JamesJ.Bell

Recent Articles

Inside the Criminal Case: Passive vs. forcible resistance

July 2, 2014
The Court of Appeals recently brought us the story of a woman, her dog and her not-so Gandhi-like attempt at passive resistance when her dogs were investigated for biting. The question before the Court of Appeals was whether this passive resistance was criminal.
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Bell/Gaerte: 3 things to know about ethical responsibility for others’ conduct

June 4, 2014
The recent disciplinary case, Matter of Anonymous, is not the only time someone in Indiana has been disciplined for the conduct of another.
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IndyBar: Belfast, 1972, The Troubles and the Confrontation Clause

May 21, 2014
James Bell writes, "After stops in Ontario, Baltimore and Pennsylvania, I was raised in Alabama and later moved to Indiana where I became a United States citizen. Had I grown up in Northern Ireland, things may have been different for me."
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Inside the Criminal Case: SCOTUS rules anonymous 911 call reliable

May 7, 2014
The Supreme Court of the United States recently held that an anonymous call to 911 was sufficient to initiate a traffic stop in certain specific circumstances. Navarette v. California, 2014 U.S. Lexis 2930 (2014). The decision set off a minor shockwave in the media with reports that the 5-4 opinion eroded Fourth Amendment protection.
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Bell/Gaerte: 3 things to know about responding to disciplinary grievances

April 9, 2014
At some point, you may have the wonderful opportunity to respond to a disciplinary grievance. With that in mind, here are three things to know about responding to a disciplinary commission grievance.
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Inside the Criminal Case: Can a defendant be convicted for being ‘annoying?’

March 12, 2014
In 2012, the General Assembly amended Indiana’s public intoxication statute to provide, in part, that a person was guilty of public intoxication if the individual is intoxicated “in a public place” and “annoys … another person.” Indiana Code §7.1-5-1-3(a)(4). But what constitutes “annoying?”
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Bell/Gaerte: 3 things to know about withdrawing from a case

February 12, 2014
Unfortunately, there comes a time in some attorney-client relationships when breakup is inevitable. You may have tried to “work things out” with your client, but things only got worse. So what do you do?
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Inside the Criminal Case: Technology aids review of questioning technique

January 15, 2014
Danielle Kelly v. State is the first time that the Indiana Supreme Court has addressed law enforcement’s use of the “question first, Mirandize second” questioning technique. 997 N.E.2d 1045 (Ind. 2013). Kelly also provides additional focus on the role technology plays in the changing scope of suspect/law enforcement interaction.
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Bell/Gaerte: 3 things to know about confidentiality

December 18, 2013
While social media has not mandated the creation of new ethical guidelines, it does make it easier to commit an ethical foul.
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Bell/Gaerte: 3 things to know about criticizing judges

November 20, 2013
The case of In the Matter of T.D., --- N.E.2d ----, 71S00-1104-DI-196 (Ind. Oct. 8, 2013), provided guidance to attorneys about judicial criticism.
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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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