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. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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