Friday, January 23, 2009

Mayor Ballard Makes Mockery of Diversity Awards; To Be "Diverse" You Have to Be a Client of Barnes & Thornburg

Yesterday, I reported that at the 8th Annual Celebration of Diversity Luncheon Mayor Ballard gave Barnes & Thornburg a diversity award for community relations, and that none other than B&T managing partner, Bob Grand, sat on the small committee picking the award winners. The same day, Barnes & Thornburg did a press release touting the firm's receipt of the award. I noticed that one of the firm's lawyers, an African-American man, accepting the award had, a few years earlier, argued that my black client should not have been offended by a noose in the workplace.

Apparently that was only part of the story. Diversity Awards were given in five areas: The Sam Jones Award, Community Relations, Development, Leadership and Workforce.

As noted, Barnes & Thornburg won the "Community Relations" award. Now let's examine three of the remaining four winners:
  • Simon Property Group - A Barnes & Thornburg client, and Bob Grand's personal client
  • Veolia Water - Barnes & Thornburg client
  • Turner Construction - Barnes & Thornburg client

The only winner I could not confirm is a client of Barnes & Thornburg is Community Health Network. While many people I talked with suspect Community is also a B&T client, I'll give the company the benefit of the doubt.

I'm sure though that it was a big coincidence that Bob Grand served on the selection committee and Barnes & Thornburg winning a diversity award while the firm's clients won three of the other four awards. No sense jumping to conclusions or believing in a "conspiracy." FYI, that was sarcasm.

The sad thing is that the Mayor took an important cause like diversity, and made a mockery of it by letting Bob Grand use the luncheon to reward his firm and his firm's clients. At some point, one would hope that Mayor Ballard would figure out that he is being used by people who do not have his best interests at heart. So far that has not happened.

See also: Mayor Ballard Gives Barnes & Thornburg Diversity Award (1/22/2009)


Anonymous said...

One of their attorneys used to work for Community Health Network. From the law firm website:

Brian R. Weir-Harden is an associate in the Indianapolis, Indiana office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP, where he is a member of the Finance, Insolvency and Restructuring Department.

Mr. Weir-Harden received his B.A. with honors in philosophy and psychology from Indiana University in 1998, where he was a Wells Scholar and a Richard G. Lugar Minority Scholar. In 2007, he received his J.D. from Indiana University School of Law – Bloomington, where he was a member of the Black Law Student Association and top oralist in the 2005 Sherman Minton Moot Court Competition.

Prior to attending law school, Mr. Weir-Harden worked for Community Health Network in Indianapolis, Indiana as a mental health clinician in its Behavioral Care Services Department.

Anonymous said...

God god, you've gone nuts! There are three big law firms in town. Barnes and Thornburg has a pretty good reputation. If you are a big name, you choose a big name firm like Barnes and Thronburg.

There is no conspiracy. You are a spiteful person who has litigated cases against this firm and has a vendetta against them. You are biased and dragging our Mayor's good name down with your petty drivel. You are a loose cannon, and it is pissing off many Republicans who do believe the Mayor is doing a good job and honestly trying to act in the best intersts of Indianapolis.

You can't see that because you can't see past Barnes and Thornburg.

Leslie Sourwine said...

Anonymous of course the Republicans think the mayor is doing a good job, the ones with their hands in the pockets of the city taxpayers. Why don't you talk to the republicans who voted in a democratic president who are tired of the scandal and corruption going on in the state and city and the country? When I think about B&T I think about attorneys who represent a huge corporation whose only mission in life is to make a profit even if it means people die while in their care or suffer other disabilities and pain. As for the mayor I don't even live there and my personal opinion is the mayor is a scapegoat for the B&T Law Firm and the corporations who deal in human slavery or else the lure of power and money is just too strong to maintain the backbone necessary to run the city and represent the citizens who voted him in office. If B&T had just one attorney with the professional and personal ethics that Paul Ogden possess their image would improve greatly and instead of patting themselves on the back citizens in the community would be doing it for them! It's pretty obvious why B&T and their clients received the awards from the mayor. I wonder when Ballard will grow some balls and start running his own administration.

Leslie Sourwine advocate for the inmates abused and killed by corporations in the business of making profits from human suffering.

Diana Vice said...

Anonymous posters always make me suspicious. I betchya that anonymous 10:49 is a Barnes & Thornburg attorney.

Ronald Reagan "pissed off" a lot of Republicans too, so keep doing what you're doing, Paul. You have many supporters who respect you.

Anonymous said...

You have it backwards. Paul Ogden is not a loose cannon; he's a maverick looking out for the average guy. Furthermore, there are many Republicans out here who are pissed off at Barnes & Thornburg and politicians who allow themselves to be used by them.

Leslie Sourwine said...

Blog posters who post an opinion anonymously do so because they don’t support their own opinion and are afraid to identify themselves. If the suspected B&T poster is in fact a B&T attorney who believed in what he/she was writing they would sign their name. I don’t have much respect for many attorneys because they are like criminal corporations, take your money and fail to perform the job they were hired to do. Unless of course the kickback is profitable enough then it’s all out throw your professional and personal ethics away, collect the almighty dollar regardless of the cost to humanity. Paul Ogden on the other hand deserves a great deal of respect for showing the public it’s not all about collecting the money and moving on to the next client. It’s about standing up for what’s right even when it takes donating a portion of your life and profession to take that stand. I know for a fact the lawsuit against Marion County Jail II isn’t for the money to be had should he win the case in court it’s for the injustice the human beings are being subjected to while in the hands of a criminal corporation who only concern is the margin of profit. The lawsuit is an effort to get the court to order a criminal corporation to obey the laws. Should Paul win the suit the people who will benefit are the ones who are presently being abused while Anderson and Ballard turn their heads and ignore contractual obligations. All through history politicians who failed to uphold the law and the constitution did so because it was more profitable to look the other way.
Leslie Sourwine, votes Paul Ogden for Mayor so that citizens of Indianapolis and Marion County will fully appreciate the words “We the People” and actually have someone in office who will represent all the people and not just a select few.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous posters always make me suspicious."

Grow up, Diane. An argument is independent of its author.

I also post anonymously, for darn good reason. If you must identify an author prior to evaluating the argument of the author, you're nothing but a People-magazine reading, Jerry Springer watching, lamebrain.

If you've ever said "you just say that because...," know that you are an anti-intellectual dim light.

Anonymous said...

Blog posters who post an opinion anonymously do so because they don’t support their own opinion and are afraid to identify themselves."

Both conjuncts must be true.

Universally prove the first.

Here's one right back at you: people who complain about anonymous posters are hate-filled nitwits, the dumbest ones in any class, incapable of refuting an argument with words so they step outside the argument and make all manner of personal attacks, including personal violence, including arson, rape and murder, attacks which need personal information for their execution.

Stop complaining about anonymity, or people are going to wonder just what you plan to do with the personal information you're archiving.

Leslie Sourwine said...

Anon you said:

incapable of refuting an argument with words so they step outside the argument and make all manner of personal attacks, including personal violence, including arson, rape and murder, attacks which need personal information for their execution.

Wow, someone posting on this blog caused a personal attack upon your person as well as committed arson, rape and murder against you?

Me thinks you may well be the loose cannon as well as delusional. Diana simply said Anon posters made her nervous and I commented that many of those who post Anon are afraid to back up their opinion and statements by identifying themselves. You must be a B&T attorney your statements and reactions to our comments were anything but professional and well thought out.

Leslie Sourwine, not ashamed of my name or my profession

Paul K. Ogden said...

I have no doubt Anon 10:49 a.m. is a B&T attorney or a certain blogger who has sold out.. All the key words or phrases are used "conspiracy," "loose cannon."

You'll notice they never try to respond to the merits of the allegations but instead immediately launch into character assassination. I'd like to hear Anon 10:49's justification for not turning over the emails that Brendan O'Shaughnessey requested. Or a justification for Grand and Loftus sitting in on weekly staff meetings the Governor has, or the Venture Real Estate deal.

Anon 10:49 will never address the merits of those allegations, because he can't win doing that. Instead he attacks the messenger.

I'm pretty sure it's a B&T attorney because very few attorneys outside of that firm would say that Barnes & Thornburg has a "pretty good reputation." B&T, in fact, has a very bad reputation among most attorneys in town, especially among those who do litigation on a regular basis. B&T's attorneys are known to engage in a lot of unprofessional litigation tactics that most lawyers in town, including those at Ice Miller, Baker & Daniels, wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole.

Anonymous said...

10:49 here again.

I am not an attorney, so I am neither. But i find it interesting you try and refute "character assassination" by engaging in it yourself.

Your arguments are quite poor. You are one trick pony with a Vendetta against Barnes and Thornburg. it is a firm that has a large practice in corporate and government work, so it is no surprise many Indianapolis businesses that you and the City cross paths with are clients of the firm.

It's like trying to name a candy bar. Most likely, you will name a Hershey or Nestle product. No conspiracy, because nearly all candy bars are made by those two companies, just like a large number of Indianapolis Corporations and entities are clients of Barnes and Thornburg.

It is not my job to defend everything the mayor does, but when you do nothing on this blog but drag his name through the mud because you ahve a personal grievance against Barnes and Thornburg, I felt I should write because I did not want the Echo Chamber to believe everyone "appreciates" what you are doing or agree that it is good for Republicans or the Mayor. it does harm, but not as much harm as your reputation as an impartial political mind.

Anonymous said...

Paul is doing an excellent job and we are watching him and are monitoring B&T movements as it relates to him.

B&T is stepping on a lot of attorneys; republican and democrat. They are also raising a few eyebrows in the Judiciary...

Anonymous said...

Barnes & Thornburg attorneys are overrated.