Recent Blog Posts

Catch-22 for new lawyers

September 10, 2009
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Despite the economy, some firms are still hiring. Unfortunately for those fresh out of law school, based on the classifieds placed recently in Indiana Lawyer , only those with experience should apply. A closer look at the last few issues of...
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Shamed into change

September 8, 2009
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One judge in Ohio thinks shame is the way to curb crime, so he’s ordering some criminals to wear bright T-shirts stating their crime. The T-shirts, obnoxiously neon yellowish-green, say things like, “I’m a thief” in big, block letters. The “criminali-tees”...
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“Dangerous” cart corrals

September 1, 2009
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Menard’s has funny-looking and somewhat impractical cart corrals that are also apparently unsafe and dangerous. Just ask Gerald Roberts of McCreary County, Ky. He was visiting a Menard’s in Lafayette, Ind., and decided to “travel through” the cart corral, hitting a...
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Clerk: credit or debit?

August 31, 2009
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Welcome to the 21st (or even arguably the 20th) century, Marion County Clerk’s Office! The clerk’s office announced late last week it’s now accepting credit or debit cards for most court fees. People can now pay with plastic for child support,...
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Jury duty worries

August 27, 2009
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Jury duty: it’s not glamorous, it can be time-consuming, and perhaps even boring, but it’s part of our duty as American citizens. A lot of people dread not only the process of being selected but possibly being seated for a long...
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Sticking with it

August 24, 2009
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Back in July, I wrote a blog about what inspired you to enter the law. That post got an interesting comment from a reader who suggested I ask why people stick with the profession after finally understanding what it actually entails....
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Dating site for lawyers

August 21, 2009
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Have you ever wanted an online dating forum where you can meet other attorneys from around the country? Tired of those generic dating sites that make you sift through boring teachers, accountants, and sales people when all you want is a...
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Attorney ignores heart attack

August 20, 2009
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I’ve heard of coming to work when you don’t feel well, but going to court while having a heart attack is taking it to the extreme. A defense attorney in California woke up with severe chest pains. A normal person would...
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Actor heads to law school

August 17, 2009
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I’ve heard of actors going back to school to get their undergraduate degree but I can’t recall one pursuing a law degree. Now there’s Jerry O’Connell, perhaps most famous for “Stand by Me,” “Sliders,” or being Rebecca Romijn’s husband, who announced...
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A yawn of contempt

August 13, 2009
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Sometimes, yawning can be criminal. Just ask Clifton Williams. The Illinois resident was sentenced to six months in jail for yawning during his cousin’s guilty plea to a felony drug charge. His family maintains it was just a yawn, nothing more;...
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No job? Just sue your school

August 10, 2009
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Can’t find a job? Sue your school! That’s what one graduate in New York City has decided to do. She thinks it’s her school’s fault she can’t find a job because its office of career advancement hasn’t provided her with leads...
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Dress codes passé?

August 7, 2009
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From managing editor Elizabeth Brockett : The topic of dress codes recently came up in our office again because of a notice we received about a conference to assist in creating and enforcing a dress code. One section touted “Solutions...
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Threatened profession

August 4, 2009
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A Hendricks County man is sitting in jail right now after threatening to kill two judges, an attorney, and others. He was allegedly upset about a protective order issued against him, so he decided to make threats about shooting people involved...
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Litigious inmate

August 3, 2009
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It seems like a month doesn’t go by without my reading an appellate case involving Eric D. Smith. It’s such a generic name, but his name always jumps out during a quick scan of the appellate opinions. He had two suits...
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Pricing people out?

July 29, 2009
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To continue with the theme of law school tuition, I want to know if the astronomical amount people spend to become an attorney has hurt the profession. Law school costs a lot of money. Students spend more than what the average...
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Jump in tuition

July 27, 2009
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By now, most people from Indiana who currently attend or are planning to go to Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington are aware of the 24.5 percent tuition hike approved for next year. I’m not sure how many know...
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Lawyer influences

July 24, 2009
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I wonder if interest in the old TV show “Perry Mason” has increased since news stories about U.S. Supreme Court justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor have mentioned how influential the show was in her becoming a lawyer. After being told she couldn’t...
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Cell phones and vacations

July 21, 2009
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With all the high-tech cell phones available now, does it make it harder or easier for you to go on vacation? A lot of people have a hard time leaving the office and work behind, but with your PDA, e-mail and...
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Judge frustrates senators

July 16, 2009
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It’s times like a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing that really drive home the differences between how the general public and judges think, especially on hot-button issues like abortion and gun rights. I found a few quotes from U.S. Supreme Court...
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Case ends after 26 years

July 15, 2009
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After more than a quarter century, a judge out in Montana finally ruled on a dispute over the ownership of natural gas leases. It didn’t take 26 years for a resolution in the case because of countless appeals or court delays....
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Oodles of amendments

July 13, 2009
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I recently spent a few days in San Francisco and I heard a startling fact: the California Constitution has been amended something like 512 times. The information came via an editorial running on a local news station. I managed to catch...
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Expensive bathroom break

July 10, 2009
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A guy gets up to go to the bathroom at the new Yankees Stadium during “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch, is kicked out by the New York Police Department, and makes $10,001 from the incident. His attorneys with...
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Legal lesson in MJ death

July 8, 2009
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I know, I know, there’s been non-stop news coverage of the death of Michael Jackson since June 25, and the last place you’d expect to read more about him is here. But I think there is a legal lesson to be...
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Locked up on TV

July 6, 2009
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Some of Indiana’s youngest criminals will visit living rooms and bedrooms across the country this summer thanks to a documentary series airing on MSNBC. This summer, Lake County’s Juvenile Justice Center will be featured in the network’s “Lockup” series. The show...
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Dramatic attorneys

July 2, 2009
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Today's post was written by Managing Editor Elizabeth Brockett.   In her opening remarks, the deputy prosecutor told the jury that real trials are nothing like what people see on TV or in the movie theaters. “Oh yes it was! It was...
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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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