Monday, June 21, 2010


The current heat wave reminds me of the days when I used to play a lot of baseball and later, as an adult, softball. Intense heat never seemed to bother me when I was playing. In fact, it somehow seemed to energize me. I loved to pitch, and I always thought that if I was in excellent physical condition the extreme heat could become a disadvantage to my opponents, but not to me.

I still don't mind the heat. I will take it over cold and snow any day. When I step outside and feel a searing blast of scalding air, it makes me long to be back on the mound with a baseball in my hand. In my mind's eye, I can see the tableau of the batter, catcher and umpire awaiting my delivery. I can perceive the sweat rolling down my back as I realize that all eyes are on me, waiting to see what will happen. I can feel the stitches of the ball snapping off of my fingers as I drive my body toward the plate to complete my delivery. And I love it.

The heat causes me to recall some great times--times when I felt very alive and very powerful. As I am finishing this posting, it is currently 90 degrees outside. The forecasters are saying that it will reach 95 degrees later today. Unlike some, I will not be complaining about the weather. Instead, I will enjoy the warmth and revel in the memories.

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Wednesday, June 02, 2010


For all of the criticism that it takes, the legal profession generally does an outstanding job of policing its own. In Indiana, for instance, we have a standing disciplinary commission with a full-time executive director in place to investigate any claims of unethical or improper conduct by attorneys. Claims of misconduct are thoroughly and seriously investigated, and stern disciplinary measures, including suspension or disbarment, are meted out to those found to be in violation of the rules of professional responsibility.

Even in dealing with someone in what might be considered to be a personal setting, an attorney must be careful not to run afoul of the rules. A good example of this recently occurred when an Indianapolis attorney received a public reprimand from the Indiana Supreme Court for the way in which she dealt with a collector who was making harassing phone calls to her home.

According to the court's order, the attorney began receiving persistent messages on her unlisted phone number from a company asking for someone by the name of her husband. The attorney called the toll-free number back and spoke with a male representative. She identified her husband as her client. She perceived the representative to have a "feminine-sounding voice," and she then asked him if he was "gay" or "sweet." The company representative commented on the unprofessional nature of the question, and the phone conversation ended abruptly. A complaint was then made to the disciplinary commission about the lawyer's conduct.

Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 8.4 (g) prohibits a lawyer from engaging in conduct, in a professional capacity, that manifests bias or prejudice based on sexual orientation. The attorney was found to be in violation of this rule and, accordingly, was publicly reprimanded by our highest court.

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