Recent Blog Posts

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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One bar’s rates going down

February 11, 2010
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The current economy can make businesses cut fees in hopes of attracting more customers or raise fees to cover increasing costs and hope it doesn’t drive people away. The American Bar Association took the first approach this week and voted to...
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Slavery case re-enacted

February 9, 2010
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Today's post is from IL reporter Rebecca Berfanger:   Braving the cold and snow, a group of about 15 eighth graders from Indianapolis Public School’s Cold Spring School 315 participated in a re-enactment of the trial of Polly Strong, a...
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Big game delays trial

February 4, 2010
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A judge in New Orleans has postponed a jury trial set to begin Monday because some prospective jurors, attorneys, and court personnel will be heading to Miami to watch the Saints lose in the Super Bowl. Judge Michael Bagneris said “The...
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Few women on the bench

February 3, 2010
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Women just barely outnumber men in the U.S., and nearly half of law school grads and firm associates are women, yet we still make up less than a third, and sometimes, less than a tenth of the judges in state or...
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Pants suit attorney back

February 1, 2010
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Roy Pearson Jr., famous for his $54 million suit over a lost pair of pants, has some issues and they aren’t just legal ones. He either craves attention, believes everyone is out to get him, or has issues with reality based...
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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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