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COA reiterates confidential-information filing

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The Indiana Court of Appeals emphasized in an opinion today the proper procedure for filing documents with confidential information, instigated by the fact the appellant's original appendix included a pre-sentence report on white paper and included a Social Security number.

In Joel C. Vaughen v. State of Indiana, No. 79A02-0811-CR-1032, Judge L. Mark Bailey reiterated in a lengthy footnote how information should be filed, what should be excluded, and on what color paper it should be submitted. Joel C. Vaughen's original appendix had a pre-sentence report on white paper, which should be excluded from public access filings pursuant to Ind. Administrative Rule 9(G)(1)(b)(viii). Documents excluded from public access are supposed to be included on light green paper or have a light green coversheet marked "Not for Public Access" or "Confidential."

Sometimes a simple redaction of confidential information is sufficient, such as if a relevant document in a dissolution case includes a bank account number. The number could be redacted without having to include the entire document in a green appendix, wrote Judge Bailey.

"If the information cannot be redacted or if the information is relevant to the issues raised on appeal, then the entire document can and should be included in a green appendix," he wrote.

The Court of Appeals affirmed Vaughen's 12-year sentence following a guilty plea to conspiracy to deal in cocaine. Vaughen was the ringleader in an operation to sell cocaine and used couriers to lessen the time in which he had the illegal drugs in his possession. The sentence is appropriate given his character, wrote the judge, because Vaughen has never been employed and has four children by three different women. He was also on probation for another drug conviction at the time of his most-recent arrest.

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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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