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Getting Along is Not Wrong: John Van Winkle - Professionalism News

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Professionalism News

Posted on: Apr 16, 2018

Originally published November 5, 2014 in The Indiana Lawyer

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.

By Tina L. Korty, Indiana Department of Insurance

 When I was a young attorney, I was at a mediation in John Van Winkle’s office. It was one of those cases that was probably worth a certain amount but, because the people receiving the money were not the actual injured parties, we really wanted to pay less than that. There was also some concern about the precedential value of paying that much in this case. It was a struggle for both me and my client, and we shared this with John.

John simply said, “You know, it’s been my experience that when you do the right thing, things seems to work out in the end.” I don’t remember the names of the plaintiffs, the details of the case, how much the amount of money they wanted was, or anything else about that mediation, but I often remind myself of John’s simple words.

If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Professionalism Committee, please email Kara Sikorski at


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