Recent Blog Posts

Loans and the public sector

August 18, 2008
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President Bush signed the Higher Education Opportunity Act , H.R. 4137, into law last week, which provides loan forgiveness for students entering public services jobs, including public defenders, prosecutors, and legal aid attorneys. In exchange for committing to work for at...
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A blog about blogging

August 18, 2008
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I attended BlogIndiana this weekend - a conference about blogging as the name would suggest - to learn how to make sure Indiana Lawyer is putting out the best blog we can. While many of the sessions were geared toward personal...
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Accident breaks firm’s windows

August 14, 2008
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An accident in downtown Indianapolis this afternoon involving three men installing a sign on the M&I Building damaged two windows at law firm Bose McKinney and Evans. One window each on the 27th and 23rd floors were damaged when a cable on...
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Appellate court delays, blame

August 14, 2008
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From  IL reporter Michael Hoskins, who attended today's arguments:  The Indiana Supreme Court is delving into interesting issues that hit on speedy criminal trials and how appellate court delays have a role in that process. Of course, a comment made during...
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Budget cuts, slower courts?

August 13, 2008
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It’s budget season in Indiana, and counties across the state are preparing their 2009 budgets. The tough economic times are leading counties to ask departments to find even more ways to cut spending. The courts, too, are being asked to find...
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Buying booze on Sunday

August 11, 2008
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One organization in Indiana is looking to end one of our state’s last remaining “blue laws” – buying alcohol from a store on Sundays. As an adult of legal drinking age, I am all for changing this state law. I know...
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A jet-set chief justice

August 7, 2008
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From IL reporter Michael Hoskins:  Every so often, you’ll see an Indiana Supreme Court order signed by an acting chief justice. Some recent court orders have Justice Brent Dickson filling in for Chief Justice Randall Shepard. Nothing out of the ordinary,...
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NAACP to prep voters

August 7, 2008
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The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund is sending attorneys to 10 states before the fall election to address voting barriers, according to the National Law Journal. Surprise, surprise, Indiana is one of those 10 states. I’d wager the NAACP’s interest...
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ACLU always controversial

August 5, 2008
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In an obituary for Indianapolis attorney Alan Nolan, I learned that he was one of the founders of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, now the ACLU of Indiana. According to law firm Ice Miller’s Web site, Nolan and attorney Merle Miller,...
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What’s the difference?

August 4, 2008
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This post comes from IL  reporter Michael Hoskins:  On one hand, the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana argues against blanket, government-imposed rules restricting where sex offenders can live and places those registered individuals can visit. But when a private homeowners...
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Does duty stop at door?

August 1, 2008
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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer yesterday to a case that will have implications on a hospital’s duty to protect its patients from suspected abusers. Indiana Lawyer Daily wrote about the case in March when the majority of the Indiana Court...
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Jurisdiction not camera shy

July 31, 2008
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Indianapolis documentary filmmaker Karen Grau’s request to film juvenile court proceedings in Lake County has been granted by the Indiana Supreme Court. Grau is no stranger to Indiana’s juvenile courts, as she has already worked on several documentaries with Lake Juvenile...
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Court holds up settlement

July 30, 2008
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Even though the parties involved in litigation of a wrongful imprisonment suit want to settle after a jury already announced its award, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request to throw out the jury award to clear the way...
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The legal system and media

July 29, 2008
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From Indiana Lawyer reporter Michael Hoskins, who is in Reno attending a conference at the National Judicial College: Courts and media can sometimes collide, but there’s a plethora of reasons for both to get along. This is the topic of...
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Courthouse attorney lounge

July 28, 2008
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After a decade-long absence, attorneys visiting the Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Indianapolis have a quiet place to prepare for court. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, announced today it has opened...
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AG saves taxpayer money

July 25, 2008
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For the second time in a month, the Indiana Attorney General’s office has decided not to appeal court decisions that didn’t come out in its favor regarding new laws. Earlier this month, the office announced it wouldn’t appeal U.S. District Judge...
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Letters from jail

July 24, 2008
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If there’s ample evidence you wrote threatening letters to the president of the United States and chief justice of Canada, and you happened to include a white, powdery substance that could be mistaken for anthrax, then don’t try to appeal your...
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Need for non-violent orders?

July 23, 2008
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On Tuesday, tragedy struck in Indianapolis when a man allegedly murdered two people – his ex-wife and her boyfriend – and then reportedly turned the gun on himself. The man had a history of violence, according to police and news reports,...
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Another judge in trouble

July 22, 2008
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Allen Circuit Court Judge Thomas Felts was arrested for suspicion of drunk driving while in Indianapolis last Friday. Judge Felts told Indiana Lawyer he regrets what’s happened. Judges getting arrested and breaking the law isn’t anything new. Judges are human, just...
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Journalistic shielding

July 18, 2008
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Both of Indiana’s senators are pushing for passage of a federal shield law. Sen. Dick Lugar, a Republican, talked this week about making that happen soon and as recently as last week Senate leadership noted this may come up yet in...
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End the death penalty?

July 17, 2008
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More than a year ago, a team of law professors, scholars, lawyers, and judges let loose a report recommending a halt to the death penalty in Indiana. That assessment came on behalf of the American Bar Association and was one of...
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Too much pressure?

July 16, 2008
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We see them as the authority behind the bench, applying the law and dispensing justice on a daily basis. But what happens when a judge crosses the line – criminal conduct or not – and allows work or personal pressure to...
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Stalking interpretations

July 15, 2008
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Is standing on a public street, staring at someone’s house considered taboo and possibly enough for a felony stalking charge? Does the answer change if it happens more than once, say four times, and that the person being watched feels...
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What of Indiana\'s reputation?

July 15, 2008
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It seems Indiana’s legal community has a good reputation out there. Studies appear to come out regularly assessing some aspect of Indiana’s legal system: Our litigation climate, ethics of the judiciary and legal community, and so on. But off-the-cuff, what are...
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Legal help from Oprah

July 14, 2008
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Oprah Winfrey wants to offer you legal help. The catch: Your case will be documented in her magazine for the world to see. I came across a link on CNN.com that leads to a promotional page from Winfrey’s magazine, “O, The...
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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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