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Indiana court official visits Ukraine to discuss court access

April 27, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The trip was a part of an ongoing effort the United States is making to help Ukraine improve its judicial independence and establish more of a democracy.
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Effort seeks to revive citizens' civic interest

April 27, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The message from lawyers, lawmakers, and educators is clear: Civic education is suffering, and along with it, our country. But no one seems certain how to convince people to care about civics.
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Legally preserving history

April 27, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Real estate, property negligence, and zoning laws are often utilized to preserve, restore, or protect sites having historic significance.
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Attorneys discuss pros and cons of practicing in 2 states

April 13, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger, Jenny Montgomery
Attorneys in Indiana know that they must meet certain ongoing requirements to maintain their law licenses: CLE hours, and staying abreast of procedural changes. Why, then, would anyone want to be licensed in two states?
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Indiana Senate honors state's oldest former legislator

April 13, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Teacher, lawyer, businessman, farmer, statesman – Elmer Hoehn has held many titles in his life.
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Evansville Bar Association to celebrate 100th anniversary

April 13, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The two-day celebration kicks off April 28 and will include a mock trial with area high school students.
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New advertising rules irk some lawyers

April 13, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Bloomington attorney Ken Nunn says he hasn’t been hurt by new attorney advertising rules put in place at the start of the year, but he’s hearing more disturbing stories from people who are feeling the effects.
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Comment time extended on state court rules

April 13, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Hoosier legal community has more time to offer comment on a multitude of state court rules that are being examined for potential revision.
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Indiana courts take backseat on camera study

April 13, 2011
Michael Hoskins
As yet another study concerning cameras in the courtroom is about to begin, Indiana doesn’t appear to be anywhere closer to allowing cameras in its state or federal trial-level courtrooms.
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Justice-turned-mediator: ADR does work

April 13, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When he was on the bench, former Indiana Supreme Court Justice Ted Boehm read a lot about alternative dispute resolution, and now that he's off the bench, he can see firsthand that it truly does work.
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Mediation firm champions comfort

April 13, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Mediation Option's attorneys say the laid-back atmosphere in the office distinguishes them from other mediators in Indiana.
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Valpo law students help New Orleans defenders

April 13, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Students from Valparaiso University School of Law worked with public defenders in New Orleans during their spring break.
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Legal analysts use media to educate public about issues

March 30, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Lawyers and judges who eat, sleep, and breathe the law might find it easy to forget that not everyone understands the finer points of how the justice system works. This is where legal commentators – analysts of the inner workings of the legal system – come into play.
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Protective Order Pro Bono Project offers training

March 30, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
For the last 10 years, volunteer attorneys and students in central Indiana have been helping domestic violence victims obtain protective orders, but before embarking on this process, volunteers must be trained on various matters.
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Respected leaders in U.S. Attorney's Office for Southern District retire

March 30, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Two longtime leaders in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District are retiring this month, taking with them more than a half century of combined legal experience.
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Notario publico issues surface again

March 30, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Years ago, the Indiana Supreme Court made it clear what non-lawyers could and could not do related to immigration services. Crossing the line might be considered the unauthorized practice of law. Now, two people in Indiana are facing the consequences of doing exactly that.
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Revising rules on agency lawyers

March 30, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Attorneys from outside Indiana should know this: The process for practicing before state administrative agencies, even temporarily, is changing and may impact your ability to practice law in this state.
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Girl Scouts learn law, bar offers scholarships

March 30, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger, IL Staff
Girl Scouts from Indiana recently learned about the law and legal careers. Also, the Johnson County Bar Association is offering scholarships to local students.
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Convictions a likelihood in Fair Finance case

March 30, 2011
Scott Olson
Defense attorneys representing indicted businessman Tim Durham and two other executives tied to bankrupt Fair Finance Co. could have a hard time convincing a jury of their innocence.
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Court weighs needs when timing judicial suspensions

March 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When deciding that a judge must be suspended and determining when that time off the bench should be, decision-makers must maintain a delicate balance.
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Lawyer commits to pro bono

March 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
The aspirational pro bono goal for attorneys, set by the American Bar Association and endorsed – but not forced – by many states, is around 50 hours. Some Indiana attorneys work this into their annual budget by working with pro bono district plan administrators to accept cases when need exists and when they can easily fit them into their work schedules.
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Disciplinary dividing line = R-E-S-P-E-C-T

March 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Two recent rulings by the Indiana Supreme Court send a message to any attorney who might be accused of misconduct and face disciplinary proceedings.
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Prosecution raises awareness of human trafficking

March 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
When it comes to human trafficking, most people who are unfamiliar with the crime visualize one person holding another hostage and giving them limited contact with the rest of the world. Some envision a basement in a dungeon-like setting with chains or other restraining devices, say advocates for victims of human trafficking.
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Attorney called to serve

March 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
As an attorney who was being deployed by the U.S. Navy Reserve to serve his country, there was no question that he would go. The support received from his firm for the year he was away made the experience manageable.
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Chief public defender retiring after 30 years

March 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
If there had been more job prospects for English literature graduates in the early 1970s, Susan Carpenter may not have ever become Indiana’s state public defender.
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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