Recent Blog Posts

Is judicial activism really a bad thing?

July 27, 2010
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Groups who oppose the rulings of certain judges throw out the term “activist” but is that really a bad thing?
 
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Film features med-mal case

July 26, 2010
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A movie at the Indianapolis International Film Festival last week featured the plaintiff’s side of a medical-malpractice case where the doctor misdiagnosed the husband’s medical condition, possibly causing his death. However, even though the patient’s wife didn’t want to file a law suit and it was her sister’s idea to hire a litigator, the lawyer proceeded anyway. Would or could this happen in a real case?

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Institute helps instructors teach civics

July 22, 2010
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This week, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky teachers are learning what it’s like for students who take “We The People” classes. The institute, taking place at Indiana University in Bloomington, was organized by the Indiana Bar Foundation and is supported by members of the legal community.

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NFP opinion gives us pause

July 20, 2010
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Typically we don’t give the not-for-publication opinions from the Indiana Court of Appeals too much thought, but one today definitely caught our attention.

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Keeping jurors names from the public

July 19, 2010
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Should the names of jurors on high-profile cases remain confidential until the trial is over?
 

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Furniture maker uses legal books

July 13, 2010
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While libraries have been discontinuing books from their collections, the pages are taken out and recycled, and the covers are also destroyed or recycled. One Indianapolis furniture designer, however, has been keeping the bindings to make benches, tables, a screen, and even a functioning chandelier.
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Happy lawyers are healthy lawyers

July 12, 2010
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Self-help and other books and articles geared toward attorneys focus on happiness. Are lawyers an unhappy bunch?

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Felons and attorneys

July 9, 2010
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You can’t have a felony conviction and become an attorney, but getting a felony conviction after you are admitted to the bar doesn’t mean automatic disbarment.

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Treating colds may become more difficult

July 7, 2010
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Fighting a cold may become more annoying and costly if legislators require prescriptions for certain cold medicines.
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July 1 is new law day

July 1, 2010
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July 1 means many new laws take effect in Indiana.
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ID needed to register to vote ... sometimes

June 30, 2010
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Make sure you have a photo ID if you want to register to vote online.
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Update on Evansville legal community

June 25, 2010
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The Evansville Bar Association had a number of updates to report to a visiting IL reporter earlier this week.

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Being a good citizen

June 22, 2010
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The civics education team of the Indiana Bar Foundation kicked off the weeklong “Project Citizen: Equal Justice Institute” Monday afternoon at Indiana University’s education building in Bloomington.

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Civil rights attorney featured in documentary

June 21, 2010
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Worthwhile documentary about infamous civil rights lawyer will air on PBS starting Tuesday, and will be available online until September.

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Digital footprints in the Internet sand

June 18, 2010
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A new service will show you your digital footprint.
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Historic passing

June 15, 2010
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Former prosecutor Michael Cosentino and the Ford Pinto trial impacted many people, including one IL reporter. Mr. Cosentino died Monday.

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Protect your data

June 10, 2010
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Protecting your data may be more difficult than you think.
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Conference caters to solos, small firm lawyers

June 9, 2010
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The Indiana State Bar Association's Solo and Small Firm Conference gave one reporter many story ideas.
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Program addresses media access

June 3, 2010
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Indiana University Maurer School of Law- Bloomington, with support from the I.U. School of Journalism, WTIU and Elon University has put together a new DVD: "Access Denied: Navigating the Legal Challenges to Newsgathering."
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Happy anniversary First Impressions

June 2, 2010
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Today is the second anniversary of First Impressions. What do you want the blog to discuss?
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Civics, civility lessons needed

June 1, 2010
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Many people need a refresher civics course and a reminder about civility.
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Reaching a milestone

May 24, 2010
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Congratulations class of 2010. Let's hope there are enough jobs for all of you.
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How hard is it to do CLE?

May 18, 2010
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Yet again, many Hoosier attorneys have been suspended for not following the rules.
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Dreaming of home ownership

April 21, 2010
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This post was written by IL reporter Rebecca Berfanger Minutes after I turned in Tuesday's IL Daily story about a new initiative by the Indiana Supreme Court and the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network, I got an e-mail from the Indianapolis Neighborhood...
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Lawyer spam

April 19, 2010
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I recently experienced a first when it comes to my personal e-mail account: I received spam e-mail from an attorney. An e-mail from California attorney Roni Deutch, whose name I recognize from TV commercials, made it into my junk e-mail box...
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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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