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Committee action deadline nearing

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The Indiana General Assembly's influential judiciary committees have a packed week ahead where both representatives and senators will review a mass of legislation as deadline approaches.

This week, the Senate and House judiciary committees each met once to consider a handful of bills that involved everything from no-contact orders, judgments of foreign courts, grandparent visitation, and magistrates in the state's largest county.

On Tuesday, the House Judiciary approved legislation on enforcing foreign judgments and no-contact orders by courts. The House Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee passed a bill Wednesday allowing for grandparent visitation, while that same day the House Ways and Means Committee approved a bill that would allow Marion County to convert all of its commissioners into magistrates, saving about $2 million and allowing it to use that money for local guardian ad litem expenses. The Senate Judiciary spent its weekly meeting mostly discussing a resolution that deals with the definition of marriage, but it also approved legislation making technical corrections to Indiana Code.

But this week's action pales in comparison to what both the House and Senate committees will likely consider next week. The last day the House and Senate can hear their own bills for final passage is Feb. 3, after which legislation must switch to go through the other house's committee and approval process.

That means a busy agenda for those watching legislation that pertains specifically to the legal community. For example, the House Judiciary committee has meetings planned Monday and Tuesday to discuss issues such as out-of-state placements of juveniles and the Unauthorized Practice of Law for non-attorneys.

The Senate Corrections Criminal and Civil Matters Committee has set a meeting Tuesday during which members are expected to consider 10 bills, including sex-offender tracking, bail statutes, and enhanced murder sentences. At least one Senate Judiciary Committee meeting is also planning for next week, according to the office of committee chair Sen. Richard Bray, R-Martinsville.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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