Thursday, February 26, 2009


Check out this awesome video that was sent to me by my cousin and friend, Rebecca Sanders-Plummer. According to the accompanying story, this video was made by two guys who went around the world getting street performers to all sing or play the same song, and then they dubbed them all together into one version of that song. The result is really cool.

Monday, February 23, 2009


     Long ago, Abraham Lincoln set forth the following advice for his fellow members of the legal profession:

     Discourage litigation.  Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can.  Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser--in fees, expenses, and waste of time.  As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man.

     Honest Abe's words are just as true today as they were then.  Any attorney who does not adhere to this maxim does a tremendous disservice to both his clients and the legal profession.  Undoubtedly, most lawyers know this advice to be true, and utilize it in practice, although there will always be a few who just don't get it.  

     In my years of legal practice, I have found that a willingness to compromise can often save people time, money and heartache.  It is the attorney's job to point this out, even though it may cost him or her a fee. 

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Friday, February 20, 2009


     As I was perusing the Courier-Journal this morning, I noticed in the section called FROM THE WIRE DISPATCHES a short news account about the execution of a death row inmate in Jarratt, Virginia.  The article, entitled, "Killer executed; had to be carried to gurney," contains the following opening sentence:

     An inmate declared his innocence yesterday after he was forcibly carried into Virginia's death chamber and executed.  

     Really?  He continued to declare his innocence even after he was executed?  That must have been some declaration, and I'm sure that it was very surprising indeed to those assembled to witness the proceedings.  


Tuesday, February 17, 2009


     The Indiana legislature has recently been considering House Joint Resolution 9, which calls for the election of Indiana Supreme Court justices.  Currently, potential justices are carefully considered and selected by the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission, which then submits the names of finalists to the governor for final decision without regard to political affiliation.  This is known as the merit selection system, and it has been in effect in Indiana since 1971.  For a variety of reasons, I think that Joint Resolution 9 is a bad idea, and I am glad that, as of late this afternoon, the bill had not made it out of committee for consideration by the full House.  

     My primary reason for opposing the bill is that it would require potential justices to wade into the muck and mire of the political arena.  They would have to organize extensive fundraising campaigns.  They would be forced to solicit massive campaign contributions, and to court the approval of special interest groups who would hope to gain from the election of favorable justices.  Rather than exercising only their independent legal judgment, they would have to be concerned about following the political mood of the day, and about pleasing their campaign supporters.  All of this strikes me as being inherently bad.  

     The author of the bill, Rep. Craig Fry, D-Mishawaka, has said that its passage is necessary because the justices are not currently accountable to the political process.  I for one think that is a good thing.  Our neighboring states that have systems for elected appellate judges have seen literally millions of dollars poured into the campaigns of candidates by special interest groups hoping to influence election outcomes.  That situation has to undermine the public's confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary.  

     For the most part, Indiana's merit selection process has worked very well over the years.  The Indiana Supreme Court is greatly respected for its independence, fairness, and high ethical standing. I believe that our merit selection process is fine just as it is.  I'm thankful that, at least for the time being, the House's Government and Regulatory Reform Committee apparently agrees.  


Sunday, February 15, 2009


When I went out to retrieve my Courier-Journal this morning, I was rewarded with a most splendid serenade from the birds around my house. It was the most fervent morning chorus that I've heard this year, and it was a reminder that spring, in all its glory, cannot be far behind. I can't wait to get out in the woods on a bright spring morning to feel the wind on my face and listen to one of the most beautiful sounds that nature has to offer. Being out listening to the birds is a grand feeling, and one that makes me feel truly alive.


This afternoon, I had the pleasure of going with my son, Collin Matthew, to watch the U of L Cards dispatch DePaul in fine fashion on the hardwood. It was a much-needed win by the Cards, and the crowd was rocking. Collin and I enjoyed it very much, as it was a very entertaining game for Cardinal fans.

In a matter of months, Collin will be graduating from high school and heading off to college. He is the fourth and last of my children to do so, and I know from experience how much I am going to miss him once he departs. That's one reason that I will always cherish today's experience with him.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


     ***I remain very pumped about the U of L Cards in basketball this year, notwithstanding their recent meltdown against Number 1 ranked U-Conn.  My partners and I bought season tickets this year, and I am glad that we did.  The Cards seem to have been developing a mental toughness that was not evident at the beginning of the season.  And the team's depth has been coming along nicely.  At the beginning of the season, it looked as if the team had no depth in the middle at all.  Samardo Samuels, it seemed, was destined to be the Cards' only option at center.  Fortunately, Terrence Jennings and George Goode are proving to be warriors under the boards as well. 

     I also like the guard rotation that Coach Pitino has finally settled upon:   Edgar Sosa and Jerry Smith starting, and then the "microwave guys"--Andre McGee and Preston Knowles--coming off of the bench with smothering defense.  

     But of course, T-Will remains the heart of this team.  If he and Earl Clark can get it in gear at the same time, the Louisville Cardinals will be a dangerous team for the rest of the season.  

   ***Last night I finished another rather thrilling page-turner:  Perfect Nightmare, a novel by John Saul.  I found myself actually chilled with goose bumps as I got to the exciting denouement.   If you are looking for some entertaining escapist fiction, you might want to check it out.  

   ***As I have dealt with a very difficult time in my life recently, I have been amazed at the extent to which the sympathy and  good wishes of others have uplifted me.  I never realized before how profoundly effective a smile, a hug, or a word of encouragement can be to someone who is feeling bereft.  I will remember this lesson, and do all that I can in the future to help others when they need it.  

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