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Paralegal Tip the Balance: December 2014 Newsletter - Paralegals News

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Paralegals News

Posted on: Dec 11, 2014


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December 11, 2014

Welcome to the quarterly newsletter of the Indianapolis Bar Association Paralegal Committee.


139204519It is hard to believe this is the last newsletter wrapping up the year 2014. I hope it has been a good a year for all of you, both personally and professionally. I also hope you have read our newsletters and kept up on the IndyBar CLE events and the events sponsored by the IndyBar Paralegal Committee in particular.

I am proud to announce that I have accepted the role as chair of the IndyBar Paralegal Committee for 2015 in an attempt to continue our growth and forward momentum. For that reason, I thought I would resurrect some thoughts I previously voiced about becoming a paralegal member of your IndyBar. Read on and please think about renewing your membership for 2015. You won't regret it!

Happy New Year to all, and see you next year!

I'm a Paralegal, Why Should I Join My Local Bar Association?

First of all, being a committee within the Indianapolis Bar Association umbrella, the opportunity to become involved in projects involving attorneys and other law firms is available, thus increasing your connection to the Indianapolis legal community. Looking for a new job? Does a friend need a lead on available jobs? There are a lot of good reasons to get to know "the players" in the legal community around Indianapolis. There are also specific membership benefits that include 50 percent off on all IndyBar continuing legal education (CLE) classes, member discounts on various legal publications, access to free downloads of over 70 commonly used legal forms and discounts on various member events and networking activities.


This brings us back to the topic of NETWORKING.

Some of you may shudder at the term while others relish the social aspects of "networking." I recently read a definition of networking that defines it as the process of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with other business people and potential clients/customers. Notice it says nothing about the usual "meet and greet" that is often associated with the term. You will meet other paralegals - not to impress, but to establish that "mutually beneficial relationship" that comes from sharing work challenges and successes. It provides an excellent forum to exchange professional knowledge, ideas and support. Volunteering your services in the many philanthropic opportunities that are available is also a wonderful way to not only "network" but also to build genuine friendships by getting to know others on a more personal basis.

In addition to business and personal networking, the opportunity to develop and refine leadership skills is offered by joining the IndyBar Paralegal Committee. The Paralegal Committee is not only responsible for carrying out the paralegal membership's traditional "activities," but also considers new ideas for philanthropy efforts. All of these volunteer efforts offer an opportunity for each member to lead if they so choose. In addition, all council members contribute ideas for the CLEs that the Paralegal Committee sponsors. For each CLE, a member serves as a chair of the CLE, which includes responsibility for not only obtaining the speaker but also working with the speaker and the IndyBar in preparing for the CLE.

The IndyBar is an active and vital association, and the Paralegal Committee wants you to become a part of it. Browse below and you will find examples of some of our past and upcoming activities. DON'T WAIT! Email me if you would like, and I will be glad to talk with you about joining or gaining a larger role with your local bar association as a Paralegal Committee member.


Julia Kleinschmidt, Chair
Bose McKinney & Evans LLP


2014 Holiday Luncheon and Teddy Bear Challenge a Success!
By: Debi Binkley, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

teddy bearOn December 4, 2014, the Indianapolis Bar Association Paralegal Committee held its annual holiday luncheon at the Columbia Club in conjunction with their longstanding "Bears on Patrol" program. This is an outstanding program that collects lovable animals to be given to children by our amazing first responders during frightening and challenging events.

There were an enormous number of cuddly animals collected this year, totaling 3,577, through everyone's gracious caring. Frost Brown Todd LLC was recognized for collecting the most bears at 1,487 and Hoover Hull LLP for donating 300, the most per employee. They have 20 employees averaging 15 bears per employee. Cheryl Keene of Cohen & Malad LLP was also recognized for hand-knitting five adorable animals for this very worthwhile cause. A generous thank you goes out to all of the firms and individuals who participated in this meaningful cause!
PAR holiday

The agency representatives who were in attendance to accept these lovable animals were Sheriff John Layton and Lt. Jenkins from the Marion County Sheriff's Department, Captain Rita Reith, Chief Ernest Malone and Chief Tim Baughman from the Indianapolis Fire Department and Carl Rochelle III and Alicia Pople from Indianapolis EMS. View all the photos from the Holiday Luncheon here.

Greatness is a Choice You Make

By: Jamie Collins Yosha Cook Shartzer & Tisch

"There is nothing with which every man is so afraid as getting to know how enormously much he is capable of doing and becoming." - Soren Kierkegaard

There are certain times in your life when you know you're in a room with greatness. You come across a unique person who is perhaps in a role where you never expected to find greatness. In these moments, we can't help but take notice. These "great" people make us want to strive for our own greatness. They make us want to become better, to do more, to each shine our own unique light out into the world in our own way. Put simply: They inspire us.

About three years ago, I found myself walking into a crowded elementary school gymnasium. It was my son's first grade year at a new school - one we had to jump a few non-residential hoops to get him into. I'm not sure what I was expecting when the principal of that elementary school took to the stage that day, but it certainly wasn't what she delivered. Sure, I expected her to rally the parents and to give a good speech with an enthusiastic presence. I expected her to tell us how crucial that what we do, as parents, is to what they do, as the educators of our children. I expected her to set standards, goals and expectations - probably high ones. But what she did surprised me. She inspired me. Read more...

CLE Update: The Many Faces of Civility - How We Can Improve the Profession with The Honorable Gary Miller of the Marion Superior Court
By: Everlla Savage, Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP

On September 25, 2014, I had the honor of introducing The Honorable Gary Miller of Marion Superior Court to the members of the Indianapolis Bar Association. Judge Miller presented a CLE on "The Many Faces of Civility - How We Can Improve the Profession."

Judge Miller was very insightful. His primary focus was on the ethical behavior and the importance of civility. He focused on improving the image of the profession and provided pointers for becoming more civil, both in and out of the courtroom. In essence, Judge Miller encouraged attendees to be respectful to everyone in all situations - in court or otherwise.

Judge Miller posed the questions: "What does it mean to be an attorney? How do we act, and how are we supposed to act? What does being an attorney stand for? How do you dress as an attorney? How do we speak as an attorney?" These are all valid questions when seeking to restore the positive professional image of those who practice law. Judge Miller stated that, "A lawyer should maintain high standards of professional conduct and should encourage other lawyers to do likewise. A lawyer should be temperate and dignified, and should refrain from all illegal and morally reprehensible conduct." He believes a lawyer should avoid bias and condescension towards all parties, and treat with dignity and respect all witnesses, lawyers, court employees and other persons involved in the legal process.

Judge Miller also commented that, "I can tell what college you went to by the way you dress, by the way you speak or that they (the college) will accept anyone." Per Judge Miller, "If this comment was made in my court, the attorney would be held in contempt of court."

Judge Miller is a man of high standards. He believes that plausible changes within the system should be demanded and that there should be greater accountability. There must be structure to address ethical concerns and ethical accountability.

The problems facing lawyers not only involve public image but also personal identity. The challenge is to work toward understandings of professional responsibility that are both more and less demanding. They must stand for more than current codes and enforcement structures, but they must also offer a vision that exemplifies ethics.

IndyBar Paralegals Honor Their Sponsors with Festive Sponsor Appreciation Event
By: Lottie Wathen, Cohen & Malad LLP

On October 2, 2014, to show our gratitude to our sponsors, the Paralegal Committee hosted a Sponsor Appreciation Mix and Mingle event featuring appetizers, a wine tasting with wines from Tasteful Times, a beer tasting with brews from Bier Brewery, door prizes, networking and lots of laughter. The event was open to all IndyBar paralegal members and all of our sponsors received invitations. Door prizes were given to sponsors and members alike, with the sponsors getting to select first. The door prizes were donated by the Executive Committee members and ranged from restaurant gift certificates to tickets to an IndyEleven game. Seasonal décor items and wine/food gifts were also included.
It was a fabulous event and we hope to make this an annual tradition to thank our sponsors for all that they do for us throughout the year. Watch your newsletter and IndyBar emails for next year's date!


Evening Under the Stars Silent Auction Update

By: Jodie Bergeron, Cohen & Malad LLP

PAR Evening PicThe Indianapolis Bar Foundation's 2014 Evening Under the Stars dinner and live/silent auction was held on October 10, 2014. Each year, the Paralegal Committee donates a basket to be auctioned off at the event to raise money for the IBF. This year, the committee created a "Photography" basket, which included a gift certificate from Eric Luzier Photography, a colorful picture frame, a photo album and a luggage tag, all inside of a keepsake photo box.

The Indianapolis Bar Foundation is the charitable arm of the IndyBar. Its programs provide those experiencing financial difficulty in our community with free legal assistance to keep families together, save homes, protect against violence, safeguard their property and so much more.

Check out these exciting CLEs in 2015!

Voir Dire/Jury Selection Strategies
By Christina Studebaker, ThemeVision LLC
February 11, 2015
Co-chaired with the Litigation Section

The Use of Social Media in Litigation: Helping Your Case
with Effective Monitoring and Capturing Techniques

By Lyn Mettler, Step Ahead Social Research, Inc.
April 28, 2015
Co-chaired with the Family Law Section

Check for registration coming soon!

Write an Article to be Published in the Paralegal Tip the Balance Newsletter!
Do you have news to share with fellow paralegals? We want to hear from you! Whether it's a recent accomplishment, an unusual experience in the field or a special event in your life, sharing the story with your paralegal colleagues is easy. Consider writing an article for the Paralegal Committee's quarterly "Paralegal Tip the Balance" newsletter to have your voice heard. Please email your story or information to Debi Binkley at to be featured in the next edition!

Update on Proposed Rule 9 of the Rules of Professional Conduct - Registration of Paralegals
By: Debi Binkley, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

On October 10, 2014, the Indiana State Bar Association House of Delegates passed a resolution on proposed Rule 9 of the Rules of Professional Conduct to bring the proposed Rule to the Indiana Supreme Court Rules Committee for hearing and comment. Although there is much work to be done, this was an emotional achievement for paralegals and supporters of proposed Rule 9 who, for over 12 years, have worked toward establishing some sort of professional registration for paralegals in Indiana.

Special thanks to: The Honorable Edward W. Najam Jr. of the Indiana Court of Appeals, attorney David L. Jones of Jones Wallace LLC, Edna Wallace, Lauren Jones, Cathy Canny and the other members of an Alliance consisting of the Indiana Paralegal Association (IPA), the Michiana Paralegal Association (MPA), Northeast Indiana Paralegal Association (NIPA) and members of the Indiana State Bar Association (ISBA), who have collectively worked so hard over the years to achieve this goal. Read more...

News from the Indiana Paralegal Association
By: Lottie Wathen Cohen & Malad, LLP

"Your success and happiness lies within you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties." - Helen Keller

It is December. How did this happen? I have so many more things that I wanted to accomplish in 2014! When I think of the end of the year, I inevitably think of New Year's Resolutions - I rarely make them and do not recall a single one that I have kept - which is what brought me to the quote by Helen Keller. While there are a few other things that one might desire, for busy professionals, I expect success and happiness are quite close to the top of the list. I daresay that 2014 may have been the busiest year I have ever had, or at least the busiest one I can recall. I know that I am not alone as it has been an incredibly busy year for the Indiana Paralegal Association (IPA) too.

Our August monthly meeting featured Mary Kay Hudson, Director of Court Services, Indiana Judicial Center, who spoke about Problem Solving Courts (PSCs). PSCs were established roughly 20 years ago to address specific needs of offenders that are not typically addressed in traditional courts. PSCs are in the unique position of using alternative approaches to deal with the underlying factors that often contribute to an offender's behavior, such as drug abuse, mental health issues, homelessness, etc. There are currently 64 PSCs in Indiana, including drug courts, re-entry courts, mental health courts, family drug courts, veterans' courts, community courts and domestic violence courts with more in the planning stages. The locations of specific types of PSCs are based upon the needs of the community and the staffing availability.

Because we received rave reviews about our January networking event, we decided to repeat it in September. The networking event was paired with a presentation by Angela Hopson, IPA's NFPA Primary Representative and Tracey Woolsey, IPA's NFPA Secondary Representative who explained the proposed by-law changes and other agenda items for the NFPA's conference, which was held on October 10-11 in Dallas, Texas. Angela and Tracey represented IPA at the convention.
On October 24, the IPA celebrated its 35th Anniversary at the Renaissance North Hotel in Carmel. The full-day event featured eight different CLEs on a variety of topics from Career Development to E-Discovery and from Criminal Law Updates to End of Life Decisions and Planning. Attendees were able to network over lunch and the day culminated with a cocktail hour and a lovely dinner featuring a panel of past presidents of the association and one charter member who is still active in the IPA today. Debi Binkley was the charter member in attendance and provided a glimpse at what our predecessors had in mind when they first created the association more than three decades ago. Anita Haworth, Linda McGirr and Kathy Thurston, three of IPA's past presidents, and Lauren Jones RP, IPA's current President, joined Debi on the panel. Each member spoke about the history of the IPA and the amazing success it has enjoyed. The panel was moderated by IPA's Immediate Past President, Monica Dabio.

Still on tap for IPA this year is the Holiday Luncheon on Wednesday, December 17 at the Conrad Hotel in Indianapolis. This event features a silent auction, the proceeds of which will benefit IPA's 2014 Charitable Partner - Outreach, Inc. Outreach, Inc. provides support and help for homeless teens. Registration information for the Holiday Luncheon can be found at

If you are not yet a member of the IPA, please think about joining us! We would love to have you and I can assure you that your membership will provide you with plenty of networking, continued legal education opportunities and lots of fun. Application information may be found at

Benefits of Membership in the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana (DTCI) Paralegals Section
By: Debi Binkley, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

For years, paralegals have strived to develop their profession as respected and valued members of the legal community. The Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana (DTCI) exemplifies an organization which openly acknowledges the respect and value the paralegal brings to the legal team. PAR DTCI3

Membership in DTCI provides networking opportunities with defense paralegals and attorneys statewide, a rookie seminar for paralegals who have practiced for three years or less, an annual conference with CLE opportunities, law seminars, professional development and more.
DTCI Paralegal Section membership dues have now been lowered to $25/year. This is the best $25 professional investment your money can buy.

Anyone interested in learning more about membership in the DTCI Paralegal Section can contact Debi Binkley at or 317-684-5178, or join directly at here.

Articles and columns that appear in "Paralegals Tip the Balance" do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Paralegal Committee of the Indianapolis Bar Association and their publication does not constitute an endorsement of views that may be expressed.


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