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Comment time extended on state court rules

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The Hoosier legal community has more time to offer comment on a multitude of state court rules that are being examined for potential revision.

Two sets of proposed rule changes have had their public comment periods extended through May 6, and the Indiana Supreme Court’s Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure will consider those submissions on an array of issues that include pro hac vice admissions and many other appellate, trial procedure, post-conviction, family court, and evidentiary rules.

The initial deadline of May 1 is now extended for feedback on how the courts handle temporary admission of out-of-state attorneys before administrative agencies. The committee is considering three options for how those lawyers can be admitted to practice in Indiana: allow the agency itself to approve the out-of-state attorney’s temporary admission, give that power to the trial court where the agency is meeting, or make the Supreme Court the only decision maker on that admission.

On a second set of rule revisions, the committee has re-opened the public comment period that had a March 25 deadline to garner more feedback on several proposed changes. Provisions that would set out requirements for telephone and audiovisual hearings to ensure attorney-client privilege and change how judges or clerks are removed from a case if they don’t rule in a timely manner are among those being considered for revision. Changes also attempt to bring statewide coordination to family court rules that have been implemented gradually during the past decade as individual counties have signed on to the state’s pilot project.

Specifically, the proposed rule amendments are:

Indiana Administrative Rule 14: Changes set out requirements for conducting hearings by telephone and audiovisual telecommunications, in part focusing on ensuring the confidentiality of attorney-client communications. Revisions to Administrative Rule 9 would conform those rules to the proposed changes to the appellate rules.

Appellate Rules 2, 9, 10, 11, 14, 14.1, 15, 16, 23, 24, 30, 46, 62, and 63; and Forms 9-1, 9-2, 14.1, 15-1, 16-1, and 16-2: Changes would abolish the Appellant’s Case Summary and change the filing of the Notice of Appeal from the trial court clerk to the clerk of the Indiana appellate courts. The specific contents of the Notice of Appeal are spelled out in the amendments, and they also seek to clarify the service of documents and running of time limits in appeals.

Rules of Trial Procedure 3.1, 53.1, and 59: Changes deal with procedures for withdrawal of representation and temporary or limited representation, and 53.1 concerns procedures for removing a case from a judge who has not acted or ruled in a timely manner as provided in the rule. It also suggests removing the local court clerk from the process.

Post-conviction Relief Rules PC1 and PC2: Modifications would clarify the proper venue for filing PCR petitions and would conform the rules to the changes being proposed in the appellate rules.

Rules of Evidence 501, 502, and 803: Revisions would include new language covering situations involving the inadvertent disclosure of privileged information and clarification of the hearsay exception related to statements made by individuals seeking medical diagnosis or treatment.

Rules for Family Proceedings: Changes are part of an attempt by the court to bring the rules governing the Supreme Court’s Family Court Project to the rest of the state. The rules would follow the pilot that has been implemented in more than two dozen counties since 1999, and this would permit courts to exercise jurisdiction over multiple cases involving the same family or among members of the same household.

The public can submit comments on the proposed revisions to Executive Director Lilia G. Judson; Indiana Supreme Court, Division of State Court Administration; 30 S. Meridian St., Suite 500; Indianapolis, IN 46204, or by email to localrulescomments@courts.state.in.us.•

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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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