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Federal Bar Update: Free CLE, hyperlinks and award nominations

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FedBarMaley-sigFree CLE on medical issues in prisoner litigation – The Southern District of Indiana is holding a 4-hour free CLE program in Indianapolis June 27. Lawyers recently appointed by the court to represent a prisoner and those interested in accepting pro bono appointments are strongly encouraged by the court to attend this special seminar. See details and register at the court’s website, www.insd.uscourts.gov.

Hyperlinks in briefs – As noted previously, a new pilot program was underway in the Southern District of Indiana for including hyperlinks in briefs. This feature is now available to all filers. Hyperlinks will allow the reader (the court, counsel, etc.) immediate access to the referenced materials, such as CM/ECF filings, case and statute citations, attachments, and exhibits. This is an emerging trend in federal courts and might become mandatory in courts in the future.

This is a valuable process to undertake, but users will need to invest some time and training to be proficient at this. Full information is available on the court’s website with the April 11 announcement.

Nominees requested for ISBA / N.D. of Indiana Award - The Indiana State Bar Association’s Federal Judiciary Committee is currently seeking nominations for the Henry Hurst Judicial Assistance Award. The Hurst Award is named in memory of Henry Hurst, the first federal clerk of the District Court of Indiana, serving from 1817 through 1835.

This year the Hurst Award is to be presented to a member of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. Nominees shall serve as a member of the District Court clerk’s office, the District Bankruptcy Court clerk’s office, as a staff member to a District Court or Bankruptcy judge, or as a member of the administrative personnel.

Nominations – including nominee’s job title and description of qualifications for the award – are due to Lyle Hardman at lhardman@hsk-law.com by June 1.

Fee fights – In Illiana Surgery and Medical Center, LLC v. Hartford Fire Ins., 2014 WL 1094455, n.1 (N.D. Ind. March 19, 2014), Magistrate Judge Andrew Rodovich addressed various issues in a discovery-related fee petition. The opinion is a useful guide on many issues relating to fee awards. Interestingly, in addressing and rejecting a challenge to a 0.6 time entry, Judge Rodovich noted, “Consistent with Hartford’s approach to discovery in this case, it has spent more time and resources challenging two entries totaling 1 hour than the amount requested by the plaintiff for those entries. The court trusts that Hartford’s attorneys will notify their client how much they incurred in attorneys fees on these two entries.”

Save the date – The 2014 annual federal civil practice seminar will return Dec. 19 this year; mark your calendars.•

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John Maley – jmaley@btlaw.com – is a partner with Barnes & Thornburg LLP, practicing federal and state litigation, employment matters, and appeals. He chairs the Local Rules Advisory Committee for the S.D. of Indiana, is a member of the Local Rules Advisory Committee for the N.D. of Indiana, and is a member of the 7th Circuit Civil Pattern Jury Instructions Committee. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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  1. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  2. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

  3. She must be a great lawyer

  4. Ind. Courts - "Illinois ranks 49th for how court system serves disadvantaged" What about Indiana? A story today from Dave Collins of the AP, here published in the Benton Illinois Evening News, begins: Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public, according to new rankings. Illinois' "Justice Index" score of 34.5 out of 100, determined by the nonprofit National Center for Access to Justice, is based on how states serve people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, how much free legal help is available and how states help increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, among other issues. Connecticut led all states with a score of 73.4 and was followed by Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Delaware, respectively. Local courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest overall score at 80.9. At the bottom was Oklahoma at 23.7, followed by Kentucky, Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana. ILB: That puts Indiana at 46th worse. More from the story: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee and Maine had perfect 100 scores in serving people with disabilities, while Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri and Idaho had the lowest scores. Those rankings were based on issues such as whether interpretation services are offered free to the deaf and hearing-impaired and whether there are laws or rules allowing service animals in courthouses. The index also reviewed how many civil legal aid lawyers were available to provide free legal help. Washington, D.C., had nearly nine civil legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty, the highest rate in the country. Texas had the lowest rate, 0.43 legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty. http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2014/11/ind_courts_illi_1.html

  5. A very thorough opinion by the federal court. The Rooker-Feldman analysis, in particular, helps clear up muddy water as to the entanglement issue. Looks like the Seventh Circuit is willing to let its district courts cruise much closer to the Indiana Supreme Court's shorelines than most thought likely, at least when the ADA on the docket. Some could argue that this case and Praekel, taken together, paint a rather unflattering picture of how the lower courts are being advised as to their duties under the ADA. A read of the DOJ amicus in Praekel seems to demonstrate a less-than-congenial view toward the higher echelons in the bureaucracy.

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