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. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  2. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  3. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  4. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  5. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

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