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Editorial: Losing sight of the goal

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Indiana Lawyer Editorial

Feb. 25 was certainly an ugly day.

All talk about the weather aside, we had what we thought was a modest bit of hope that President Barack Obama's health-care summit might inspire the people we've sent to the United States Senate and House of Representatives to do the jobs we sent them to Washington, D.C., to do on our behalf.

But of course that didn't happen.

Politicians of every stripe seemed incapable of resisting the cameras and posturing for the benefit of their re-election campaigns. The president lectured like a stern professor astonished at the thickheadedness of his students.

Such a display made Sen. Evan Bayh's decision to not seek another term seem like the most sane decision anyone in his shoes could make.

We say this not to bring Sen. Richard Lugar's sensibilities into question. We greatly admire his work on behalf of Indiana and believe he is one of the few examples of someone capable of working in a bipartisan manner in the entire Congress.

Perhaps he could give the senators in the state immediately to our South a lesson in working well with others. One of that state's senators, a gentleman who is not seeking re-election, was at Indiana Lawyer press time single-handedly holding up the extension of unemployment benefits for about 400,000 people set to expire Feb. 28. We understand that this senator's point is that the federal government does not have a way to pay for this benefit, but we're certain that most of the people who are receiving the benefits don't have another means keeping food on the table or the roof over their heads. The fact that this gentleman is the lone holdout on the measure, and is being lectured about his stubbornness by members of his own party, is telling.

We know how strongly you feel about the current lack of civil discourse and inability of people of differing political factions to work together. Such a lack of civility isn't merely exemplified in our government; you can find it everywhere in everyday life in some of the most needless circumstances. Many of you have shared with us your exasperation over this development. Some of you are concerned with the current examples of extreme partisanship and the lessons our children are learning from it. Because it's our children who are going to suffer the most from this stagnate mess we're in politically.

Perhaps you have a friend like ours; a friend so far on the other side of the political spectrum from us that we sometimes marvel at the fact that we are such dear friends. This friend says this of our political differences: we both want the same thing, we just differ in how we think the country should go about getting to the desired end. It's not about winning, the friend says; it's about achieving the goal.

That's the troubling thing about the current state politics: it's only about winning.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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