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. 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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