in IndyBar News, Upcoming Events | Leave a comment

On Tap at the IndyBar: Feb. 23 – March 1

Everybody loves a local bar, so check out what yours is serving up this week with upcoming IndyBar events and happenings below!

On the Docket

Title 9 Update: A Review of the New Specialized Driving Privileges and Other Traffic Law Changes
Tuesday, February 24 from noon to 1 p.m.
IndyBar Education Center, 135 N. Pennsylvania St., Suite 1500
Information and registration can be found here.

Intellectual Property Licensing Mechanics
Tuesday, February 24 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
IndyBar Education Center, 135 N. Pennsylvania St., Suite 1500
Information and registration can be found here.

Mediation Before Evaluation
Wednesday, February 25 from noon to 1 p.m.
IndyBar Education Center, 135 N. Pennsylvania St., Suite 1500
Information and registration can be found here.

WLD Mentoring Kickoff Luncheon
Thursday, February 26 from noon to 1:30 p.m.
IndyBar Education Center, 135 N. Pennsylvania Street, Suite 1500
Information and registration can be found here.

Check out the full slate of IndyBar events here.

News You Can Use

  • It’s the week of the Indiana Bar Exam! On Tuesday and Wednesday, law students around the state will be sitting for their Bar Exam. Wish them luck! If you know a law student who will be taking the exam in July, be sure to let them know about the  IndyBar Review course.
  • The top posts from IndyBar members were published in this month’s Bar Talk. Check it out here to read about the implications of cuber-attacks on the health care industry, a case between Tom Petty and Sam Smith and more!
  • TRAC is back! The Racing Attorneys Conference (TRAC) is back in Indy this year and will be held April 14-15. For more details about the conference and registration, click here.
  • Practice-area specific Bill Watch reports are now available. Click here for the most recent updates!


Posted in IndyBar News, On Tap, Upcoming Events | Leave a comment

Bill Watch Report for Feb. 20 Now Available

The practice-area specific Bill Watch reports for Feb. 20 are now available. The reports highlight the pending bills of particular concern to different sections within the bar. See below for this week’s posts, and click here to access the full Bill Watch reports.

Business Law
Criminal Justice
Estate Planning & Administration
Family Law
Government Practice
Real Estate & Land Use

Don’t forget: You can update your news subscriptions to conveniently receive information like the practice area-specific Bill Watch posts in your bi-weekly E-Bulletin! Click here to learn more, and click here to update your profile.

Posted in Legal News | Leave a comment

Bar Talk February: Legal News You Need to Know

Bar Talk Header

The latest legal scoop to keep you in the loop: Here are the top five stories from the IndyBar this month.

Please note: IndyBar news and updates are provided as a member benefit. You may be prompted to log-in to view some articles.

The Bottom Line: Who Pays for Mediation in Particular Cases?
By Elodie A. Meuser, The Mediation Option
A deaf Indiana man is suing state courts after he was denied an interpreter for mediation. This case raises questions about funding for mediation and who should ultimately be responsible for paying. Check out this post for more information and details about the case that sparked the discussion.
For more Alternative Dispute Resolution Section news, subscribe to this content here!

Words from a Guardian ad Litem
By Jenna Heavner, Mallor Grodner LLP
Jenna Heavner recently worked as a GAL for Kids’ Voice of Indiana. Check out this post for a discussion on the role of Guardian ad Litems and how you can make their involvement in a case worthwhile and beneficial to the parties involved.
For more Family Law Section news, subscribe to this content here!

Lucky for Petty, He Won’t Have to Back Down
By Kaylea Weiler, SmithAmundsen LLC
Details of an Oct. 2014 settlement agreement recently emerged where Sam Smith politely acknowledged that the chorus of “Stay With Me” sounds a lot like Tom Petty’s hit “I Won’t Back Down.” Check out this post for more.
For more Intellectual Property Section news, subscribe to this content here!

The New Way to Seal
By George Gasper, Ice Miller LLP
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has implemented new Local Rules, effective Jan. 1, 2015. One significant change is a new process that governs how confidential documents may be filed under seal. Find out more in this post.
For more Litigation Section news, subscribe to this content here!

The Implications of Cyber-Attacks on the Health Care Industry
By Ammon R. Fillmore, Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman PC
The recent announcement by Anthem of a data breach affecting more than 80 million customers highlights the danger that cyber-attacks create for the health care industry. As these attacks become more common, the health care industry should be mindful of the consequences of cyber-attacks. This post contains more information about the issue.
For more Health Care & Life Sciences Section news, subscribe to this content here!

*If you’re hanging out with people who aren’t lawyers, here’s something even they will find interesting: The real reason you can’t remember what your sweetheart said during that last fight? It’s not your fault – they were using emotionally charged speech, that’s all! Science says that neutral speech is more memorable, which is a lesson you can apply to both your practice and personal life.

Posted in Bar Talk | Leave a comment

Homeless Project enables attorneys to offer advice and guidance to shelter residents

This article was published in The Indiana Lawyer on February 11, 2015. To view the original publication, click here

By Marilyn Odendahl, The Indiana Lawyer

Edna went into the makeshift office and asked for a will, a living will and a power of attorney.

Like anyone, she wanted the will to ensure her wishes were followed after her death, a living will so that she would not be kept alive by artificial interventions, and a power of attorney to give her caregiver the authority to make any critical decisions.

While her reasons for wanting the legal protections are common, her situation is not. Edna is homeless and disabled with few assets, little family and an uncertain future. In addition, she has no means to afford a lawyer to draft the papers. Read more…

Posted in Volunteer/Pro Bono Opportunity | Leave a comment

TRAC Zooms Back to Indy: Registration Now Open!

The Racing Attorney Conference (TRAC), an annual motorsports legal conference planned and presented by the Indianapolis Bar Association and the North Carolina Bar Association Sports and Entertainment Law Section, returns to Indianapolis on April 14 and 15, 2015.

Now in its eighth year, TRAC combines education (including CLE credits), development and networking with legal and business leaders in the motorsports industry, including NASCAR and INDYCAR.

This year’s conference features all new topics including a history of motorsports in the legal profession and panels addressing defending drivers and other high-profile individuals, diversity, fan issues, non-traditional motorsports such as Formula E and powerboat racing, and many more.

In addition to the educational and interactive experiences, TRAC also presents a tremendous opportunity to network and socialize and meet face-to-face with industry participants with whom you may not have otherwise had direct contact.

For the latest updates on TRAC 2015, please visit

Registration Details

TRAC 2015 will be hosted at the Conrad Indianapolis and will feature two days of educational programming complemented with an optional dinner outing on Tuesday evening. Conference Only rates include all educational programming during TRAC 2015, plus breakfast, lunch and one cocktail reception. An optional Tuesday evening dinner outing is also available for $75 per person.

A room block is available at the Conrad Indianapolis with a reduced rate of $189 available for conference attendees. Don’t delay! The room block cut-off date is March 17. Details on booking hotel rooms can be found at

Posted in IndyBar News, Upcoming Events | Leave a comment