Opinion

Dean's Desk: Educating, supporting those called to the law

December 3, 2014
Andrea D. Lyon
The legal system plays a foundational role in a free society, and those who are called to this profession have an exciting opportunity to demonstrate their humanity while serving others.
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2014 DTCI Amicus Report

December 3, 2014
From DTCI
In 2014, the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana’s Amicus Committee participated in a number of interesting appeals, several of which have not yet been decided. The cases DTCI became involved in this year addressed a variety of evidentiary and other issues that are of interest to the defense bar.
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Indiana Judges Association: The legal profession's Top Ten list of legal quotes

December 3, 2014
David Dreyer

Drawing upon Mr. David Letterman’s famous comic premise – the Top Ten List – we judges and lawyers would do well to take a similar look at our professional selves. So, for what it’s worth, see this judge’s Top Ten legal quotes, starting with No. 1 (and explanations). Of course, very few of them were said by lawyers.

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Hammerle on ... 'Whiplash,' 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1'

December 3, 2014
Robert Hammerle
Bob Hammerle says "Whiplash" is a startling movie with an Oscar-worthy screenplay that assaults your senses.
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Start Page: Tame your email inbox using flags, rules and search folders

December 3, 2014
Seth Wilson
I have a confession: I struggle to keep up with all the inputs in my life. Something is constantly seeking my attention – people, phone, texts, email and social media.
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Dean's Desk: Truly integrated experiential education

November 19, 2014
andre douglas pond cummings
Legal education has lost its way. While many law schools seek to update and modernize their approach through the adoption of some required skills instruction and the addition of clinical experiences for more of their students, a significantly more aggressive approach is necessary to reform legal education fully and prepare law students to enter the practice of law today.
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Leonard: Proposed rule expands safe harbors under federal Anti-Kickback Statute

November 19, 2014
The United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General recently published a proposed rule seeking to add new safe harbors to the Anti-Kickback Statute, as well as amend certain existing safe harbors within the rule.
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DTCI: Is technology killing the work-life balance?

November 19, 2014
From DTCI
I will admit that when I first started practicing law, there were no BlackBerry phones, iPhones or tablets allowing one to access email at any time of the day, anywhere in the world. I also could not access the system in our office while at home or some other remote location. Now that all of these options are available to us, I can’t help but wonder is technology killing the ability to balance work with life?
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Quality of Life: Volunteer to live a longer and healthier life

November 19, 2014
Jonna Kane MacDougall
Not only do the recipients of the volunteers’ time and effort benefit, but studies have shown that the volunteers themselves benefit as well.
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Bell: 3 things to know when leaving a law firm

November 19, 2014
James Bell
According to the all-reliable Internet, the economy is improving. That may mean lawyers will soon be moving from their secure jobs to (possibly perceived) greener pastures. The act of leaving a law firm implicates several Rules of Professional Conduct that both law firm management and departing attorneys should be aware of. Here are three things to know about leaving a law firm.
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Dean's Desk: Partnerships prep students for Indiana legal careers

November 5, 2014
Austen Parrish
A growing economy needs all kinds of professional support – including leaders who have been trained in law and know how to problem-solve. That’s why we have developed several new programs at the IU Maurer School of Law designed to attract the best and brightest students to our school, introduce them to the growing global economy – and, we hope, keep them in the Hoosier State.
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Finney: Top 5 Word tips every legal professional should know

November 5, 2014
Deanna Marquez
Regardless of practice area, Microsoft Word is an application that most of us spend significant time utilizing. Unfortunately, it is often amidst looming deadlines, preventing us from having time to truly explore features that could ultimately make us more efficient.
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A View from Gitmo: An update on USS Cole case and other proceedings

November 5, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Patricia Riley offers an update on proceedings happening at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
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Sidebars: Detour from courthouse for impressive pizza and soda combo

November 5, 2014
Fred Vaiana
Rare is the restaurant that impresses with every dish. I mean every aspect of every dish, including, believe it or not, the fountain soda drinks. At least on one glorious September evening with my family, Coalition Pizza was that restaurant.
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Inside the Criminal Case: Contempt, punctuality and expressing yourself to a court

October 22, 2014
James Bell, K. Michael Gaerte
We advise our clients that unfortunately, delays can be part of the court experience. However, one thing we have never advised our clients to do is “tell the court how you really feel.” Or, as Dave Chappelle would say, we have never advised our clients to “keep it real” with the court.
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Laurin: Well-crafted contracts can avoid subrogation disputes

October 22, 2014
Most Indiana construction law practitioners would probably agree that Indiana caselaw on construction issues is hardly robust. One exception is cases that address the enforceability of waiver of subrogation provisions (usually under AIA contracts) to prevent claims for damage to the “Work” (again usually as defined by AIA contracts) when a builder’s risk policy should or does cover the damage.
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Singer/Jones: A survival guide for zombie construction projects

October 22, 2014
In real estate and construction, zombies really are all around us. Structures with no life inside scar the real estate landscape in every major city – the abandoned automobile-parts manufacturing facility; the half-completed condo building; the vacant video store with its giant, empty parking lot; the literal hole in the ground surrounded by rusted construction fencing and graffiti – all threatening the health and safety of the structures and inhabitants around them.
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Federal Bar Update: Minor rule changes and attorney-client privilege

October 22, 2014
John Maley
Any amendments to various federal rules always take effect Dec. 1. Some years there are significant changes, other years few or no amendments are in play. This December is very modest in terms of federal rule amendments.
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DTCI: Proceed with caution and civility during depositions

October 22, 2014
As a young lawyer, I have quickly learned that this friction between our duties to our clients and our duty to behave civilly becomes overly apparent at depositions. Without a doubt, depositions are an extremely effective and widely used discovery tool. They present great opportunity to gain valuable facts that can be used against an opponent. That being said, they also present great opportunity for incivility, especially because depositions are generally held outside a judge’s supervision.
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Living Fit: Sitting is killing you, so get moving

October 22, 2014
Sharon McGoff
How is a chair like a cigarette? They can both kill us.
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Start Page: Take a few (more) steps toward a ‘paper-less’ office

October 22, 2014
Seth Wilson
Law firms will likely never be completely paperless (i.e., completely electronic). A good goal for firms, courts and attorneys is to use less paper and be more “paper-less.” This article presents four steps you can take to reduce the use of, and reliance on, paper in practice.
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Hammerle On… 'Gone Girl,' 'The Judge'

October 22, 2014
Robert Hammerle
Bob Hammerle says "The Judge" can't be saved by the appearance of brilliant actors Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall and Vera Farmiga.
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Technology Untangled: Document scanning in the palm of your hand

October 8, 2014
Stephen Bour
Today we will look at an application that allows your smartphone to function as a surprisingly capable portable document scanner, capturing images of higher quality and much greater utility than a typical .JPG photo capture.
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Indiana Judges Association: Judges struggle with 'rule of law' questions daily

October 8, 2014
David Dreyer
As judges, we struggle with “rule of law” questions every day. The gray areas between a fact and a supposition dog our paths. The tension between the letter of the law and the conscience of the community complicate our considerations. In some cases, the rule of law just seems to be unjust. But overall, the true meaning of “rule of law” should not be a barrier.
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INBOX: Keep Marion County Small Claims out of Superior Court

October 8, 2014
A reader believes the rational solution to issues in Marion County Small Claims Courts is to keep the system as it is and not move it to Marion Superior Court.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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