Court's efforts recognized with 2 awards

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Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard will be busy next week accepting two awards, one for the court's "Why Lincoln Was a Lawyer" program and one for jury-system improvements.

The Indiana Historical Society will recognize the Supreme Court's educational outreach program, Courts in the Classroom, with its 2009 Indiana History Outstanding Project Award. The chief justice will accept the award at the society's Founders Day Dinner Dec. 7.

"To be recognized by the Indiana Historical Society is a great honor," Chief Justice Shepard told Indiana Lawyer in an e-mail. "They are devoted to helping Hoosiers gain a better understanding of our state history. So to have a project that stands out in their minds is really an accomplishment."

"Why Lincoln Was a Lawyer" was an effort of the Supreme Court and Indiana State Bar Association to educate students about Abraham Lincoln's life as a lawyer, Hoosier, and president. The same program was recently recognized by the American Bar Association with its 2009 Law Day Outstanding Activity awards.

"I had high expectations that teachers and students would enjoy the Lincoln program. However, I did not expect to receive so many letters of thanks from judges and attorneys who participated in the program," Chief Justice Shepard said. "Many of the attorneys and judges who participated sent us photographs and thank-you notes that they received from the classrooms where they spoke. I could not have been more pleased with how the program turned out and with the Indiana State Bar Association's partnership."

The Indiana Supreme Court's Judicial Technology and Automation Committee will also be honored by the National Center for State Courts as a recipient of the 2009 G. Thomas Munsterman Award for Jury Innovations. The award recognizes the collaborative efforts of the Supreme Court, Department of Revenue, and Bureau of Motor Vehicles to ensure a broader and more accurate jury system that includes the compilation and distribution of a statewide master jury pool list.

"Having a jury resolve a dispute is a cornerstone to our system of justice. With the technology upgrades to the jury list, we are really using 21st century technology to accomplish one of the most fundamental requirements of our democracy," the chief justice said.

JTAC makes the master jury list available to all Indiana trial courts through a secure Web site, which allows jury administrators to access the lists as they need.

Chief Justice Shepard and Gov. Mitch Daniels will accept the award at the Indiana Judicial Center's winter conference Dec. 11. The two will speak about the importance of Indiana's statewide master jury pool list and other court technology projects.

The chief justice said he is pleased that Gov. Daniels will attend the conference to share in the award because partnering with his administration is one of the main reasons the project is a success.

"We are so pleased with this new electronic method created by our Judicial Technology and Automation Committee. It's just another example of the many projects we are working on devoted to improving court technology," said Chief Justice Shepard.


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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues