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 told Berfanger he’s noticed with his own children how communications have changed among college students and those just out of college since he was in school.

The state bar’s Facebook group page has information about joining the ISBA and a link to its official Web site.  Jonas said one way the Facebook page may help young attorneys and law students decide to join is the site will help connect members with each other about the organization’s events and news, and paperless communication between the bar and young members is becoming more common.

Jonas’ Facebook page is linked to the group with a total of six members – so far – but you have to be a member of Facebook and Jonas’ “friend” to see information on his page.

Also, reporter Michael Hoskins is attending the ISBA’s annual meeting in Indianapolis. This afternoon, he went to the Appellate Practice Section’s meeting, from which he passes along several interesting tidbits.

- The Indiana Appellate Pro Bono Project, which is nearing its two-year anniversary, is progressing but is short on cases. There are a lot of lawyers who want to get involved, but there’s a lack of cases for them to work on.

- There’s going to be a CLE later this month to discuss video records specific to the appellate courts, such as webcasts or court hearings. Word is this is something happening in other states, and it won’t be long until it comes up here.

- What happens to trial courts when their judges attend the annual meeting? There are plenty of appellate and trial court judges in attendance, so are trial judges able to shift and juggle caseloads in order to go to the meeting or are the courts temporarily shut down to accommodate the judges’ schedules?

Later today, Michael will be attending a session on the changing face of Indiana’s federal courts, “Transitions in the Federal Court: New Faces, New Roles,” and will have an update for blog readers Friday.
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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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