Interrogatories: Candid Q&A with Jack Kenney

By Tyler D. Helmond, Voyles Zahn & Paul

He is a graduate of Indiana University and the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. He was a private practice attorney in Elkhart and Indianapolis prior to joining the Indiana Public Defender Council (IPDC) in 1994. He is Jack Kenney, and he has been served with interrogatories.

You have spent a significant portion of your professional life writing and researching the Indiana criminal code. What was your first reaction when you heard it was being revised?
Surprise, given the fact that the prosecutors killed the original criminal code reform bill in 2011 (SB 561). At the same time I felt a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of starting over and dealing with the amount of new information to learn and convey to others. I was also hopeful Indiana seemed to be moving toward more proportionality among crimes and sentences across the criminal code, focusing more on rehabilitation, treatment and being smart rather than indiscriminately tough on crime and building more prisons. I knew our agency could help make a difference in achieving those goals.

What issues with the new code are you eager to see litigated?
The retroactivity of the amended sentence modification statute and appellate review of significant disparate sentences for the same behavior under the old code. There will also be issues that come up when the new traffic code takes effect next year. For example, whether judges will exercise discretion to issue specialized driver’s licenses rather than suspending licenses.

What is your approach to handling major writing projects?
Develop a long-term plan and try to make it an ongoing process. Block out significant chunks of time, and seek out second opinions and proofreading wherever possible. When all else fails, push it off to co-workers, independent contractors and/or law students.

What do you do when you aren’t working on publications?
Talking to lawyers from around the state about their cases. Responding to requests for assistance.

What are the three most essential reference books on your shelf?
IPDC manuals–especially evidence, search and seizure, and sentencing. Also Indiana Criminal and Traffic Law Manual.

What is your favorite part about working for IPDC?
The relationships I have developed over 20 years with the IPDC staff, board members and public defenders throughout Indiana. Learning and sharing developments in criminal law and collaborating with others about raising and arguing various issues. And to be honest, celebrating Columbus Day with a day off work is pretty nice.

Do you feel any rivalry with the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council (IPAC)?
No, I do not deal with IPAC very often. Many times we are on the same page, along with the Judicial Center, in promoting a more effective and reliable criminal justice system. We’ve had disagreements on legislative issues and criminal justice policy, but I don’t feel that it is a rivalry.

If you had to have another job, what would it be?
Practicing law with my wife, Stacy Uliana, who has a criminal defense practice. If you’re asking what my dream job would be, I’d like to retire after my kids grow up and work as a bartender in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Westlaw or Lexis?
I like Westlaw, but our office and most of IPDC members use Lexis. The Shepard’s function from Lexis is helpful, but frustratingly inaccurate at times.•

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IndyBar Member Headlines: Thursday, September 25

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

Larissa E. Koshatka has joined Quarles & Brady LLP as an associate in the commercial litigation practice group.

Brooke Jones has joined Cordell & Cordell’s office as an associate.

Jill McGinnis has joined Wanzer Edwards PC as an associate. She practices in the areas of family, collaborative and criminal law.

Charles Dunlap of the Indiana Bar Foundation has been elected president of the National Association of IOLTA Programs through June 2015.

Finalists for the 2014 listing of Indy’s Best and Brightest were announced. The list honors 100 of Central Indiana’s most accomplished young professionals, age 40 and under. Each of the finalists in the legal category are IndyBar members. Congratulations to all!
Tracy N. Betz of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
Aaron Dixon of Ice Miller LLP
Angela B. Freeman of Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Tavonna Harris Askew of Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County
Jeremy Hill of Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP
Michele L. Jackson of Harden Jackson Law LLC
Laurie E. Martin of Hoover Hull LLP
Sara Powell of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
Todd Relue of Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP
Kyra Wagoner of Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Jeremy Overmyer has joined Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP in their Corporate and Transactional practice group with a focus on health care, privacy and regulatory matters.

Russell C. Menyhart of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP has been appointed to serve on the board of directors for the America China Society of Indiana.

Bryce Bennett of Riley Bennett & Egloff LLP was honored for his donation to the Arts Council of Indianapolis with a plaque that was installed for him and the firm. Mayor Greg Ballard also expressed his appreciation. Read more here.

Joshua W. Abel, previously the executive director of the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic, has joined Faegre Baker Daniels LLP in the firm’s nonprofit organizations group.

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Nominations Now Open for Recognition Awards

This fall, IndyBar members will be honored for their contributions to our legal community. The Indianapolis legal community is fortunate to be home to many talented, dedicated professionals, and we need your help in identifying our colleagues who went above and beyond in 2014.

Nominations are being accepted for the following IndyBar awards: the Dr. John Morton Finney Jr. Award for Excellence in Legal Education and the IndyBar Pro Bono Awards, which are presented in five categories: Practicing Attorney, Aiding Individuals; Practicing Attorney, Aiding Entities; Law Firm; Law Student and Paralegal. Nomination forms can be found here. Nominations are due Friday, Oct. 3, 2014.

The Pro Bono Awards honor practicing lawyers, retired lawyers, in-house and corporate counsel, law firms, law students and paralegals who have made outstanding contributions toward delivering volunteer legal services to the poor and disadvantaged. Among the factors considered during selection are whether a nominee has demonstrated dedication to the delivery of legal services to the poor; has contributed significant work toward developing innovative approaches to the delivery of volunteer legal services; has participated in an activity which resulted in satisfying previously unmet needs or in extending services to underserved segments of the population; has successfully litigated a pro bono case that favorably affected the provision of services to the poor; or has successfully achieved legislation that contributed substantially to legal services to the poor.

Established in 1998, the Dr. John A. Morton Finney Award for Excellence in Legal Education honors the memory of Dr. Finney who, during his lifetime, demonstrated the value of education and a love of the law. The successful candidate for this award will have made significant and unique contributions to further legal education within our community. Those active in legal education projects, public education or working within Indiana’s law schools shall be considered.

The awards will be presented at the Recognition Luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 13. Registration for the luncheon will be open soon at

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Getting Along is Not Wrong: Positive Influences from the Start

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.

Magistrate Victoria M. Ransberger, Marion Superior Court –

My notions of civility and professionalism have been influenced over the years by more people than I could ever name. When I think back to the beginning of my professional career, I think of Ken Falk. I met Ken over 35 years ago when I was completing a Masters in Social Work. Ken spoke at one of my classes about representing parents in CHINS cases. Several years later, I interned at Legal Services from the law school clinic and he was one of my supervisors. In the early 90s, we were opposing counsel on a few cases. His demeanor, respect for his clients and his ability to work with opposing parties and counsel toward resolution of conflicts is a gold standard to which we should all aspire.

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miniBar Talk: This Week’s Top Post!

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Proposal for Citation of Memorandum Decisions Unanimously Rejected

Recently, the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously voted to reject the recommendation of three Indianapolis Bar Association sections to allow citations of memorandum decisions. The Appellate Practice Section Task Force crafted this proposal of their recommendations, which received support and approval from the Appellate Practice, Criminal Justice and Litigation sections of the IndyBar. The proposal recommended that citations of all Indiana appellate opinions should be allowed. As the rule currently stands, nearly 75 percent of the Indiana Court of Appeals’ opinions are issued as memorandum (not-for-publication) decisions.

The Indiana Supreme Court’s ruling was announced on Friday, September 5.

IndyBar member and IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law professor Joel Schumm provided commentary on the ruling in this post. He notes that the Indiana Supreme Court’s decision “defies the modern reality of ‘memorandum decisions’ being easily accessible”. As this post on Appellate Advocacy Blog notes for an example, Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 32.1 permits citation of all opinions issued after its passage.

Schumm’s post goes on to provide ways for lawyers to cite helpful memorandum decisions despite the current rule in Indiana. IndyBar Appellate Practice Section Chair Stephen J. Peters of Harrison & Moberly LLP notes, “Trial and appellate counsel…should know their options and the consequences for noncompliance. This is a very real problem faced by civil and criminal attorneys in Indiana trial and appellate courts, so we need to provide information, comments and suggestions for how to professionally and ethically deal with this issue.”

This content was submitted by Stephen J. Peters of Harrison & Moberly LLP. If you would like to submit content or write a post for the Litigation Section page, please email Mary Kay Price at

To subscribe to more Appellate Practice 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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Duncan: The Impact of One for the Indianapolis Bar Foundation

By Dave Duncan, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

I recently received an email from Julie Armstrong, the Indianapolis Bar Association and Foundation Executive Director, containing notes taken at the very first meeting of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation (IBF) over 40 years ago. The note reported the activities of the IBF from Dec. 29, 1969 through Dec. 31, 1970. It was enlightening to see how far our legal community has brought the IBF in the last 45 years.

Here are some metrics to put this in perspective: At the end of its first full year of operations, the IBF had 125 contributors (10 percent of the IndyBar membership), raised approximately $4,550 in contributions from its members and received two grants from the Lilly Endowment that totaled $5,000. Among its membership, the IBF had 25 Lifetime Fellows (pledging to contribute $50 for 10 years), 35 Sustaining Fellows (pledging to contribute $50 per year) and 65 Annual Members (pledging to contribute $50 per year).

With those contributions, the IBF granted $2,000 to the Indiana University Indianapolis Law School (now McKinney School of Law) on an unrestricted basis, $2,675 to the University of Chicago’s Law in American Society Foundation Seminar and $1,500 to the Indiana Criminal Justice Planning Commission in support of a bail research project.

By comparison, here are the current projected goals for IBF’s 2014 annual activity: There will be 1,300 contributors (27 percent of the IndyBar membership) and will raise approximately $250,000. The IBF can include among its contributors 17 Distinguished Senior Fellows (pledging to contribute $1,500 over three years) and 34 Distinguished Fellows (pledging to contribute $1,500 over five years).

With your contributions, the IBF has awarded the $35,000 Impact Fund Grant to the Joseph Maley Foundation to fund a new parent education and pro bono legal assistance program for central Indiana students in need of individualized education plans. Additionally, the IBF will grant the IndyBar approximately $105,000 to fund a variety of the IndyBar programs and initiatives, including but not limited to: Ask a Lawyer, Bankruptcy Help Line, Bench Bar Conference, Diversity Job Fair, Homeless Project, Hospice Program, Legal Line, Low Asset Wills, Marion County Superior Court Pro Bono Program, IndyBar Staff for Pro Bono Program Support, technology for online education, Web-based access to Bar Review and academic scholarships for law students, IndyBar Review, Applied Professionalism and Bench Bar.

During its 45-year existence, IBF donors have also taken on special projects that have had a meaningful impact on our community and the practice of law in Indianapolis, including funding the metal detectors for the City-County Building and the original children’s waiting room for the Marion Superior Courts.

Most recently, the 2013 Impact Fund Grant recipient, Indiana Legal Services Inc.’s Military Assistance Project (MAP), sponsored a free CLE that trained attorneys on MAP. In return, attendees agreed to staff a shift at IndyBar’s Oct. 14 Ask a Lawyer program at the Roudebush VA Medical Center and provide pro bono legal services addressing common legal issues encountered by Hoosier veterans. Having the opportunity to fulfill your pro bono duties through a program made possible by the IBF’s Impact Fund Grant is something in which all members of the IndyBar should take great pride.

The contributors to the IBF, comprised mostly of members of the Indianapolis Bar Association, make each of these initiatives possible. None of this could happen without their generosity and continued support. Every IndyBar member can make a tangible impact by donating to the IBF. Please commit to being a part of our Impact of One campaign, and donate your one billable hour at•

The Indianapolis Bar Assocation President Jeffrey A. Abrams, Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP, is out taking a much needed vacation.

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Getting Along Is Not Wrong: Law and the Golden Rule

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.

The Hon. Gerald S. Zore, Marion Superior Court –

How often have you filed an emergency Motion for Continuance only to have an opposing counsel file an “Objection for the Record?” Frankly, I am amazed at how often attorneys file these coded objections to let the court know that while the attorney has no real objection, he or she is filing it only on behalf of the client. I assume the attorney then advises the client that that court granted the Motion for Continuance over his or her objection.

Why not be up front and tell your client that the opposing counsel or party had a legitimate emergency and the court granted the motion? I have had situations where a Motion for Continuance was filed due to emergency surgery for the client or the client’s spouse and the opposing counsel filed an “Objection for the Record.” Give me a break. Make it your practice to always consider the reasons stated in a Motion for Continuance and only file an objection if the reasons appear to be frivolous or without merit.

Attorneys should always apply the Golden Rule. Treat opposing counsel as you would like to be treated and you should have no problem in maintaining their respect for your professionalism.

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Abrams: Law School Orientation—Oh, To Be Young Again!

By Jeffrey A. Abrams, Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP

I had the honor of attending law school orientation on Saturday, August 16 at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law. I sat on the dais with the Honorable Jose Salinas of Marion Superior Court, the Honorable Jane E. Magnus-Stinson of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana and McKinney School of Law Dean Andrew Klein. I listened to Dean Klein speak proudly of the couple hundred first-year law students sitting eagerly in the school atrium in anticipation of the first day of school. All of them were nicely dressed and excited to be part of the classes of 2016 and 2017. They were there with their parents, family and friends to begin their journey toward earning their doctor of jurisprudence degrees and standing tall with all of us as attorneys.

Judge Salinas told them to be proud of what they have achieved, but that it is just the beginning of an incredible journey that lies ahead. He noted that he looked forward to having them appear before him at some point in time in the near future—hesitating before he specified “as attorneys”—and that he looked forward to their impressive statements on behalf of their clients. He admonished them that some of them would be right and some of them would be wrong.

Judge Magnus-Stinson reminded students of the five C’s of professionalism:

1. Commitment — We are committed to practicing law in a manner that maintains and fosters public confidence in our profession, faithfully serves our clients and fulfills our responsibilities to the legal system.

2. Character — We will strictly adhere to the spirit as well as the letter of the Rules of Professional Conduct and will at all times be guided by a fundamental sense of honor, integrity and fair play.

3. Competence — We will conduct ourselves to assure the just, economical and efficient resolution of every matter entrusted to us consistent with thoroughness and professional preparation.

4. Courtesy — We will at all times act with dignity, civility, decency and courtesy in all professional activities and will refrain from rude, disruptive, disrespectful, obstructive and abusive behavior.

5. Community Involvement — We recognize that the practice is a learned profession to be conducted with dignity, integrity and honor dedicated to the service of clients and the public good.

She also warned them that their studies and challenges would not be similar to “Paper Chase.” While many of them had stars in their eyes and were clearly not recalling the classic television show, I am sure their parents understood the excitement and challenges that they face.

IndyBar volunteers share information with 1Ls at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law Orientation on Saturday, August 16.

The students were incredibly attentive to both judges’ comments as I saw very few of them looking down to read and/or respond to an email or text that they might have just received. After I finished listening to two energetic, intellectual and passionate statements from both judges, it was my turn to stand before them as the President of the Indianapolis Bar Association and figure out how I could impart some words of wisdom.

I told them the best way for them to find a job besides studying hard and learning the law was to become an active member of the Indianapolis Bar Association. I described many of the outstanding achievements that our members obtain through service to our community, including Ask a Lawyer, helping eighth graders understand the election process in the United States and our delivery of Constitutions to all new United States citizens during naturalization ceremonies.

I described our creative and energetic attorneys forming the Indy Attorneys Network Section to help lawyers network with and meet other lawyers. This section, to our knowledge, was the first of its kind in any bar association in the country. I conveyed to them the stories of young lawyers meeting their future employers through IndyBar-sponsored monthly luncheons or social events. And, knowing that the students had been there since 9:30 a.m., just after noon I imparted to them the most memorable quote of the day:

Hanging with the Indianapolis Bar Association is the only place to be.
The cost to join is really economical – I guarantee you won’t disagree.
When you come to events, people are friendly and won’t give you the third degree.
And most importantly, you get to meet brilliant, successful and good looking attorneys— just like me.

What more could they ask for in their first day of introduction to the practice of law?

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IndyBar Member Headlines: Thursday, September 11

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

Alyssa B. Rogers has joined North American Midway Entertainment as its first general counsel.

Michelle L. Cooper has joined Lewis Kappes PC as an equity director.

Susan Traynor Chastain and Karen Glasser Sharp have joined Lewis Kappes PC as equity directors in the education law practice group.

Christine Hayes Hickey of Rubin & Levin PC was selected to serve as secretary of the National Conference of Bar Presidents at its annual meeting in Boston.

John Krauss was named to a five-year term on the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission.

Lisa B. Goddy has joined Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP and will practice in their Estate and Wealth Transfer practice group.

Michael E. Brown of Kightlinger & Gray LLP has been appointed to a second term as the International Association of Drilling Contractors’ Professional Liability Roundtable Director. He will be the Director of the 2015 Professional Liability Roundtable at New York University School of Law on May 28.

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Bar Talk September: Legal News You Need to Know

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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.

Proposal to Shorten Principal Briefs Leads to Discussion
By Stephen J. Peters, Harrison & Moberly LLP
A new proposal to reduce the word limit for principal briefs in the U.S. Courts of Appeals has sparked conversation. Stephen J. Peters submitted a reference article with everything you need to know about the proposal and how you can submit comments.
For more appellate practice news, subscribe to this content here!

A Winning Night for the Sports & Entertainment Law Section at Victory Field
By Jason R. Bonikowske, Just Marketing International
Featuring the first-ever section video content, this recap of the Sports & Entertainment Law Section’s social event at the Indians game is one you don’t want to miss. Let’s just say a chairman and a law student compete on-field…and lucky for us, it was captured on camera. Check out the article to watch it now!
For more sports & entertainment law news, subscribe to this content here!

Straight from a Member: Common Mistakes of Young Lawyers
By Dina M. Cox, Lewis Wagner LLP
Young lawyers are guilty of making many of the same mistakes that law students do, and no matter how long you’ve been practicing, a brush-up from time-to-time to avoid those mistakes never hurts. Check out this article to see what IndyBar member Dina M. Cox of Lewis Wagner LLP recommends in her recent article.
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Changes Recommended to Marion County Small Claims Courts
A national court consultant has recommended changes to the Marion County Small Claims Courts. The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) recently submitted their recommendations based on the results of a survey they conducted at the request of the Marion County Circuit Court.
For more litigation news, subscribe to this content here!

In Memoriam: Steve Ancel
On August 14, the IndyBar lost longtime member and esteemed colleague Steve Ancel. His obituary and memorial donation information can be found in this article.
For more commercial & bankruptcy 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: Burger King may be moving to our northern neighbor, Canada. But don’t worry – you’ll still be able to get their Whoppers here.
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