Recent Blog Posts

Would you still become a lawyer?

April 13, 2010
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Reporter Michael W. Hoskins wrote this post. Some within the Indiana legal community say they wouldn’t become an attorney if they could go back in time to change that decision. An Indiana Lawyer survey shows that more people offered a NO...
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Johnsen ‘watch’ is over

April 12, 2010
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Dawn Johnsen watch at Indiana Lawyer is over. Since her nomination to lead the Office of Legal Counsel, we waited for months and months (and months) for her nomination to be voted on … for her to be approved or rejected...
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SCOTUS visits fascinating

April 8, 2010
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Reporter Michael W. Hoskins wrote this post. You can always expect a legal community showing when one of the nation’s top jurists visits. That was the case Wednesday when Chief Justice John Roberts made his way to the Indiana University...
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Taking time for civics

April 7, 2010
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IL reporter Rebecca Berfanger wrote this post . A group of about 30 Munster High School students enjoyed their time with We the People program coordinators from the Indiana Bar Foundation, attorneys, and others who helped judge their presentations on Tuesday...
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Sex-offender magazine at gas station

April 2, 2010
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The next time you go into a Speedway gas station, you can pick up a candy bar, giant fountain drink, and possibly a sex-offender registry magazine.An Indiana man who was abused wants convicted sex-offenders names and pictures to be more accessible...
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Indiana dollars to fight reform

April 1, 2010
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Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has joined several other states to legally challenge the recently passed federal health-care legislation. This means Indiana tax dollars will be spent challenging the bill. He says by joining the already filed suit, we’ll save money....
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Class considers profession

March 29, 2010
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IL reporter Rebecca Berfanger wrote this post . Last week, I was invited to sit in on a class for an article I’m working on about the legal professions class at Indiana University Maurer School of Law – Bloomington. As part...
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Survey predicts legal hiring

March 26, 2010
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The good news for unemployed attorneys and legal staff looking for work – nearly 25 percent of law firms or companies surveyed plan on increasing staff levels in the second quarter of this year. And none reported plans to decrease staff....
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Indiana’s (legally) good for business

March 23, 2010
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Here’s a way to lure businesses to our state: We’ve got one of the best legal climates in the country! A survey released this week by the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform ranks Indiana fourth in the nation for...
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Public funds for judicial campaigns

March 22, 2010
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Judicial elections and merit selection of judges is a hot topic in Indiana. Just take a look at bills or resolutions introduced in the General Assembly recently. You’ll see attempts to forego merit selection in favor of elections: 2009’s HEA 1491,...
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Best legal city game snubs Indy

March 18, 2010
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Yes, it’s just an entertaining way to put a legal spin on the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament, but I can’t help but be a little surprised and offended that Indianapolis didn’t make the cut in the Above the Law blog’s “best...
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Banning laptops from lectures

March 15, 2010
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Could you survive law school without using your laptop in class? There’s a push by some professors to ban laptops from class because they are distracting students from learning. Students check e-mail, update their Facebook status, or surf the Web when...
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Firms get scam spam

March 10, 2010
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If you get a grammatically incorrect and misspelled e-mail from someone asking if you’d represent them in a case, chances are it’s a scam. Luckily the Indiana attorneys who received these e-mails recognized that right away. In fact, it’s a scam...
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SCOTUS on TV

March 9, 2010
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The Supreme Court of the United States hearings should be televised, justices should have term limits, and age doesn’t matter as long as the justice is healthy, say a majority of people polled about the SCOTUS. Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind released...
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Down times in 2009

March 8, 2010
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Was 2009 really the worst year for the legal market in the past 50 years? Apparently so, according to a report released earlier this month analyzing the legal market last year and trends expected for this year. Hildebrandt Baker Robbins consulting...
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Reporter goes to prison

March 5, 2010
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Contributed by IL staff reporter Rebecca Berfanger I’ve driven by the Indianapolis Re-Entry Facility on Indianapolis’ near east side more times than I can count. Today, I went beyond the barbwire fence of the former women’s prison. While this was...
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Another Ohio firm moves in

March 3, 2010
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Let’s begin saying our goodbyes to the name Dann Pecar Newman & Kleiman because in about a year, it will be gone from Indianapolis. Dann Pecar is the latest Indiana firm to merge with an out-of-state firm and lose its name....
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No big recruiting changes

March 1, 2010
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Back in January, the National Association for Law Placement issued a report that proposed significant changes to how law firms recruit, including doing away with rolling-offer deadlines. But NALP has backed off the controversial changes and announced Friday its provisional timing...
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Play discusses torture

February 25, 2010
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Submitted by IL Staff reporter Rebecca Berfanger : “Sunlight,” a play that examines both sides of the debate on torture of detainees, opens tonight at the Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis. It will be performed through March 20, including post-performance discussions...
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Lawyers make bad drivers

February 22, 2010
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Hey lawyers and judges, you are really bad drivers. At least, that’s what one auto insurance company says. You are such bad drivers that you rank No. 1 on insurance.com’s “Top 10 Most Dangerous Drivers by Professions” list. The company...
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Infamous civil rights lawyer

February 19, 2010
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From IL reporter Rebecca Berfanger: A documentary film about the life and civil rights cases of William Kunstler by his daughters was well attended at the Indianapolis Museum of Art Thursday night, and I’m happy I was able to be...
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Are you running?

February 16, 2010
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Sen. Evan Bayh’s surprise announcement he’s not running for re-election quickly spread speculation at the Indiana Statehouse as to who may run for his seat. While IL reporter Michael Hoskins was there for a committee meeting, he overheard many legislators asking...
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‘Dawn Johnsen fatigue’

February 15, 2010
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Today's post is from IL reporter Rebecca Berfanger: I just Googled an Indiana University Maurer School of Law – Bloomington professor for what seems like the thousandth time in at least a year. And I’m guessing I’m not the only...
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Going to the ‘Chapel’

February 12, 2010
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From IL reporter Rebecca Berfanger: In two separate conversations I’ve had in the past couple weeks with two different women who are planning weddings – an old friend and a source I just met – both said they wanted to...
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Behind the hearing

February 12, 2010
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The major snowstorm that pummeled Washington, D.C., this week isn’t the only thing creating a chill in the air. Comments from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., toward the American Bar Association’s process for evaluating federal judicial nominees could be described...
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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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