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IBA: Pause for Professionalism

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The situations are all too familiar – maybe you have just received discovery requests from opposing counsel and they are asking for your clients to provide more information than if they were going through a Senate confirmation hearing. Or you have propounded reasonable discovery requests only to find that your opposing counsel is objecting to every request using just the phrase “We don’t want to provide that. “Or opposing counsel has sent you thousands of pages of documents and, for every discovery response, has stated “It’s probably in there somewhere.”

Discovery can be a time consuming and often very frustrating part of litigation. Often, the rules don’t provide enough information to cover every possible situation and you can often feel like you are adrift in a sea of responses.

As a part of its Pause for Professionalism video series, the Professionalism Committee has recently released a video of Hon. Tim A. Baker, United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana in a video entitled “Civility in Discovery.” Judge Baker provides helpful hints for how to solve discovery disputes as well as some common pitfalls to avoid. Judge Baker also provides some insight for how much judges want parties to resolve their discovery issues without the intervention of the bench. Judge Baker’s comments and tips provide insight to practitioners across the board and can assist with discovery issues in every court.

New videos will be distributed every other month and are available on the IndyBar website at http://www.indybar.org/resources/video-gallery.php. If you have any suggestions for future topics regarding professionalism and civility, please email them to Caren Chopp at cchopp@indybar.org.•

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  1. Hmmmmm ..... How does the good doctor's spells work on tyrants and unelected bureacrats with nearly unchecked power employing in closed hearings employing ad hoc procedures? Just askin'. ... Happy independence day to any and all out there who are "free" ... Unlike me.

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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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