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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. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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