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. James A. Edgar, J. Edgar Law Offices PC
Mario Garcia and I had elderly clients being sentenced for collecting too much in Social Security benefits. While it was over many years, it amounted to a great deal of money in total. Despite that fact, the couple never rose above a very modest lifestyle as the money went to support an extended family and a failing business.
On paper, the situation looked quite bad and the federal guidelines recommended significant prison time for the retirees. Agent Marcy Ralston and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad Shepard went out of their way to ensure the court was aware of the full cooperation of the defendants, their meager lifestyle and what the money was used for.
The government was also quite respectful throughout, showing deference for our clients’ age and infirmities. As you can imagine, allowing my grandmotherly client to keep her dignity intact was greatly appreciated by both of us.