Recent Blog Posts

1982 case shows election issue

February 19, 2009
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As lawyers, you understand the legal nuances and issues in cases that appear before our appellate courts. The general public often does not. They don’t understand why convictions are overturned or cases are remanded for retrial. Now imagine the power the...
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Sneaky vote at Statehouse

February 17, 2009
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We think the election of Indiana’s Supreme Court justices is a pretty big deal, so we’ve been closely watching House Joint Resolution 9, which proposes that we do away with the merit selection and retention system. So imagine our surprise today...
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3/4 of attorneys want out

February 16, 2009
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Based on an unscientific, informal poll on our Web site, 75 percent of you have said you are leaving the practice of law to pursue another career or you are at least considering it. The sample of this question is small,...
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Big dreams, small salaries

February 13, 2009
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Update: The jobs in politics seminar has moved from March 11 to April 8. From IL reporter Rebecca Berfanger, who attended a session of the Alternative Legal Career series at Indiana University Maurer School of Law - Bloomington this week. During...
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Priced out of the market

February 11, 2009
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A handful of partners and attorneys are leaving Bingham McHale in Indianapolis to start their own insurance litigation firm because as one partner said, “We were pricing ourselves out of the market.” The amicable split between the attorneys and the fifth-largest...
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Flexibility key for students

February 9, 2009
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Some advice for law students struggling to find summer work: be flexible and think broadly. That’s what the director of the career and development office at Indiana University Maurer School of Law – Bloomington told Indiana Lawyer Friday. Comments from our...
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Summer associate competition?

February 4, 2009
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There are still a few months before summer associates begin their jobs at firms this summer, but I wanted to hear from you on how your search for a position has gone. With all the talk of cuts at law firms,...
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A new career direction

February 2, 2009
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Update: The seminar on jobs in politics has been rescheduled to April 8. Ever wish you could do something else with your law degree, but you don’t know where to start? Feeling burnt out on practicing law, worried about your current...
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Snow day for some

January 28, 2009
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The snow that moved through much of Indiana Tuesday and today has dumped a foot or more of snow in some places. Of course, it made the commute home yesterday and to work today interesting in the metro Indianapolis area. It...
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Solo v. large firm

January 26, 2009
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There’s not a definite end in sight to the current economic downtown we’re experiencing, but who’s better off to ride it out – solos or large firms? There are compelling arguments for both sides. Solos may be able to adapt better...
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Thoughts from D.C.

January 21, 2009
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Here’s what IL reporter Rebecca Berfanger wrote last night after the inauguration. (That's her above with President Obama on the TV screen to the right.) Considering I was at my first inauguration in 2005 as grad school student and a...
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Witnessing history

January 20, 2009
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Indiana Lawyer reporter Rebecca Berfanger is in Washington, D.C., for the inauguration of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. She shared a few tidbits with me via text message today. Because of the number of people in attendance...
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Regulating roadside memorials

January 19, 2009
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Everyone has seen them while driving – the roadside memorials marking the spot where someone died with a cross, pictures, flowers, or stuffed animals. One Indiana legislator wants to regulate the erection of these by having the Indiana Department of Transportation...
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Sacrifice for job security

January 15, 2009
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How much would you be willing to give up for the good of your law firm or office? I heard on the news The Indianapolis Star is requiring all employees – even the higher-ups – to take one week off without...
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Gay marriage amendment back

January 14, 2009
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Thanks to state Reps. P. Eric Turner, R-Marion, and Dave Cheatham, D-North Vernon, Hoosiers can once again argue about whether or not we should have a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The two recently announced at a press conference they are...
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Bills, bills, bills

January 12, 2009
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As the 2009 General Assembly session heats up, no doubt there will be bills that cause us to ask, “What were they thinking?” Some seem redundant; others just plain strange. The Senate has until Jan. 15 to file bills; all House...
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Best job: lawyer or paralegal?

January 9, 2009
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Paralegals have better jobs than attorneys, according to one job search Web site’s ranking of professions. Researchers at careercast.com analyzed numerous jobs and looked at five main criteria – physical demands, stress, work environment, income, and outlook (potential salary growth, unemployment rates)...
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A lawyer walks into a bar…

January 7, 2009
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Stop me if you’ve heard this one: How many personal injury lawyers does it take to change a light bulb? The answer: Three – one to change the light bulb, one to destabilize the ladder, and one to sue the ladder...
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We don’t publish rumors

January 5, 2009
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Today's blog is from IL managing editor Betsy Brockett: Day after day, we read stories in the National Law Journal and other legal publications about how the tumultuous economy has hit the legal profession again and again. Even close to home,...
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New Year’s resolutions

December 30, 2008
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It’s the time of year when we reexamine the past and look to a new year with hope and excitement in terms of bettering ourselves with resolutions. Exercise more; eat less; travel more; stop smoking. Many people make personal resolutions, but...
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Complaint reignites debate

December 19, 2008
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At the end of October, I wrote  about Indianapolis defense attorney Bob Hammerle filing a complaint with the Disciplinary Commission regarding television ads run by Attorney General Republican candidate Greg Zoeller. Hammerle has since heard back and I thought you’d like...
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What’s in a name?

December 17, 2008
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After reading the comments on our last post, I wanted to expound on my previous post on law firm name changes. Firm names evolve with the addition or departure of partners. That’s the nature of the business. It’s when we lose...
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Mergers end Indiana names

December 15, 2008
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Sommer Barnard – gone. Locke Reynolds – gone beginning next year. Yes, the attorneys and staff remain in Indiana, but the names have changed or soon will change. Their new names come from firms based outside of the state. It’s just...
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More law firm job cuts

December 12, 2008
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Is it harder on the psyche of the legal community to hear of cuts and mergers from a large firm as opposed to a smaller one? That thought popped into my head after learning about the 22 staff cuts at Baker...
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Support staff spread thinner

December 10, 2008
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Let’s keep this blog’s discussion about law firm staff cuts going and talk about support staff cuts today. The National Law Journal has an article about paralegal, secretary, and other support staff cuts at firms. Firms are looking to cut costs...
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  1. 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

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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