Smoking bans in Indiana

October 26, 2009
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Smoking bans in bars and restaurants always create a spirited debate between smokers and nonsmokers. Every time a city or county in Indiana moves to ban smoking in these establishments, people pipe up with their opinions.

Marion County may be the next one to expand its current smoking ban. The full City-County Council votes tonight on the issue. Currently, Monroe County, Greencastle, Zionsville, Plainfield, and a handful of other places ban smoking in bars and restaurants. Most cities and counties with bans exempt bars and restaurants, as is the case in Indianapolis if the restaurant admits only those older than 21.

What I always found odd about the legislation was that smoking is always banned in the workplace, but people work in restaurants and bars. Why should those establishments not count?

Should smoking laws and ordinances continue to be a piecemeal ban around the state, with some cities allowing smoking in bars and not in other cities? Would it be easier for residents and easier to regulate if we had blanket statewide legislation?

One co-worker referred to this type of regulation as morality legislation. Should it be up to city or county officials, or even the state, to tell businesses they can or can’t permit smoking or regulate where smokers are allowed to light up? Proponents of these bans argue nonsmokers don’t have to go to bars or restaurants that allow smoking, or people don’t have to work in these establishments. That’s true, but bartending or being a server in a bar instead of a restaurant has to be more profitable. Plus, at least in Indianapolis, I’m aware of only a few bars that don’t allow smoking.
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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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