ILNews

Court's efforts recognized with 2 awards

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Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard will be busy next week accepting two awards, one for the court's "Why Lincoln Was a Lawyer" program and one for jury-system improvements.

The Indiana Historical Society will recognize the Supreme Court's educational outreach program, Courts in the Classroom, with its 2009 Indiana History Outstanding Project Award. The chief justice will accept the award at the society's Founders Day Dinner Dec. 7.

"To be recognized by the Indiana Historical Society is a great honor," Chief Justice Shepard told Indiana Lawyer in an e-mail. "They are devoted to helping Hoosiers gain a better understanding of our state history. So to have a project that stands out in their minds is really an accomplishment."

"Why Lincoln Was a Lawyer" was an effort of the Supreme Court and Indiana State Bar Association to educate students about Abraham Lincoln's life as a lawyer, Hoosier, and president. The same program was recently recognized by the American Bar Association with its 2009 Law Day Outstanding Activity awards.

"I had high expectations that teachers and students would enjoy the Lincoln program. However, I did not expect to receive so many letters of thanks from judges and attorneys who participated in the program," Chief Justice Shepard said. "Many of the attorneys and judges who participated sent us photographs and thank-you notes that they received from the classrooms where they spoke. I could not have been more pleased with how the program turned out and with the Indiana State Bar Association's partnership."

The Indiana Supreme Court's Judicial Technology and Automation Committee will also be honored by the National Center for State Courts as a recipient of the 2009 G. Thomas Munsterman Award for Jury Innovations. The award recognizes the collaborative efforts of the Supreme Court, Department of Revenue, and Bureau of Motor Vehicles to ensure a broader and more accurate jury system that includes the compilation and distribution of a statewide master jury pool list.

"Having a jury resolve a dispute is a cornerstone to our system of justice. With the technology upgrades to the jury list, we are really using 21st century technology to accomplish one of the most fundamental requirements of our democracy," the chief justice said.

JTAC makes the master jury list available to all Indiana trial courts through a secure Web site, which allows jury administrators to access the lists as they need.

Chief Justice Shepard and Gov. Mitch Daniels will accept the award at the Indiana Judicial Center's winter conference Dec. 11. The two will speak about the importance of Indiana's statewide master jury pool list and other court technology projects.

The chief justice said he is pleased that Gov. Daniels will attend the conference to share in the award because partnering with his administration is one of the main reasons the project is a success.

"We are so pleased with this new electronic method created by our Judicial Technology and Automation Committee. It's just another example of the many projects we are working on devoted to improving court technology," said Chief Justice Shepard.

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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