JamesJ.Bell

Recent Articles

Bell: 3 things to know when receiving inadvertent disclosures

June 28, 2017
When you receive an inadvertent disclosure, you need to act.
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Inside the Criminal Case: Race, talking to jurors and impeachment

March 22, 2017
As is typical in these articles, nine years of hard work by attorneys is summarized in three paragraphs and some writer like me says, “eventually this case landed before the United States Supreme Court.”
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Bell/Whelan: 3 things to know about requests for client information

September 7, 2016
Here are three things to know when a third party requests information about your client, including don’t be cooperative, civil or otherwise charming.
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Inside the Criminal Case: The exclusionary rule is on a losing streak

July 13, 2016
The latest defeat for the exclusionary rule came in the case of Utah v. Strieff.
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Inside the Criminal Case: When your client is speaking to others

March 23, 2016
“Say nothing.” This advice seems simple enough, but any attorney with a few years under his or her belt knows that the advice is often not heeded.
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Inside the Criminal Case: Immunity and Bill Cosby’s motion to dismiss

January 27, 2016
On Dec. 30, 2015, comedian Bill Cosby was charged with sexual assault in Pennsylvania. These charges stemmed in part from various admissions Mr. Cosby made in a deposition in a civil suit. After learning this news, several thousand criminal defense lawyers scratched their balding heads as they Monday morning quarterbacked the decision to submit Cosby to a deposition.
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Bell/Whelan: 3 things to know about civility and discipline

December 30, 2015
As it turns out, acting in a civil manner is not just a way of being polite, or being a good advocate or a way to make the profession look good. In fact, being uncivil in and of itself can lead to disciplinary sanctions.
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Inside the Criminal Case: Gluten, grandpas and reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle

December 2, 2015
“Back in our day,” reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop was based upon objective evidence that the suspect had committed a traffic violation.
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Bell/Whelan: 3 things to know about reporting ethics violations

November 4, 2015
If you’re like us, you’re a lawyer who enjoys giving advice to others. As attorneys who represent other attorneys in disciplinary matters, we often receive requests to give ethics advice to lawyers. As luck would have it, we like lawyers and generally enjoy giving advice to lawyers when we can.
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Inside the Criminal Case: New playbook for prosecuting white collar crime

October 7, 2015
There is a theme that permeates the news reporting of the 2008 financial crisis: no one went to jail as a consequence. In possible reaction to this theme, the U.S. Department of Justice recently issued a bulletin that has since been referred to as the “Yates Memo.”
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  1. It really doesn't matter what the law IS, if law enforcement refuses to take reports (or take them seriously), if courts refuse to allow unrepresented parties to speak (especially in Small Claims, which is supposedly "informal"). It doesn't matter what the law IS, if constituents are unable to make effective contact or receive any meaningful response from their representatives. Two of our pets were unnecessarily killed; court records reflect that I "abandoned" them. Not so; when I was denied one of them (and my possessions, which by court order I was supposed to be able to remove), I went directly to the court. And earlier, when I tried to have the DV PO extended (it expired while the subject was on probation for violating it), the court denied any extension. The result? Same problems, less than eight hours after expiration. Ironic that the county sheriff was charged (and later pleaded to) with intimidation, but none of his officers seemed interested or capable of taking such a report from a private citizen. When I learned from one officer what I needed to do, I forwarded audio and transcript of one occurrence and my call to law enforcement (before the statute of limitations expired) to the prosecutor's office. I didn't even receive an acknowledgement. Earlier, I'd gone in to the prosecutor's office and been told that the officer's (written) report didn't match what I said occurred. Since I had the audio, I can only say that I have very little faith in Indiana government or law enforcement.

  2. One can only wonder whether Mr. Kimmel was paid for his work by Mr. Burgh ... or whether that bill fell to the citizens of Indiana, many of whom cannot afford attorneys for important matters. It really doesn't take a judge(s) to know that "pavement" can be considered a deadly weapon. It only takes a brain and some education or thought. I'm glad to see the conviction was upheld although sorry to see that the asphalt could even be considered "an issue".

  3. In response to bryanjbrown: thank you for your comment. I am familiar with Paul Ogden (and applaud his assistance to Shirley Justice) and have read of Gary Welsh's (strange) death (and have visited his blog on many occasions). I am not familiar with you (yet). I lived in Kosciusko county, where the sheriff was just removed after pleading in what seems a very "sweetheart" deal. Unfortunately, something NEEDS to change since the attorneys won't (en masse) stand up for ethics (rather making a show to please the "rules" and apparently the judges). I read that many attorneys are underemployed. Seems wisdom would be to cull the herd and get rid of the rotting apples in practice and on the bench, for everyone's sake as well as justice. I'd like to file an attorney complaint, but I have little faith in anything (other than the most flagrant and obvious) resulting in action. My own belief is that if this was medicine, there'd be maimed and injured all over and the carnage caused by "the profession" would be difficult to hide. One can dream ... meanwhile, back to figuring out to file a pro se "motion to dismiss" as well as another court required paper that Indiana is so fond of providing NO resources for (unlike many other states, who don't automatically assume that citizens involved in the court process are scumbags) so that maybe I can get the family law attorney - whose work left me with no settlement, no possessions and resulted in the death of two pets (etc ad nauseum) - to stop abusing the proceedings supplemental and small claims rules and using it as a vehicle for harassment and apparently, amusement.

  4. Been on social security sense sept 2011 2massive strokes open heart surgery and serious ovarian cancer and a blood clot in my lung all in 14 months. Got a letter in may saying that i didn't qualify and it was in form like i just applied ,called social security she said it don't make sense and you are still geting a check in june and i did ,now i get a check from my part D asking for payment for july because there will be no money for my membership, call my prescription coverage part D and confirmed no check will be there.went to social security they didn't want to answer whats going on just said i should of never been on it .no one knows where this letter came from was California im in virginia and been here sense my strokes and vcu filed for my disability i was in the hospital when they did it .It's like it was a error . My ,mothers social security was being handled in that office in California my sister was dealing with it and it had my social security number because she died last year and this letter came out of the same office and it came at the same time i got the letter for my mother benefits for death and they had the same date of being typed just one was on the mail Saturday and one on Monday. . I think it's a mistake and it should been fixed instead there just getting rid of me .i never got a formal letter saying when i was being tsken off.

  5. Employers should not have racially discriminating mind set. It has huge impact on the society what the big players do or don't do in the industry. Background check is conducted just to verify whether information provided by the prospective employee is correct or not. It doesn't have any direct combination with the rejection of the employees. If there is rejection, there should be something effective and full-proof things on the table that may keep the company or the people associated with it in jeopardy.

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