Go Green at the Sink: 3 Ways to Decrease Water Waste

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 paper usage during lunch and at the sink, and this time we’re focusing on the sink itself – more specifically, water usage at the office.

A coffee break is a staple for most employees, but did you know that each cup of coffee takes 55 gallons of water to make? Most of that goes toward growing the coffee beans, but with numbers like that, it’s easy to see how the average employee uses around 2,000 gallons of water each day. That’s over 1,100 gallons more each day than individuals in other countries use. (Source)

Start saving at the sink and go green with some of these tips:

  • 10 gallons of your water usage is lost to leaks each day. Have leaky faucets and toilets repaired to reduce your footprint without even noticing. Also, be sure to always turn a sink completely off after using it to avoid unnecessary drips.
  • It takes more water to produce meat and dairy products. Eat fewer meat and dairy products, and when you do decide to partake, choose grass-fed instead of grain-fed. It takes a lot more water to grow corn and other crops to produce grain-fed. Going completely meat- and dairy-free would save 600 gallons of water per individual each day.
  • It takes 13 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of gasoline, so find neighbors, colleagues or friends and form a carpool. The IndyGo bus is another great option to save on gas, or better yet, walk or bike to and from work if you’re able.


Want to measure your water footprint? Calculate it here with this tool from National Geographic.

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: Your Home for CLE…and CFP!

The IndyBar is known for hosting more than 100 CLE programs each year, but did you know that some of those programs also qualify for Certified Financial Planning (CFP) credit? The IndyBar is now offering CFP credit in addition to CLE credit at select upcoming programs.

To maintain CFP credentials, certified financial planners must complete 30 hours of continuing education and two hours of approved ethics credits during a two-year period.

Upcoming CFP credit programs:

A Discussion of Pooled Trusts for Individuals with Special Needs
Wednesday, August 27, 4 to 5 p.m.
Register here.

Net Investment Tax
Wednesday, September 24, 4 to 5 p.m.
Registration will be available soon here.

Wednesday, October 22, 4 to 5 p.m.
Registration will be available soon here.

Business Succession
Tuesday, November 18, 4 to 5 p.m.
Registration will be available soon here.


Your Credit Refresher

IndyBar educational programs offer an array of credit types:

  • General Credits: Attorneys are required to attend at least six (6) hours of approved CLE per year and at least 36 hours of approved CLE per three-year cycle. Find programs open for registration here.
  • Ethics Credits: Attorneys are required to complete at least three (3) hours of approved ethics CLE at any point during each three-year compliance period. Search the IndyBar events calendar for Ethics credits here.
  • Non-Legal Subject Matter (NLS) Credits: The Commission approves courses for Non-Legal Subject Matter credit because, while they lack substantive legal content, they enhance an attendee’s proficiency in the attorney’s practice of law. Attorneys can report a maximum of 12 hours toward the three-year, 36-hour requirement using NLS courses.
  • Distance Education: Distance Education is also known as online education. Attorneys can get six (6) hours per three-year period. Check out more than 100 programs in the IndyBar online CLE catalog here.
  • Continuing Mediation Education (CME) Credits: A registered mediator must complete a minimum of six (6) hours of Commission-approved continuing mediation education anytime during a three-year educational period. Looking for CME credits? Search the IndyBar events calendar for courses offering CME credit here.
  • Applied Professionalism Credit: The Commission has determined that all newly admitted lawyers must take a Commission- accredited six-hour applied professionalism course in their first three-year educational period. Mark your calendars for IndyBar’s next Applied Professionalism Course on Oct. 30 and register online here.
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Interrogatories: Candid Q&A with Eric Schmadeke

By Tyler D. Helmond, Voyles Zahn & Paul

He is a graduate of Indiana University and the IU McKinney School of Law. He was a Marion County Deputy Prosecutor before joining Densborn Blachly LLP. He is a 2013 Indiana Lawyer “Up and Coming Lawyer.” He is Eric Schmadeke, and he has been served with interrogatories.

You recently transitioned from prosecuting criminal cases to civil litigation in private practice. What has been the hardest part about that?
Without a doubt – sitting down and typing.  Trials and contested hearings were once the routine; now it feels like I am going out for ice cream every time I get to argue on my feet. The rule jockeying which seems to plague civil litigation can become a little arduous at times too.  I really believe good outcomes would happen more often for our clients if we all focused on the merits a little more and rules ending in something like (m)(38)(P)(xxi) a little less.

…and the easiest part?
Transitioning from a job where I was surrounded by incredibly talented, hard-working and honest lawyers who would rather be hit by a bus than let down their victims, to a job where I am surrounded by incredibly talented, hard-working and honest lawyers who would rather be hit by a bus than let down their clients.

Your office is now on the north side instead of downtown. What are your feelings about that?
Densborn Blachly LLP built a first-class modern law office as appealing and fun to work in as any other I have ever seen, and it is quite nice to walk into a place like that every day.  It also happens to be on the north side where I have grown up and currently reside, along with a lot of our clients too.

On the other hand, I do miss the energy of downtown.  There was always just a touch of excitement that came with the uncertainty of what you might see that day, good or bad.  Am I going to be accosted by a vagabond whose breath smells like after-shave or see a couple silently and tearfully embrace on the sidewalk after learning their adoption has just been finalized?  Or both?  You never knew.  That is what I miss.

Describe your technology setup.
Smart phone, laptop, and docking station with dual monitors.  Big fan of the dual monitors.  Densborn Blachly LLP also makes use of cutting-edge practice management technologies that utilize the cloud.  The firm decided to make a commitment to staying ahead of the tech curve.  So far, that bet has paid off big time for us and our clients.

If you could bring one historically notable dead person back to life, who would it be and why?
Mark Twain.  He said of Jane Austen, “Every time I read ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”  If that is how he reviewed a novel about manners, I am dying to know what he would have to say regarding the 113th United States Congress, or  It would also be fun to ask him why he kept reading ‘Pride and Prejudice.’

Who is the most challenging judge you have practiced before?
Tough one.  It would be easier to name judges who would describe my practice before them as “most challenging.”   By the way, did you choose an adjective that means both inspiring and impudent on purpose?  If so, well played – but I am not biting.

You have tried more than 75 juries in a relatively short career, and rumor has it, you are pretty hard to beat.  What’s the secret?
First, there is no secret.  I am merely the common denominator.  It is truly the work of the investigators, paralegals, expert witnesses, administrative staff and co-counsel who have supported, taught and tolerated me over the years who won these cases.  Second, I would like to ask my grandmother to stop spreading rumors.

However, imagining for the moment that there is a “secret” recipe to win juries, I suspect it would read something like:
Six parts – good facts;
Five parts – preparation;
Four parts – co-counsel and support staff (only the finest quality);
Three parts – jury selection;
Two parts – persuasive story-telling and the cogent use of analogies to make relevant facts relatable;
One part – Providence, and –
A dash of pluck.

What is your favorite Indiana craft beer?
Sun King: Cream Ale on the golf course or Indians Lager at the ballpark.

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IndyBar Members Try Their Hand at Urban Farming

Volunteers from IndyBar took to the land on Sunday, July 27 and got their hands dirty with Growing Places Indy, a local non-profit that focuses on cultivating wellness through urban agriculture. Growing Places Indy works with a strong local food and farm network to empower individuals and communities to grow well, eat well, live well and be well.

During the growing season, Growing Places Indy relies on volunteers each week to assist with day-to-day needs. Volunteers have the chance to learn more about growing food in the city and are able to participate in projects. Coordinated by the IndyBar Health Care & Life Sciences Section,  members and their families and friends were able to take part in the volunteer program on July 27 and will also be returning on Sunday, August 3.

Growing Places Indy grows over 60 varieties of fruits, vegetables and herbs. They farm on several sites in Indianapolis, including White River State Park, Eskenazi Health Sky Farm, Cottage Home Neighborhood and Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center. They sell their food at Legacy Center Summer Farm Stand, local restaurants and in a CSA program. To learn more about how they grow their food and where you can find it, click here.

If you’re interested in joining as a volunteer on August 3, event details and registration can be found here.


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IndyBar Member Headlines: Thursday, July 31

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

The following members are part of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series Class XXXIX, a program run by Leadership Indianapolis:

Judge Sarah Evans Barker
of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is the moderator for SKL Class XXXIX.

Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP has a new address:

Hahn Loeser Parks LLP
Castle Creek V
5750 Castle Creek Parkway North Drive, Suite 350
Indianapolis, Indiana 46250

Todd Relue, Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP, was elected President of the Board of Directors for Heritage Place of Indianapolis. The two year appointment runs through July 2016. Read more here.

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

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Three easy ways to be Green Legal…all over lunch!

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. Our first tip was about paper use when making copies, but in this edition, we’ll focus on paper use during a different part of your workday: the lunch hour.

According to an EPA study in 2008, tissues and paper towels contributed 3,460,000 tons to U.S. landfills in one year. (Find out more here.) The EPA also states that one-third of the waste that American households generate is composed of napkins and other paper products. Only half of this paper waste is recycled. (More information can be found here.)

So how do you change that? It all starts with lunchtime.

  • Try to keep it to one napkin (the average employee uses around 6 each day) and, if possible, make it a cloth napkin that can be reused.
  • Go paperless at the sink. Replace paper towel use with a cloth hand towel or, if you must use paper towels, stick to using just one each time.
  • Encourage other employees to do the same. If every person used half the paper products at work that they do now, there would be literally TONS of trees, energy and land saved.

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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IBF Fellows Give Back at Gleaners


The Rundown:

  • 12 IBF  Distinguished Fellows
  • 2.5 hours
  • 12 items packed per bag
  • 1,854 BackSacks prepared


Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana works to feed the hungry across the state, and on July 23, Indianapolis Bar Foundation Distinguished Fellows pitched in to help them do just that. While Gleaners serves 21 counties in central and southeast Indiana, their main food bank is located in Indianapolis, which is where the Fellows worked.

Hon. Bob Altice
Hon. Denise LaRue
Nick Baker
Kerry Blomquist
Amanda Blystone
Carolyn Clay Hall
Ronnie Katz
Mark Ladendorf
Jennifer Richter
Dana Stutzman
Amy Van Ostrand-Fakehany
Laurie Young

Several Fellows brought their children to lend a hand. It was a family affair with all hands on deck!

Kerry Blomquist works with her sons Eric and Mike on the assembly line.

Kerry Blomquist works with her sons Eric and Mike on the assembly line.

What did they do?
After an orientation video, the Fellows were led to the warehouse and put to work on the BackSacks line. BackSacks is a program that Gleaners provides for hungry children on the weekend. It is available to schools with K-6th graders currently has 230 participating schools.

Each week, Gleaners delivers over 10,000 BackSacks for children to take home for the weekend.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat was in the bag?

  • 3 juice boxes
  • 1 cookie bar
  • 1 oatmeal cookie
  • 1 package of graham crackers
  • 3 heat-and-eat lunches
  • 1 box of cereal
  • 1 pudding cup
  • 1 package of fruit snacks
IBF Fellow Dana Stutzman packs a Chef Boyardee product into one of the BackSacks.

IBF Fellow Dana Stutzman packs a Chef Boyardee product into one of the BackSacks.

When do the IBF Fellows have service projects? 
Twice a year. They have previously volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House and Second Helpings. Their next service project will take place this fall.

How did so many bags get filled?
A lot of hard work and helping hands! There was a conveyor belt of BackSacks that circled around the pool of volunteers. The IBF Fellows worked for over two hours to fill each one up with each food and drink item.

Assembly line at work!

Assembly line at work!

Why is it important?
There is a very real need to help the fight against hunger in Indiana. Over one million Hoosiers struggle with hunger, and Gleaners helped distribute 25 million meals to 300,000 of those people last year. Hunger isn’t defined by region or age group – in fact, out of the 300,000 people served in 2013, 100,000 of those were children.

Who are the IBF Fellows?
Each year, IBF leaders nominate individuals who are dedicated to the profession and work together to advance justice and lead positive change to become IBF Fellows. With service projects like the one at Gleaners, IBF Distinguished Fellows dedicate their time and talents to give back to the community under the umbrella of the IBF.

Learn more about the Indianapolis Bar Foundation and its other projects here.


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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 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.


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.

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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