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Disciplinary Commission seeks agency head

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Indiana needs a new face for lawyer discipline, and applications are being accepted from anyone interested in the job.

The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission is accepting applications through Jan. 29, 2010, for the executive secretary post, which is being vacated at the end of this year. Current executive secretary Don Lundberg announced last month that he's leaving the position he's held since December 1991. At the start of the year, he'll become a partner and deputy general counsel at Barnes & Thornburg in Indianapolis.

As administrative head of the agency responsible for investigating and prosecuting claims of lawyer misconduct, the executive secretary supervises a staff of 15 that includes 11 attorneys, an investigator, and part-time law student clerks and support staff. The agency investigates roughly 16,000 grievances each year and prosecutes a percentage of that total. The executive secretary also acts as chief legal counsel to the nine-member commission, and handles occasional trial work.

"This is a key job for the legal community," said Indianapolis attorney Sally Franklin Zweig, immediate past chair of the nine-member commission. "It is a position that works to maintain the credibility of lawyers as an honored profession. Consumer protection is a central part of that role and the executive secretary also has the opportunity to help assure that the community at large will have confidence in the lawyer discipline process."

The commission is doing a "broad" search, which means it is prepared to look inside and outside of Indiana, according to Zweig. Candidates should have at least 10 years of law practice experience, and must be admitted to practice in Indiana or be eligible for immediate admission. The current compensation is $115,000, and benefits include health, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance, as well as participation in the Indiana Public Employees Retirement Fund's benefit pension plan.

Applications will be posted online at the Commission's Web site at www.in.gov/judiciary/discipline, where more information about the agency is also available. Applicants can download applications and send to: Confidential Applications c/o Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission, 30 S. Meridian St., Suite 850, Indianapolis, IN 46204. All applications will be confidential.

Once applications are received, the Disciplinary Commission expects to review those as quickly as possible and discuss the issue at its February meeting, Zweig said. The commission will recommend finalists for consideration to the Indiana Supreme Court, which makes the ultimate decision on the appointment. No timeline exists for that to happen.

The commission plans to discuss the issue of an interim executive secretary at its next meeting on Dec. 11, Zweig said.

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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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