Recent Blog Posts

Report finds more women judges

July 23, 2012
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Although women make up about half the population of the United States, and there is nearly the same amount of female lawyers and male lawyers in the country, women make up only 27.1 percent of the judges here. But, the good news for those who like diversity on the bench is that number has slightly increased in the last two years.
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NALP finds recent law grads’ starting salaries down

July 13, 2012
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As if new law school graduates don’t have enough negative news coming at them, NALP – The Association for Legal Career Professionals – just released findings on the starting salaries of the classes of 2009-2011. Here’s more bad news: the salaries have been decreasing.
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Large firm’s demise impacts mergers

July 9, 2012
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Altman Weil MergerLine is calling it the “Dewey Effect:” a slowdown in mergers and acquisitions by law firms following the end of Dewey LeBoeuf.
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Big business plans to use more minority- and women-owned law firms

July 5, 2012
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If a commitment by large corporations across the country comes to fruition, law firms owned by minorities and women will see a lot more business this year.
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Poll offers insight into Americans' perceptions of SCOTUS

June 14, 2012
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A recent poll shows that 44 percent of Americans approve of the way the Supreme Court of the United States is handling its job. What’s also telling is how many people responded that they don’t know.
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That judicial robe may be hiding a few extra pounds

June 13, 2012
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A survey done recently by CareerBuilder found that attorneys and judges are more likely to report gaining weight in their current jobs than those in other professions.
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Class of 2011 faced 'brutal' entry-level job market

June 8, 2012
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NALP has released its employment profile for law school graduates from 2011 and the numbers aren’t great. In fact, they are some of the worse NALP – The Association for Legal Career Professionals – has seen in years.
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Survey says: 40 percent of law firms don’t have succession plans

June 7, 2012
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A recent survey shows that four in 10 law firms lack succession plans and nearly half of those asked who don’t have plans in place don’t plan on creating one.
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It's a courthouse, not a nightclub

May 24, 2012
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The Grant County courts would like you to put on real pants and shoes before you come to court. And make sure those real pants are pulled up high enough to not show your underwear.
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Economy has shifted law firm leaders' attitudes

May 16, 2012
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The downturn in the economy has led to more law firm leaders accepting legal market trends that many had dismissed several years ago.
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Study claims women aren't helping each other in workplace

May 15, 2012
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If you’re a woman trying to make it to the top at a law firm, don’t expect a high-ranking female leader to take you under her wing. A study from Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis found that often women aren’t helping others break through the glass ceiling.
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Shepard shows sense of humor in video

May 11, 2012
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Who knew the former chief justice of Indiana could play dumb so well?
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Treasury department proposal could affect client trust accounts

May 9, 2012
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The American Bar Association is asking the U.S. Department of Treasury to reconsider possible rule changes announced in February that are aimed at tackling money laundering and terrorist financing. The bar association believes the proposals would impose “unreasonable and excessive” burdens on law firms.
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Group says going to law school could cost over $200k

May 3, 2012
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According to the nonprofit Law School Transparency, it’s going to cost law students entering school now nearly $200,000 – and maybe more – to go to a law school in Indiana.
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Would you hire a professional coach?

May 2, 2012
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Because of the economy, more attorneys are using professional coaches to assist their law firms, according to the American Bar Association. The bar association just released a new book to help lawyers find the right coach.
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Study may show racial makeup of jury affects outcome

April 27, 2012
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Researchers led by Duke University examined the jury pools of two Florida counties over a 10-year period and found that all-white juries convicted black defendants nearly 16 percent more often than white defendants.
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Survey says lawyers plan to spend more on e-discovery

April 26, 2012
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We are becoming more and more dependent on technology in our lives. Email is putting the post office out of business. Our phones are mini-computers that hold our appointments, photos, emails and personal history. It can’t be coincidental that lawyers are reporting they will spend more on e-discovery in the next year.
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Good idea to release Sugarland depositions?

April 17, 2012
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A northern Indiana attorney says he has released portions of the deposition with a member of the band Sugarland to counter what he believes to be inaccurate press releases from the band. But is it a good idea for an attorney to be releasing this information to the press before the matter has gone to trial?
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Opinion split on whether lying to get out of jury duty is a crime

April 13, 2012
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A recent informal public opinion survey found that respondents were closely split on whether lying to get out of jury duty is grounds for arrest.
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Firm mergers remain steady

April 2, 2012
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Merger activity is getting back to its pre-recession levels, according to one group that tracks combinations.
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Pull up your pants or face a fine

March 30, 2012
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One northern Indiana town is considering an ordinance that would require people to wear their pants a certain way.
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Ms. Nelson preferred over Ms. Mehalik

March 26, 2012
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According to a recent study, lawyers who have easier to pronounce names are favored at work.
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Practice group survey reveals struggles in performance

March 15, 2012
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A recent survey by law firm consultancy Altman Weil shows that about half of practice groups and leaders are receiving only fair or even poor ratings from their managing partners.
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Social media and attorneys

March 5, 2012
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Social media can be great for advertising, but can be tricky for attorneys to navigate. In fact, the Indiana State Bar Association’s Legal Ethics Committee cautions attorneys against using certain social media.
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High cost of law school

March 2, 2012
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The American Lawyer has an interesting article about why law school tuition keeps going up. As a law school applicant, you’re partly to blame.
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  1. 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

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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