General Assembly’s website looks nice, but is troublesome

January 6, 2014
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I alluded in my blog Friday to the redesign of the Indiana General Assembly’s website. I have high hopes for the site, as it seems like it will make following the Legislature easier. But right now, it’s got some kinks to work out.

I hoped those kinks would have been worked out before the legislators reconvened for the 2014 short session. During the session, we at Indiana Lawyer visit the General Assembly’s website daily to keep up on legislation and committee hearings. Under the old site, you could search for bills by legislator or subject. You will be able to do that on the new site – eventually. Those options are there, but they are not working, or working to their full potential. Click on “By Legislator” and you get a haphazard listing of legislators. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why Rep. Casey Cox is listed first, followed by Sens. Lonnie Randolph, Mark Stoops, Karen Tallian, etc. The dropdown box that allows you to search specific representatives is listed in alphabetical order by last name, so that helps.

Right now, nothing shows up under the “By Subject” listing, a helpful tool for those seeking to find bills of interest to the legal community, such as on court functions, criminal laws or changes to probate law.

Searching for bills is also problematic. Type “trust” in the generic search bar, and you get 792 results, which you can whittle down on the left side to take you to the bills this session that contain the word trust. But trying to use the “Bills” tab of the search bar renders no results for the word trust.

I’m looking forward to what the new website will be, as it will make keeping up with the General Assembly easier. I just hope that the site reaches its full potential before the session is over.

You can check out the redesign site at http://iga.in.gov .
 

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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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