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On Tap at the IndyBar: April 24 - April 29
Posted on: Apr 24, 2017

Everybody loves a local bar, so check out what yours is serving up this week with upcoming IndyBar events and happenings below!

On the Docket

Family Law Section Open Meeting
Tues., April 25 from noon to 1 p.m.
Information and registration can be found here.

Regulation Crowdfunding Under the JOBS Act
Weds., April 26 from noon to 1 p.m.
Information and registration can be found here.

Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Roundtable
Thurs., April 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Information and registration can be found here.

Ripped from the Headlines: Tesla Crash Takeaways
Thurs., April 27 from noon to 1 p.m.
Information and registration can be found here.

2017 Great Indy Cleanup
Sat., April 29 from 8:15 a.m. to noon.
Information and registration can be found here.


Check out the full slate of IndyBar events here, and don’t forget to check out the IndyBar on Facebook for the latest event photos.

News You Can Use

  • Should You Go to Bench Bar? - If you're having doubts and need some reassurance to why the answer of this question is always YES, take a look at this helpful flow chart and register for the conference today at indybenchbar.org!
  • Good luck to Maurer law students! - Exams start this week for our students down in Bloomington. Work hard and best of luck from all of us at the IndyBar!
Perspectives on House Bill 1036
Posted on: Apr 24, 2017

By Theodore R. Boehm, Hoover Hull Turner LLP

From 1975 through 2014, with a few minor tweaks, half of Marion County judges were elected in the Republican primary and half in the Democratic primary. No party was allowed to nominate more than half the number of seats up for election. This system initially allowed for one loser in the general election, but in the 21st century the parties’ two monopolies, each on half the Superior Court bench, were cemented and the general election became a complete farce.

This shared monopoly worked pretty well in terms of the quality of the bench. So most of us were reasonably satisfied with an undemocratic system that produced, with few exceptions, capable hard-working judges. Challenges to this bipartisan accommodation came not from concern about the judges it was producing, but about the pressure put on the legal system by the parties’ demands for ever escalating “slating fees” required for the party’s blessing in the primary that had become the gateway to the bench. When the parties came to see the bench as a cash machine exploiting the willingness of lawyers to support judicial candidates, it was time to challenge a system that turned judicial selection into a private for-profit enterprise.

The ACLU challenged this judicial selection system as incompatible with basic democratic principles, and the Seventh Circuit ultimately affirmed Chief Judge Young’s opinion finding it a violation of the federal Constitution. There were no judicial seats up for election in 2016, so the General Assembly elected to pass on filling the void. Now, however, if nothing is done by the legislature, presumably the courts will design a process for us before the 2018 election.

The Indianapolis Bar Association has endorsed the House version of House Bill 1036 which would fill this gap by creating a new Marion County Judicial Selection Committee. In that version of the bill, the committee is to propose three nominees to the Governor to fill any vacancy. The Governor is constrained by the requirement that no more than fifty-two percent of the Marion County bench are to be of the same party. The committee’s processes are similar to the seven-member Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) that has chosen three candidates to fill any vacancy on the Indiana Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals since 1970.

The Marion County Committee differs from the JNC in its size (14 members) and composition. The JNC is chaired by the Chief Justice of Indiana, and has three members elected by the lawyers of the state and three appointed by the Governor. The Marion County Committee proposed by the House version of H.B. 1036 has four members appointed by leaders of the Indiana House and Senate, four attorneys appointed by the presidents of the Indianapolis Bar Association, the Marion County Bar Association, the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, and the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana, four appointed by the Marion County chairs of the two major political parties, and two appellate judges chosen by the Chief Justice and the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals.

Some have complained that giving appointments of eight of 14 seats on the committee to officeholders or party officials injects “politics on steroids” into the process. But the political appointing officials are equally divided between the two major parties. And H.B. 1036 has two major benefits: it removes the judges from fundraising and assures careful review of candidates’ qualifications and character. In the judgment of those closest to the legislative pulse, giving politicians right to appoint members of the committee is necessary to make the bill palatable to the General Assembly. H.B. 1036 isn’t perfect, but it’s the best we can do.

There have been concerns voiced by some members of minority communities that this bill is antidemocratic because it denies the voters a voice in the process. But if the real concern is that the committee will produce a less diverse bench, the experience with the JNC and other commissions shows otherwise. And lawyers in the two counties—Lake and St. Joseph— with nominating commissions report they are pleased with the bench they get from their nominating commissions.

Selecting a judge requires evaluation of professional skills, patience, hard work and integrity. History has shown time and time again that in major metropolitan areas, the vast majority of the general voting public does not know the judicial candidates, and does not have the interest or access to information to make an informed decision. Support H.B. 1036 as the best practical hope to confine fundraising to the political branches and ensure proper vetting of candidates.

Boehm served as Associate Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court from 1996 to 2010, authoring the most majority opinions for the court in that span.

Should You Go to Bench Bar?
Posted on: Apr 24, 2017

By James J. Bell, IndyBar President-elect, Paganelli Law Group

IndyBar President Nissa Ricafort has bestowed upon me the honor of writing this issue’s president’s message. With this honor, I wanted to address one of the biggest issues facing every attorney, judge, law student and paralegal in central Indiana: Should I go to the Bench Bar Conference?

The answer to this question is likely, “Yes, I should go to Bench Bar.” For some of you, the answer may be that, “I need to go to Bench Bar.” However, in the interest of not being too presumptuous, my firm colleague Raegan Gibson and I, along with IndyBar staff, have set up this decision-making flow chart to help guide you through this complex issue. We hope that you will find it useful.

If you waded through the flow chart and find that you “should,” in fact, go to Bench Bar, ACT NOW! Hotel rooms are filling up fast. Register for the conference online and get the link for our room block at indybenchbar.org.

We hope to see you there. See the flow chart.

Plan Your Bench Bar Adventure Today!
Posted on: Apr 21, 2017

Combine the practice boost of the Bench Bar Conference with the sights and sounds of Louisville for a mini-vacay that’ll recharge your batteries and have you ready for success. Take your pick from a variety of activities hosted by the IndyBar, or take to the city and create your own adventure! Find more details on the highlights below at indybenchbar.org, and select these optional activities during the registration process.



Ready for a mega-adventure? Find yourself careening through underground caverns on the Louisville Mega Cavern's Mega Ziplines. Rated by TripAdvisor as the number one attraction in Louisville, the caverns boast six fully underground zip lines along with two challenge bridges and a ropes course. Join your colleagues for this pre-conference excursion on Thursday at 11:30 a.m.


[get a TASTE]

Soak in Kentucky’s bourbon history with an inside look at Angel’s Envy’s new distillery on Main Street in Louisville. The tour, an optional activity for conference registrants, begins at noon on Thursday. You’ll see the distillation process first hand, from beginning, to barreled, and ultimately, to finished spirit. The tour culminates with a visit and tasting at the distillery bar, The Finishing Room. 21 and over only, please!

If you've been to Louisville, there's no doubt you've heard of 4th Street Live!, the famous nightlife district in the heart of downtown, and steps away from the Hyatt Regency hotel. After conference sessions, take a walk over and have a blast experiencing a variety of restaurants, bars and shops. You might just experience some great live music with locals and people from all over!

[experience TALENT]

Louisville's a talented city. Roam Museum Row and stop in to the Louisville Slugger Museum, the Muhammad Ali Center, the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, and more. The Row is home to "ten original attractions within four walkable blocks... and adventures every step of the way."



[see the  SIGHTS]

Spending time in Louisville for the conference is the perfect chance for you to explore our host city. Hop on a trolley and tour downtown attractions, including beautiful Victorian mansion neighborhoods and Churchill Downs. If you’re more of a river-dweller, see Louisville at sea level on the Belle of Louisville steamboat while you step into a piece of American history.



[feel your  BEST]

The Bench Bar Conference is all about helping you be your best—that means feeling good too! Get your endorphins flowing with a casual run (all paces welcome!) Friday morning, and cap off a day of learning with yoga Friday afternoon. These member-led activities will have you at the top of your game…and even better, they’re free! No registration required.



[hit the LINKS]

Make your Bench Bar Conference a real hole-in-one! IndyBar golfers will compete for prizes and (more importantly) bragging rights at the annual Golf Tournament, teeing off at 11:30 a.m. at Covered Bridge Golf Course on Thursday. Not quite ready for your PGA debut? No worries! Amateurs and experts alike are welcome.



[test your  LUCK]

Without seeing the ponies, have you really experienced Louisville? The legendary Churchill Downs will feature live racing Thursday, and we’ll be there to cheer on our favorites. With dinner at the track and transportation included in full conference registration, there's no excuse to miss out on this quintessential Kentucky experience.



[flex your  MENTAL MUSCLE]

Prove your mastery of useless knowledge AND benefit a great cause on Friday evening at Trivia Night! Battle it out in teams of up to five in this fast-paced game that’ll test your knowledge of trivia of all kinds. All proceeds will benefit the Indianapolis Bar Foundation.



[GET MORE INFO] and register for the Bench Bar Conference today at indybenchbar.org!

miniBar Talk: This Week's Top Post
Posted on: Apr 21, 2017

Podcast with Judge Curtis Karnow: What Every Young Lawyer Needs to Know

By Chris Engel, Clark Quinn Moses Scott & Grahn LLP

Ross Todd of Law.com sat down with Judge Curtis Karnow of the San Francisco Superior Court to discuss Judge Karnow’s newly released book, Litigation in Practice, which provides tips, courtroom strategies, and insights into trying cases from Judge Karnow’s 40-plus years of experience as a trial lawyer and judge.

The podcast, which can be found at this link, is full of helpful tips and insights that are beneficial to young lawyers, such as “always address the Court as ‘your Honor’”, “read the local rules and follow them”, and “keep every question in court to fifteen words or less.”  The podcast is well worth your time and will help you as you continue to build your practice as a young lawyer.

To subscribe to more Young Lawyers news like the article above, click here to update your news subscriptions.

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