Federal Bar Update: Comments sought for changes to local rules

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Federal Bar UpdateNorthern District of Indiana

The Northern District of Indiana has posted on its website its proposed amendments to its local rules, welcoming public comment by Dec. 1. The proposed changes are stylistic not substantive, but nonetheless significant and include: (a) altering the numbering convention from L.R. 1.1 to L.R. 1-1; and (b) stylistic modifications consistent with style changes to federal rules in recent years. These amendments are scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2012.

The renumbering is aimed at avoiding confusion when a corresponding federal rule such as Fed. R. Civ. P. 5.1 uses a decimal. Under the old system, the N.D Ind. Local Rule was 5.1.1. Under the new system, the N.D. Ind. Local Rule will be 5.1-1. This will allow easier numbering and tracking going forward as the federal rules seem to be adding “.1” rules periodically to existing federal rules.

The restyling is aimed at trimming unnecessary verbiage in the local rules, and also using the same style and language used in the revised federal rules (FRCPs, FRAPs, etc.). Terms like “should, shall, may, and must” are addressed, with shall being deleted in favor of must when the rule requires something to be done. Practitioners and local rule committee members Tom Vetne and Brian Kubicki, in particular, deserve thanks and praise for hundreds of hours of work on this multi-year project.

Southern District of Indiana

The Southern District is in the process of amending its local rules as well, probably effective January 1 pending court action. The Southern District is likewise considering the same renumbering as the Northern District, and similar restyling. Watch for further notices on this front in this column and on the court’s website.

Fee Increases

Various court fees have increased effective Nov. 1 and are available on court websites. Meanwhile, per page costs on PACER are scheduled to increase from $.08 per page to $.10 per page on April 1.

Federal Civil Practice Seminar

The Annual Federal Civil Practice Seminar will be held Friday, Dec. 16 in Indianapolis, starting at 1:30 p.m. Three hours CLE will be provided. Panelists include Chief Judge Richard Young and Magistrate Judges Mark Dinsmore and Denise LaRue from the Southern District of Indiana, along with Clerk Laura Briggs and Don Wall from the 7th Circuit. See for information and to register.•

John Maley – – is a partner with Barnes & Thornburg, LLP, practicing federal and state litigation, employment matters, and appeals. The opinions expressed are those of the author.


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.