Recent Blog Posts

Marketing cuts “dumb”

December 8, 2008
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Here’s a little more on the topic of law firm marketing cuts. Reporter Michael Hoskins spoke to an expert at Altman Weil, a legal consulting firm, last week for a story on a different topic and the two also briefly discussed...
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Firm mergers & the economy

December 4, 2008
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Looks like Locke Reynolds answered the question I posed in a blog from October. Locke confirmed they are merging with Louisville-Cincinnati firm Frost Brown Todd and taking that firm’s name. This is the second merger a large Indianapolis firm has undertaken...
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Marketing cuts: good or bad?

December 3, 2008
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How essential are law firm marketing departments? I guess it depends who you ask. That department is taking a hit because of the economy, according to a recent article in The National Law Journal . Law firms that are struggling to...
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Direct mail restrictions

December 1, 2008
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Have you ever been in an accident and then received mail from an attorney only days later? If you have, did you find the mailing helpful or annoying? That’s what the Indiana State Bar Association wants to find out from residents...
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From spouse to roommate

November 26, 2008
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When times get tough economically, people don’t divorce. At least, that’s what the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers are saying. The group sent out a press release recently that said divorce rates are more likely to fall rather than rise when...
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SCOTUS book worth a read?

November 24, 2008
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From  IL reporter Michael Hoskins:   As you might expect, we like to read and write here at Indiana Lawyer. Perusing lawsuits, caselaw, court opinions, and legal news in general is all part of the job reporting on the Hoosier legal...
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God and the BMV

November 21, 2008
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Who would have thought God would be such an issue at the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles? The religious deity and the use of the word “God” continue to prompt Indiana residents to file suits – one challenging the lack of...
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Statehouse prayer sequel?

November 19, 2008
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UPDATE Nov. 20: The ACLU of Indiana’s Ken Falk said today that the rumblings about Statehouse prayer he’s hearing are disconcerting and that the legislators’ actions will warrant a watchful eye. He didn’t say it, but another legal battle regarding prayer...
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Lawyers and the Big 3

November 17, 2008
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There’s been a lot of talk lately in the news about the Big Three automakers – Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors – and how the companies are struggling in the current economy. The automakers are turning to Congress for possibly $25...
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1 million ‘yes’ votes

November 12, 2008
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The Indiana Supreme Court announced today that more than one million people voted to retain the three justices up for retention this year. That’s the first time that many people have voted “yes” to keep a justice in office. I wonder...
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SCOTUS hears testimonial case

November 10, 2008
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The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments today involving an issue that is currently before our state’s high court: whether lab reports are considered testimonial evidence. SCOTUS heard arguments in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts , about whether a state forensic analyst’s laboratory’s report...
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Should judge be removed?

November 7, 2008
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The masters presiding over the case of Marion Superior Judge Grant Hawkins released their report today recommending to the Indiana Supreme Court that he be removed from the bench. Hawkins was charged by the Indiana Judicial Qualifications Commission with 11 counts...
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Talk of reform and recusal

November 5, 2008
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From IL reporter Michael Hoskins: Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard took some time Wednesday following Election Day to talk with about 60 people about local government reform. He spoke at the North United Methodist Church in Indianapolis about his work...
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No alcohol until 6 p.m.

November 4, 2008
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I expected a long wait to vote at my precinct today. I brought my iPod, wore comfortable shoes, and prepared to wait in line for an hour or more. When at 7 a.m. I pulled up to the church where I...
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Pre-election appeals

November 3, 2008
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From IL reporter Michael Hoskins: Election Day is less than 24 hours away, but that isn’t stopping the litigation and court filings. An emergency appeal is happening with the Indianapolis ruling that came from Marion Circuit Judge Ted Sosin late Friday,...
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Misconduct complaint on AG ad

October 31, 2008
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With all the political ads showing on TV right now, it’s easy for us to tune them out. But one recent ad from the camp of Republican candidate for Attorney General Greg Zoeller has upset one Indianapolis criminal defense attorney so...
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What about the votes?

October 30, 2008
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The Indiana Court of Appeals is hearing arguments today in the Lake County early-voting satellite locations case, and as of this blog posting, hasn’t ruled on the issue. It’s up in the air right now how the court may rule, but...
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Where else is the fraud?

October 28, 2008
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Why does it always have to be Lake County? It’s election time, so once again, there are allegations flying that shenanigans are going on in Northern Indiana. Voter fraud is a big deal. If it isn’t caught, it can damage and...
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Should all judges be lawyers?

October 27, 2008
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From IL reporter Michael Hoskins: If you’re responsible for applying the law, no matter if the case is a traffic infraction or a civil or criminal proceeding, is a law license required? The answer is no, but it’s a topic being...
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Judge attacks pro bono work

October 23, 2008
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Update: The Wall Street Journal Law Blog has an entry today with excerpts of the 2nd Circuit Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs' speech regarding pro bono work. The chief judge defends his speech, saying the National Law Journal article "grossly misstates" what the judge...
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Law school for free

October 22, 2008
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Want to go to law school for free? That’s the pitch one new California law school is using to attract students from competing schools. The University of California Irvine School of Law is planning to offer the students who enroll in...
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Be our friend!

October 20, 2008
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Indiana Lawyer has jumped into the online social-networking world and joined Facebook, and we are looking to make friends. Do you want to be our friend? We started IL ’s Facebook page as a place for attorneys and law students...
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Fraud claims don’t hold up

October 16, 2008
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There’s a fight going on in Indiana against early-voting sites, but the punches are being thrown at the wrong opponent. A few Republicans in the typically Democratic-leaning Lake County have challenged the use of satellite voting sites because they feared it...
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Could you pass the test?

October 14, 2008
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What does the U.S. Constitution do? Why do some states have more representatives than others? Under the U.S. Constitution, what is one power of the federal government? As a lawyer, you should be able to answer these questions pretty easily. But...
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TV, child care, and jurors

October 10, 2008
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Free child care. Free movies and wireless Internet. Time to shop during the day. These aren’t amenities law firms are giving employees to attract lawyers but are actually what some counties in the U.S. are doing to attract jurors. No one...
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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