Recent Blog Posts

Judicial face-off in court

June 29, 2009
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Today’s post is written by reporter Mike Hoskins. Litigation can get heated enough between lawyers and litigants on opposing sides, but rarely does a case get to the level of having two judges at odds in how a case has...
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Sweat suits

June 24, 2009
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If you haven’t noticed, it’s hot outside. The dog days of summer are upon us right now, which creates a seasonal challenge for attorneys whose jobs require them to dress in suits. I find it nearly intolerable in a short-sleeve dress...
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What did you say?

June 22, 2009
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Today’s blog has been inspired by my “Laywers: Jokes, Quotes, and Anecdotes” desk calendar. The entry for June 20/21 was from actual court records in which an attorney thought he heard the district attorney refer to him as a cannibal. This...
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Attorney trashed, literally

June 19, 2009
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One attorney took the term “getting trashed” literally this week and ended up in a trash can near his home after having one too many drinks. It almost sounds like the punch line to a new lawyer joke: “An attorney wakes...
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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...
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Vacation fears

June 15, 2009
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Attorneys are notorious for putting off vacation time or even bringing work with them while on vacation, but will the current state of the economy lead to an increase in work on vacation or even no vacation at all? According to...
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Lawyers get firm in trouble

June 10, 2009
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Do you remember back in school when a couple students in class would act up and the teacher would punish the entire class to make a point that type of behavior isn’t allowed? That’s pretty much what happened Friday to Bose...
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Conference a success

June 8, 2009
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From IL reporter Rebecca Berfanger: The eighth Indiana State Bar Association Solo and Small Firm Conference at Belterra Resort went off without a hitch June 4-6. About 300 attorneys who are solo and small-firm practitioners, frequently work with them, or...
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Hamilton vs. full senate

June 4, 2009
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U.S. District Judge David Hamilton finally made it past the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee this morning and now will face the entire Senate in his attempt to sit on the bench at the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Of course, the...
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Happy anniversary!

June 2, 2009
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Today is the first anniversary of First Impressions. We started the blog a year ago and have had nearly 200 entries since we started, including posts on the economy, bad attorneys, and law-firm rankings. It seems our readers really like posts...
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Contacting alma maters

June 1, 2009
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A story in the current issue of Indiana Lawyer about alternative legal careers notes that law school alumni – even those who have been out of school for a few years or more – are contacting their alma mater’s career resources...
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Corruption heads southeast

May 29, 2009
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Is Delaware County becoming the new Lake County in terms of political scandals and corruption? There’s a belief (which is sometimes substantiated) that Lake County doesn’t play by the rules when it comes to politics: voting scandals, unethical mayors and elected...
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AG has trust issues

May 28, 2009
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Our attorney general isn’t very trusting of the federal government. He said so in a statement released this week. “The people of Indiana did not elect me to trust the federal government, so I will stand vigilant with our lawyers at...
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Nominee may be a first

May 26, 2009
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President Barack Obama has chosen who he thinks is the right person for the U.S. Supreme Court: 2nd District Judge Sonia Sotomayor. Baseball fans may recognize her name because she was the District judge who issued the injunction against Major League...
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Disaster plans, Part 2

May 20, 2009
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I wrote about disaster plans at law firms back in March when a fire at Indianapolis apartment building under construction led to minor damage to two nearby law firms. The attorneys I spoke to at those firms mentioned how they had...
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Pre, Pre-law school

May 18, 2009
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There’s a new magnet school in Indianapolis focusing on law and public policy. The school is starting out in fall 2009 with grades 6 through 9 and will emphasize the principles of democracy, justice, respect, and service to others. It will...
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Commencement speaker protest

May 15, 2009
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The weekend is finally here – President Barack Obama will give the commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame’s graduation ceremony Sunday. Since he was announced as the speaker in March, there’s been a lot of media coverage of protests...
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What’s the word, Gov?

May 13, 2009
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Update: The Governor vetoed the act this afternoon. Word came down around 4:45 p.m. Here’s a link  to his reasons for vetoing the act. We’re glad Gov. Daniels decided to veto this bill, and his reasoning for doing so is rational...
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Diversity rankings

May 11, 2009
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The Minority Law Journal released its annual diversity scorecard for the 250 largest and highest-grossing law firms in the country and the three Indiana firms on the list ended up closer to the bottom than the top in their rankings....
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Judge vs. academic

May 6, 2009
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Who’s better suited to be the next United States Supreme Court justice – a judge with appellate experience or a law school professor or dean? Since Justice David Souter confirmed last week he will leave the nation’s highest court after the...
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Deferred careers

May 4, 2009
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National blogs and news reports have followed the deferred starts for new associates at law firms. Most of the reports seem to be coming out of larger markets and bigger firms than those in Indiana, but I’ve heard of a few...
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Name your replacement

May 1, 2009
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It’s all over the news today that U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter is planning to retire after this term. Like a lot of other people, when I heard the news last night that a Supreme Court justice was retiring, I...
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Last day for bills

April 29, 2009
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Today’s the last day of the 2009 session for the Indiana General Assembly. If bills don’t make it to the governor today, they’re done. There didn’t seem to be as many hot-button issues making the news and bogging down the session...
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Finals, and then what?

April 27, 2009
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It’s finals time. Exams have started at two Indiana law schools, with exams beginning next month at the others. Exams are already stressful enough. Add to that the fact that it seems more students are having trouble finding summer associate positions...
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Law school ranking shuffle

April 23, 2009
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I feel like I need an advanced degree just to understand the methodology behind the recent U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of law schools, in which one Indiana law school jumped higher in the rankings and one fell dramatically. This...
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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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