July means new laws

July 1, 2008
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Today the majority of bills signed into law by Gov. Mitch Daniels in February and March go into effect. There are a lot of new laws that are of interest to the legal community – judges’ pensions, public records and criminal offenders, juvenile offenders, and inmate credit time, just to name a few.

In combing through list of the new laws, a few jumped out at me. One that many businesses might not realize takes affect today is the requirement of lactation support in the workplace. This means employers who have at least 25 workers have to provide as reasonably possible a private location for an employee to pump breast milk and a refrigerator to store the breast milk. This is great news for the working mothers who have to go a bathroom stall to pump or give up on breastfeeding because of potentially cumbersome logistics when they are at work.

Did you know that we are now able to get an Abraham Lincoln license plate from the BMV celebrating the bicentennial of his birth? The plates are just one more way for Indiana to remind everyone that Indiana was Lincoln’s boyhood home, and it gives Hoosiers yet another option for making a statement with our license plates. So far, I’m not aware of any lawsuits filed as a result of the issuance of these new Abe plates.

Another law passed this session – thought it doesn’t take effect until 2010 – is detergents used in household dishwashers are now going to be subject to prohibition under Indiana Code Section 13-18-9.

Taking effect today, however, is the law that allows a vehicle to be equipped on a year-round basis with tires that have retractable tire studs as long as those studs remain retracted from May 2 to Sept. 30. Although the topic of the law is kind of odd, it does aim to continue to protect Indiana’s roads during the summer from unnecessary damage from those studs.

I must admit I am a bit saddened my favorite introduced bill from this past session didn’t become a law – SB 191. This bill required retail establishments, except for some gas stations, to make employee toilet facilities available to the public if no other facilities were readily available. Did that really need to be a law?

Are there any bills that you are surprised didn’t make it into law or any that surprise you made it all the way to the governor’s office? What was your favorite off-the-wall bill introduced last session?

UPDATE: The Indiana Supreme Court handed down four opinions yesterday afternoon, bringing the total in June to 25. That's the fewest opinions released by the high court in June in the last three years.
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  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

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