Wednesday, September 11, 2013

IndyCar racing, integrity, building your custody case and why you must participate in a boycott

11 September 2013

Every time a client makes a case to me for an appeal it begins with the challenge to adverse witness testimony. This usually involves an accusation that the witness lied or that there was competing contradictory testimony from my clients' side. The Indiana Court of Appeals has been clear on this issue – it will neither reweigh the evidence nor judge the credibility of witnesses. See Kondamuri v. Kondamuri, 852 N.E.2d 939, 946 (Ind. Ct. App. 2006). The court reasons “we afford the trial court considerable deference as it is the trial court that observes the parties’ conduct and demeanor and hears their testimony.”

Thus, it is imperative that witnesses demonstrate integrity to the trial court judge. The best way to do this is to practice integrity and live by proper ethical and moral codes. This may include sacrifice of wants and convenience on your part but when the custody of your children is at stake then those become a non-issue. A recent event in the sports world provides a great example of integrity, or lack thereof, and an opportunity for an appropriate response.

On 01 September 2013 IndyCar ran the worst auto race I have ever seen. That issue aside there was a huge ethical dilemma that occurred that day. In one of the numerous crashes during that race Scott Dixon – number two in the points standing – was pushed into the wall and the car stalled. Dixon exited the car and returned to the pit but IndyCar officials refused to return the car the to Target Chip Ganassi Racing stall for repair and reintroduction to the race so Dixon could increase his points standing. After a controversial penalty for Dixon the week prior Dixon was rightly upset by the IndyCar officials to not allow him to continue racing and accumulate points towards the championship.

Dixon expressed his disagreement with those decisions by IndyCar officials and he called for race director Beaux Barfield to be fired. Barfield, whose thin skin can't handle criticism, demonstrated his continued lack of integrity by fining Dixon $30,000. "Reflecting on it, I shouldn't have been so outspoken and I probably will be fined for it and I respect that," Dixon told The Associated Press last Wednesday. "For me, I love the sport, I want to see it better and what I did didn't help.

Dixon made a clear error by back-peddling on his comments. Dixon was justified in his condemnation of IndyCar. No sporting body should show favourtism towards or hinder any participant without just cause. That is what IndyCar has done and so has the Indianapolis Motor Speedway through its' unwritten and arbitrarily enforced rules. IndyCar has no integrity and based upon other past events neither does the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I therefore have a moral and ethical obligation to no longer attend any event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway or race conducted by IndyCar. I will abide by that obligation even though I have attended the Indy 500 all but about four times since 1978. If you see me at that track again please come kick me in the balls because I will deserve it. Dixon should demonstrate equal ethical strength by doing the same. Instead though he joined the sell-outs who compromise integrity for dollars. Dixon got fined and put on probation so he essentially withdrew his objection to the capricious manner in which IndyCar officials, Barfield in particular, run the racing series.

Integrity is vital. This is not just for parents experiencing child custody litigation but for all parents -- all people. Parents should demonstrate to children that those who are morally malignant will not be supported. If you are morally and ethically principled then you must show a deprecate response which, when it comes to these unethical businesses, is done through a boycott. This is not just Indycar but all businesses that have unethical practices. Wal-Mart, General Motors, Blockbuster Video, Dell Computer, Radio Shack, AT&T, and Sprint are just a few of the businesses which I will NEVER have a financial relationship with again because of their lack of ethics.

This moral and ethical adherence must be absolute, not just at times of convenience or outrage. Practicing this behaviour carries itself over into daily living including potential child custody litigation. Much in the way that practicing yoga and daily meditation has what can be perceived as indirect benefits so does living by an absolute moral and ethical code that includes not supporting or encouraging others to behave immorally or unethically. Living a moral and ethical life doesn't end with your direct actions but includes your choice also of whom you associate with or support. Don't let financial greed bankrupt your integrity.

If your clients' case involves conflicting accounts of the facts and you want to ensure his or her credibility in court then please visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me. There is no charge for initial attorney consultations.

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More information about child custody rights and procedures may be found on the Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates website.

©2008, 2013 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

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