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Bench Bar 2020: Bridging the Gap - Criminal Justice News

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Criminal Justice News

Posted on: Mar 18, 2020

By Bryan Strawbridge, Frost Brown Todd LLC

A new decade is here and the IndyBar is, as always, on the forefront of creating dynamic new content, while adapting to new trends in technology and the law. This includes transitioning from the same old, same old CLEs and programming that other bar associations present to more modern, impactful educational programming.  

To that end, we have some exciting news; we will be revamping the IndyBar’s flagship event in 2020: the Bench Bar Conference. The CLE programming and events for this year’s Bench Bar Conference are designed to coincide with these developments, which we have coined “Bridging the Gap.” On behalf of myself and the other chairs for this year’s Bench Bar Conference, registration is now open, and we are looking forward to a phenomenal few days in beautiful French Lick from June 18-20.

As you can see from the itinerary here, there is something for everyone at Bench Bar, all of which is designed to be educational but also enjoyable and to encourage camaraderie and relaxation. The conference will begin with the annual golf tournament on Thursday at noon at the acclaimed Donald Ross Course at French Lick, organized as always by Bob York. Trash talking and side wagers are encouraged, but all skill levels are encouraged to take part.

Later that Thursday afternoon—after yoga; that’s right, yoga!—the First Time Attendee and Judicial Reception will commence, immediately prior to the Mix & Mingle Cocktail Reception and dinner. Following dinner, don’t forget to attend our karaoke event to benefit the Indianapolis Bar Foundation. Yes, it’s happening, and self-embarrassment is required. I call dibs on Kelly Clarkson’s Since U Been Gone. Perhaps IBF President Lee Christie will join us on stage in exchange for IBF donations; time will tell.

On Friday morning, we have a nationally-known speaker joining us. Janine Driver is an accomplished speaker, writer and expert on body language, often keynoting seminars and conferences discussing deception through the communication of the body and speech. She even has her own Ted Talk! Please check out for more information about Janine and see some of her published content and presentations.  

Following Janine’s plenary session, we will be having a series of breakout sessions, which will include multiple mock trials addressing myriad subject matter, business development techniques, settlement negotiation strategies, emerging legal technology presentations, among other new, dynamic topics. Again, out with the old content, in with the new.  

After the breakout sessions, make sure to catch one of the “bull” sessions: Beer & Bull or Bourbon & Bull, where Judge Marie Kern and Judge John Chavis will separately host freewheeling brainstorming sessions with libations to address issues facing family and civil practitioners, respectively. As my young son likes to say, “choose your option”, because there is something for everyone.

Are you interested in developments in legal sports betting, including mobile wagering? Well, good news: there’s now a sports book open at the casino in French Lick. (I’m putting $20 on the Cubs, because four years without a title is just too long, right?) And, we will be exploring these betting law changes by hosting the Executive Director of the Indiana Gaming Commission for a CLE on these topics and the Commission’s successful implementation of the same over the past year, located at the new venue directly adjacent to the casino.  

Finally, it would not be a successful Bench Bar without an ethics CLE. Look no further than the Saturday morning session where James Bell and Jim Voyles will discuss techniques for controlling clients, dealing with difficult personality types, how to detect personality traits, and how to develop the best approach for effective communication. Those two certainly have some interesting stories to share and lessons to impart.  

To register for Bench Bar and see additional information, go here. We look forward to seeing you June 18-20 in French Lick. And, I really will sing Kelly Clarkson; you are forewarned.


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