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Bench Bar 2021: Reconnect, Refine and Refresh - Litigation News

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Litigation News

Posted on: Mar 26, 2021

By Bryan Strawbridge, Frost Brown Todd LLC

After a year apart from our friends, colleagues and mentors, 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: the Bench Bar Conference, June 15-17 at the Omni Louisville. The CLE programming and events for this year’s Bench Bar have been crafted to coincide with these developments. The content of this conference is designed to help you reconnect with friends and colleagues, refine your courtroom and client management skills and refresh with time to reflect and recharge. On behalf of myself and the other chairs for this year’s Bench Bar, registration is now open, and we are looking forward to a phenomenal few days in lovely Louisville, Kentucky.

As you can see from the below itinerary, 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 Fuzzy Zoeller's Covered Bridge Golf Club, organized as always by Bob York. Trash talking and side wagers are encouraged, but all skill levels are invited to take part. Later that Thursday afternoon—after the poolside 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 the late night Pool Party and Dessert Reception.

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 to see some of her published content and presentations. 

Following Janine’s plenary sessions, we will enjoy 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, Judge John Chavis and James Bell will separately host freewheeling brainstorming sessions with libations to address issues facing family, civil and criminal law practitioners, respectively. As my young son likes to say, “choose your option”, because there is something for everyone.

This year, we have the unique opportunity to celebrate the Juneteenth Holiday. Our Saturday morning program is the featured conclusion to our day and a half long Bench Bar Conference. This program is planned to be a two-hour dialogue featuring experience panels of attorneys from Louisville and Indianapolis. 

Moderated by James Bell, the program is set to begin with a one-hour session featuring three Louisville and three Indianapolis panelists with more than 25 years in law discussing their experiences in the profession. This panel will be followed by a one-hour discussion with a similar panel of lawyers with fewer than 25 years in practice. Our goal is to provide insight on the differing experience of Black lawyers from their white counterparts, by generation and by region. We are striving to provoke discussion, raise awareness, and further our inclusion efforts.

To register for Bench Bar and see additional information, including the conference safety plan, please visit We look forward to seeing you June 17-19 in Louisville! 


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