Recent Blog Posts

Slow economy, fewer mergers

October 8, 2008
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Here’s more proof that law firms are struggling in this economy: opportunities for mergers are lessening. When I think of the economy worsening, I think law firms that are teetering on the brink of going under would try to find another...
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Judicial candidates, Facebook

October 6, 2008
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Some local candidates for judge in Indiana are turning to the Internet to spread the word about their campaigns – but they aren’t just creating election Web sites. Some have taken the leap into the social media world and created Facebook...
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More ISBA tidbits

October 3, 2008
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From IL reporter Michael Hoskins: Five newer faces on the federal bench (or at least, ones in relatively new roles) came together Thursday afternoon at the ISBA annual meeting. They were Magistrate Jane Magnus-Stinson, selected about two years ago to replace...
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Tidbits on the ISBA

October 2, 2008
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During a conversation today with Indiana Lawyer reporter Rebecca Berfanger, the incoming Indiana State Bar Association president mentioned something that caught our attention: Not only does he have a Facebook page, but the ISBA has a Facebook group page. Bill Jonas...
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Court oversight neglected

September 30, 2008
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Hey, there. I’ve found myself in a bit of a pickle financially and need around $700 billion. Can you lend it to me without me telling you what I need it for? Thanks. But by the way, if I don’t repay...
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Pay disparity in legal jobs

September 29, 2008
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Women attorneys continue to make less than men. It doesn’t shock or even surprise me. There’s no disputing that on average, women in all types of professions make less than men, often for doing the same job. It’s been that...
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Yes, felons can vote here

September 25, 2008
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Indiana may have made national headlines for its strict voter ID laws this year, but when it comes to felons being able to vote, Indiana is one of the better states in the country. In Indiana, imprisoned felons can’t vote, but...
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Meditations for attorneys

September 23, 2008
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Lawyers are an analytical bunch, but are they also reflective and meditative? The American Bar Association has just released a new book, “The Reflective Counselor: Daily Meditations for Lawyers,” in hopes of helping attorneys find balance in their lives. The More

Look it up, lawmakers

September 22, 2008
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From Indiana Lawyer reporter Michael Hoskins: We look at Indiana’s appellate decisions every day. Frequently, a legal issue is raised about an ambiguous federal or state statute where words aren’t defined and the courts must address what the legislative intent could...
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What happened to civility?

September 18, 2008
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We’ve got another sitting judge in trouble for his actions. Howard Superior Judge Stephen Jessup received a public admonition after storming over to the prosecuting attorney’s office trying to find out where the deputy prosecutor was who was supposed to be...
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Happy Constitution Day!

September 17, 2008
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Today is Constitution Day in the U.S. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know that because it’s a fairly new “holiday.” Congress passed an act in 2004 – the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005 – that included requiring schools receiving federal funds...
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Lawyers love to donate

September 15, 2008
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Lawyers like to give money to campaigns. According to the Center for Responsive Politics , lawyers and the legal industry in Indiana are the second-leading industry in donations to political campaigns. In 2008, the legal community has donated nearly $1 million. Retirees...
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Legal changes post-Sept. 11

September 11, 2008
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With today being the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, I couldn’t help but think about how our country has changed in seven years. I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I realize now that we aren’t as isolated from the...
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Interim meetings antiquated

September 10, 2008
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Now is the time of the year when the General Assembly’s interim study committees meet to discuss various issues that could become bills in the 2009 session. What strikes me about these meetings is how old-fashioned and time-consuming they are. If...
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Judicial Conference this week

September 8, 2008
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From IL reporter Michael Hoskins:  It’s that time of year. The Judicial Conference of Indiana is holding its annual meeting this week in downtown Indianapolis, and the agenda  shows some interesting tidbits that will be covered at the three-day CLE-eligible conference....
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Attorneys in trouble for ads

September 5, 2008
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Two Indianapolis attorneys received public reprimands for the use of “Legal Advertisement” and other phrases on brochures they give to prospective clients. After reading the opinion handed down by the Indiana Supreme Court yesterday, I’m confused about how the process of...
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Lawyers vs. non-lawyers

September 4, 2008
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The race for the next president of the United States is Democrats vs. Republicans, but it’s also lawyers vs. non-lawyers. Both Democratic Sens. Barack Obama and Joe Biden have law degrees, whereas on the Republican side Sen. John McCain and Gov....
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Busy day at 7th Circuit

September 3, 2008
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Seventeen opinions. That’s how many the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals released yesterday. When I first checked the court’s Web site to prepare our opinions list, there was the normal number of opinions – about four or five. Then, as Indiana...
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No jury duty for nursing moms

September 2, 2008
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According to a recent article from the National Law Journal, more and more states have passed laws exempting nursing mothers from jury service. Indiana isn’t one of those states, although we have a new law in effect regarding nursing...
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Budget-busting judges

August 29, 2008
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From IL reporter Michael Hoskins, who attended the Aug. 28 Commission on Courts meeting: Financial woes between courts and county officials can be found statewide, even nationally, in these tough economic times. Chances are it’s going to get worse. That’s why...
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Firm ‘greens’ new space

August 28, 2008
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Going “green” has been a hot topic for the past couple of years and plenty of Indiana firms are getting in on the act. Firms are seeing more of a focus on environmental and green legal issues, and Ice Miller even...
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Fight may influence jury

August 26, 2008
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Here’s something that doesn’t happen every day – a manslaughter trial is postponed due to fighting between the accused and the victim’s families. In what sounds like something that would only happen in a television legal drama, the families got into...
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Bye bye to VP Bayh

August 25, 2008
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Indiana has missed its chance to send another Hoosier to the White House. With Saturday’s announcement that the Democratic Party’s presumptive candidate for president Sen. Barack Obama chose Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as his vice presidential candidate, the supporters of Sen....
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Buying booze at 18?

August 20, 2008
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College presidents around the country have come together to unite against binge drinking on campuses. They aren’t working together to develop and implement programs to educate high school and college students about the dangers of binge drinking. They aren’t going to...
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Indianapolis, Illinois?

August 19, 2008
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According to one 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion today, Indianapolis is now a part of our neighboring state to the west. I opened Angela Tyson v. Gannett Co. Inc ., aware this would be an Indiana case....
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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.

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