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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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