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Federal Bar Update: Free CLE, hyperlinks and award nominations

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FedBarMaley-sigFree CLE on medical issues in prisoner litigation – The Southern District of Indiana is holding a 4-hour free CLE program in Indianapolis June 27. Lawyers recently appointed by the court to represent a prisoner and those interested in accepting pro bono appointments are strongly encouraged by the court to attend this special seminar. See details and register at the court’s website, www.insd.uscourts.gov.

Hyperlinks in briefs – As noted previously, a new pilot program was underway in the Southern District of Indiana for including hyperlinks in briefs. This feature is now available to all filers. Hyperlinks will allow the reader (the court, counsel, etc.) immediate access to the referenced materials, such as CM/ECF filings, case and statute citations, attachments, and exhibits. This is an emerging trend in federal courts and might become mandatory in courts in the future.

This is a valuable process to undertake, but users will need to invest some time and training to be proficient at this. Full information is available on the court’s website with the April 11 announcement.

Nominees requested for ISBA / N.D. of Indiana Award - The Indiana State Bar Association’s Federal Judiciary Committee is currently seeking nominations for the Henry Hurst Judicial Assistance Award. The Hurst Award is named in memory of Henry Hurst, the first federal clerk of the District Court of Indiana, serving from 1817 through 1835.

This year the Hurst Award is to be presented to a member of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. Nominees shall serve as a member of the District Court clerk’s office, the District Bankruptcy Court clerk’s office, as a staff member to a District Court or Bankruptcy judge, or as a member of the administrative personnel.

Nominations – including nominee’s job title and description of qualifications for the award – are due to Lyle Hardman at lhardman@hsk-law.com by June 1.

Fee fights – In Illiana Surgery and Medical Center, LLC v. Hartford Fire Ins., 2014 WL 1094455, n.1 (N.D. Ind. March 19, 2014), Magistrate Judge Andrew Rodovich addressed various issues in a discovery-related fee petition. The opinion is a useful guide on many issues relating to fee awards. Interestingly, in addressing and rejecting a challenge to a 0.6 time entry, Judge Rodovich noted, “Consistent with Hartford’s approach to discovery in this case, it has spent more time and resources challenging two entries totaling 1 hour than the amount requested by the plaintiff for those entries. The court trusts that Hartford’s attorneys will notify their client how much they incurred in attorneys fees on these two entries.”

Save the date – The 2014 annual federal civil practice seminar will return Dec. 19 this year; mark your calendars.•

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John Maley – jmaley@btlaw.com – is a partner with Barnes & Thornburg LLP, practicing federal and state litigation, employment matters, and appeals. He chairs the Local Rules Advisory Committee for the S.D. of Indiana, is a member of the Local Rules Advisory Committee for the N.D. of Indiana, and is a member of the 7th Circuit Civil Pattern Jury Instructions Committee. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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