Recent Blog Posts

Judge reflects on new position on 1-year anniversary of confirmation

November 24, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge David F. Hamilton took a few minutes to reflect on the past year since his confirmation to the federal appellate court.
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Lawyers letting go of expensive leases

November 19, 2010
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Attorneys want out of their expensive car leases based on data from one auto-lease website.
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Breaking up the court opinion monotony

November 16, 2010
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Legal opinions are usually boring, and as someone who has to frequently read them, I’m happy whenever there’s something a little out of the ordinary included.
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Here kitty, kitty - law students support animal rights

November 11, 2010
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To encourage interest for a newly formed animal law organization at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, members organized a visit to the Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Center Point.
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Learning while driving

November 8, 2010
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After countless drives along an Indiana road, I finally learned it’s named after a longtime southern Indiana attorney.
 
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Next COA chief judge will get to be chief

November 3, 2010
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It’s a good thing the general public retained Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Margret Robb or else the appellate court would have had to hold another election for its next chief judge.
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Judge's acknowledgement is refreshing

November 2, 2010
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Here’s something you don’t see every day: a public official acknowledging a mistake and even alerting the news media about the mess up.
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Guardians of freedom

November 1, 2010
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Why not use the oft-misquoted Shakespeare line as a means to explain how vital the profession is for protecting our freedoms?
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IP issues for cult campy horror movie

October 29, 2010
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October, particularly Halloween weekend, seems to be the one weekend where it’s OK to dress up as a character or object or whatever and, for some, not just to “dream it” but to “be it.” Or at least dress like you want to “be it.” And if you get that reference, you’re probably a fan of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

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Lighter side of nominating commission

October 27, 2010
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Though they were tending to an important job of choosing three finalists to possibly become the next Indiana Tax Court judge, the members of the Judicial Nominating Commission made sure to have some fun and some laughs during the interviews on Wednesday.
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Tax Court interviews conclude; deliberations begin

October 27, 2010
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The Judicial Nominating Commission wrapped up interviews just after noon, and the seven members are now deliberating on whom they will select as finalists for the Indiana Tax Court opening. The three names will be submitted to Gov. Mitch Daniels, who makes the final appointment.
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Indiana Tax Court interviews under way

October 27, 2010
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The Judicial Nominating Commission is interviewing seven semi-finalists this morning for the Indiana Tax Court opening.
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Second continuance for Brizzi

October 26, 2010
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Marion County prosecutor's disciplinary hearing postponed again.
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Ad deja vu

October 25, 2010
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Consider 2010 an echo of the general election season back in 2008, when two attorneys were vying for the Indiana Attorney General post.
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North Carolina candidate wants me to elect him to its high court

October 19, 2010
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A junk e-mail from a North Carolina justice candidate reinforces my support for Indiana’s way of filling the appellate benches.
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Dinner recognizes challenges of economy, praises efforts of community

October 18, 2010
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Pro bono dinner on Friday featured discussion about low IOLTA funds, a new LRAP matching fund program of the IBF, and award winners - including an attorney who gave nearly 400 hours to help 144 clients in northeast Indiana in his first year of retirement.
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Rule changes miss important update

October 15, 2010
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Lawyer advertising rules have been updated, but they don’t address an important issue for attorneys.

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Access to DNA evidence

October 11, 2010
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Shouldn’t courts and the state want to be absolutely certain the person sitting on death row actually committed the crime?
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Lawyer Assistance Programs reach out to law schools

October 6, 2010
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National conference of Lawyer Assistance Programs in Indianapolis includes panel discussion on efforts in law schools to address issues that could cause concern after the student graduates and faces bar admission.
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Students learn about elections in time for today's registration deadline

October 4, 2010
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Earlier today, the last day to register to vote in Indiana, Marion County Clerk Beth White spoke to students in an Indianapolis classroom about how they can get involved with the elections process. Students who will be 18 by Nov. 2 were also given the chance to register. This fall, she has visited about a dozen schools.
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Mississippi considers mandatory pro bono or fee - should Indiana follow?

October 1, 2010
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Attorneys in Mississippi have until today to respond to a proposed rule change that would require them to either give 20 hours of pro bono service or pay a $500 fee. Indiana has never suggested mandatory pro bono. Other states require reporting, but not pro bono service. Is it a good idea to mandate pro bono, or should an attorney only volunteer to do it if his heart is in the right place?
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The final 2 interviews

September 27, 2010
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The last two applicants for Indiana Tax Court are interviewed.
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Tax Court interviews continue

September 27, 2010
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The interviews for Indiana Tax Court judge discuss pro se litigant issues, isolation of being a judge, and being a "tax nerd."
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Morning interviews wrap up

September 27, 2010
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Tax Court hopefuls explain how their backgrounds would be helpful if they were judge.
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The interviews continue

September 27, 2010
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Michael Hoskins reports on the next three applicants for Indiana Tax Court.
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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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