Attorney Volunteers Needed for IndyBar Homeless Shelter Project

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

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

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

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

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Moberly Appointed Chief Bankruptcy Judge

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

Moberly Robyn

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

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

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Honor the Best of the Best

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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IndyBar Member Headlines: Thursday, July 17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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It’s Easy to Go Green! A Simple Switch Makes A World of Difference.

For the third year, IndyBar’s Go Green committee is hosting the Green Legal Initiative to encourage law firms, agencies and legal organizations to commit to greener practices. We’ll share tips and tricks throughout the next couple months that can help accomplish this goal. It may seem small, but committing to just one or two of these changes can make a world of difference!

Our first tip comes from Eco-Cycle, a non-profit recycler. They say:

“Making copy paper from 100% recycled content fiber instead of 100% virgin forest fibers reduces total energy consumption by 44%, net greenhouse gas emissions by 38%, particulate emissions by 41%, wastewater by 50%, solid waste by 49% and wood use by 100%” (Environmental Paper Network, 2007. State of the Paper Industry).

Half of the world’s tropical and temperate forests are now gone, and it’s important to protect what’s left. Try switching your firm’s copy paper to 100% recycled content fiber and you can make a difference on a global scale.

Keep checking back for more Green Legal News tips and tricks, and check out the Go Green homepage here. To commit your firm to greener practices and join our Green Legal Firms list, just review the documents below and submit your application to The deadline for applications is September 13.

Green Legal Initiative: Program Details and Information
Application Form

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IndyBar Member Headlines: Thursday, July 3

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

Julian Harrell of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP has been named to Lawyers of Color’s 2014 Hot List.

Jacob McClellan has joined Bose McKinney & Evans LLP as an associate in the Public Finance Group.

Shelley Jackson of Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP has been appointed to the Board of Directors for the Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation effective August 1.

George Plews, founding partner of Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP, was honored with the 2014 Hoosier Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award during the 30th annual Hoosier Heritage Night fundraiser on June 11.

Ashley N. Leonard has joined Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP as an associate.

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You Can Do It! Volunteer to Take a Pro Bono Family Law Case

By Joe Mulvey, Rubin & Levin PC

The lack of licensed attorneys willing to assume responsibility for routine family law matters is a universal concern for pro bono legal service providers. Although volunteer programs such as the IndyBar’s Legal Line and Ask A Lawyer events provide general information to direct those with legal needs in the right direction, these independent events do not provide the ongoing legal services often necessary to fully resolve a particular issue.

Although assuming responsibility for a pro bono legal matter is a healthy step forward in commitment from a closed-ended legal advice session, the need is great. There are resources out there to assist you, and the benefit provided can be tremendous. Here are some frequently-asserted reasons for not taking a pro bono family law case, and some responses.

  1. I don’t know anything about family law and I’m worried about making a mistake. Basic family law CLEs provide the fundamental information, forms and resources for taking on a family law case. The Heartland Pro Bono Council, for example, offered a two hour CLE in late February of this year, providing draft divorce petitions, engagement letters, client questionnaires and an abundance of literature on various low-income family law programs that can be offered to pro bono clients. They are offering a similar CLE in July. The trainings also establish points of contact to experienced family law attorneys who can help provide guidance when more sophisticated issues arise. Importantly, most service providers tailor their referrals to match the experience level of the volunteering attorney—i.e., uncontested, no-asset, no children divorces can be assigned to family law rookies.


  1. I have too much work to do and don’t have time to take on a pro bono case. This is an obvious concern with respect to both personal time and billable hours (working on a pro bono case will encroach on one or the other), but it is a manageable one. From a billable hour perspective, most firms permit attorneys to count at least a portion of their pro bono work towards billable hour goals. Although taking on a pro bono case may mean a few extra hours in the office, pro bono veterans find that helping someone truly in need of legal representation can offset the weariness generated by the daily grind of handling cases in your typical practice area.


  1. I don’t even know where to begin the process of taking on a pro bono case. The IndyBar receives more referrals for family law pro bono matters than it has volunteers to handle—you can email Caren Chopp at to request or discuss a potential referral. The Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic and the Heartland Pro Bono Council ( and ) have a similar need.


We are excited that the IndyBar Ask A Lawyer event on April 8th provided a record number of 705 people with free legal advice, and we implore those individuals who selflessly donated their time to that and other similar events to consider taking a step forward in the continuum of pro bono service.

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Getting Along is Not Wrong: “Winning” by “Losing”

Getting Along Logo v1Civility. 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 debut entry below and continue checking back for future installments.

“Winning” by “Losing”

The Chronological Case Summary reads: “Pre-trial conference held to discuss Defendant’s Motion to Continue Trial. Discussion held. Counsel for Plaintiff strongly objects to the Continuance. Motion to Continue is granted over objection and matter is reset for a first-choice trial on…”

Want the rest of the story? The trial was set on a day that the Defense Counsel had longstanding plans to be on vacation. He made it clear in his motion that his vacation was the conflict and the reason for the Motion to Continue. The Plaintiff was livid and wanted the case to proceed to trial on the day scheduled. The Plaintiff’s counsel asked for a pre-trial conference to discuss the matter rather than filing a written objection to the Motion to Continuance. Respecting the Defense Counsel’s desire to go on vacation, she did not want to oppose the Motion to Continue, but her client demanded that she “fight it.” All of this was discussed during the telephoned pre-trial conference between counsel and the Judge. The Chronological Case Summary set forth above was then issued.

The Defense Counsel got his Continuance. The Plaintiff’s counsel “lost” her objection but “won” enhanced respect of the opposing counsel and the Court. The Plaintiff, while not happy with the Trial Judge’s ruling, got to read the CCS entry and was at least happy with his attorney’s effort in “opposing” the motion. Oh, and by the way, while on the telephone, a new conflict-free date was set for the trial. It did go to trial and was one of the best tried bench trials I ever presided over.

Getting along is not wrong. Professionalism and civility are good business.

-Hon. Steven H. David, Indiana Supreme Court

Have your own story of civility? Share it on Twitter with #gettingalongisnotwrong or submit it to

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IndyBar Member Headlines: Thursday, June 19

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

Judge Sarah Evans Barker of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is the recipient of NUVO’s 2014 Cultural Vision Awards Lifetime Achievement Award.

Angela Hopson was elected secretary of the Indianapolis Law Librarians’ Association during their election on May 14th. She will serve from 2014 to 2016.

Alice Morical has been named equity partner of Hoover Hull LLP. She has practiced with the firm since its formation in 2001.

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

Gary Roberts, Dean Emeritus of Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, will join Bose McKinney & Evans LLP effective September 1, 2014.

Karen Sharp, Susan Traynor Chastain and Michelle Cooper have joined Lewis & Kappes as Directors.

Stephanie Franco Holtzlander is now practicing at Coots Henke & Wheeler. She continues to represent hospitals, physicians and other health care professionals.

Bryan Strawbridge has joined Frost Brown Todd’s Indianapolis office as Managing Associate.

Vanessa Davis, J. Michael Hearon and Michael A. Rogers have joined the Indianapolis office of Quarles & Brady LLP.

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

Christina L. Essex has joined Kopka Pinkus Dolin & Eads as an associate in the firm’s Indianapolis office.

The law firm of Keller Macaluso LLC has relocated its office to 760 3rd Avenue SW, Suite 210 in Carmel. The firm’s phone and fax numbers remain the same.

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