A bug in the system

June 17, 2009
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Update 6/19/09:

According to appellate courts’ clerk Kevin S. Smith, there was no bug in the system that caused several disciplinary actions to not be posted between May 9 and June 12. A misunderstanding and human error caused the delay in the postings, Smith wrote in an e-mail to Indiana Lawyer.

The misunderstanding has been corrected.

Smith also noted that the court will not post special judge, senior judge, or hearing officer appointment orders. The court doesn’t want to overload its Web site with relatively minor administrative orders that tend to only be of interest to the parties involved, he wrote.

Every day we check the Indiana Court’s Web site for disciplinary actions and other orders, and every day since May 7, we haven’t seen a new one. That seemed odd, so today we made a few phone calls to find out whether all Indiana attorneys were model citizens or if there was a technical problem keeping the actions from being posted.

Turns out, the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee wasn’t getting any word from the clerk’s office about new disciplinary actions, so it hadn’t posted any new ones. The reason: JTAC had a bug in its system following an update in early May. Between the clerk’s office quest to be as paperless as possible and requirements from West Law, somehow a quirk developed in the system. Because of the bug, e-mails weren’t getting to the right people to post the disciplinary actions.

Thanks to our curiosity and nagging suspicion there had to be attorneys in trouble, JTAC discovered the issue this morning and quickly resolved it. The Supreme Court orders site now has actions posted that were dated after May 7. I’m surprised that this wasn’t brought to someone’s attention prior to our calls.

While I’d like to think our attorneys weren’t out there breaking the rules of conduct, or laws, history shows otherwise. In fact, I knew of two attorneys recently who were sentenced by the courts: one for child solicitation, and another on a drunken driving conviction, which would lead to a disciplinary action.

We’re glad that JTAC fixed the problem and that now we (hopefully) are up to date on our disciplinary actions.
  • Could you follow up with your contacts to see if a similar problem exists on the page that lists the appointments of hearing officers in attorney discipline cases? It showed a lot of activity in January and March, but hasn\'t been updated since March 25. Here is the link:

  • John - it\'s quite possible. I\'m looking into it and will report back.

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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues