Viewpoint

JLAP: One person’s story of alcohol addiction, recovery

May 3, 2017
Read a first-person account about one lawyer's struggle with alcohol addiction and help received through JLAP.
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JLAP: Post-holiday blues: Yes, it really is ‘a thing’

January 25, 2017
You may or may not be aware of it, but at JLAP we are sensitive to the reality that a lot of people feel pretty crummy right after the holidays. We talk to lawyers a lot about how they are feeling and our observations are that despite all the advice on how to avoid feeling stressed during the holidays, more people struggle after the holidays than during the holidays.
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Editorial: Modest proposal to state, IBM lawyers: Settle for nothing

June 29, 2016
IL Staff
Six years have passed since Indiana sued IBM over the failed $1 billion contract for the computer giant to modernize a punch-card-era system for determining welfare eligibility. After the contract was famously canceled, IBM blamed the state, the state blamed IBM, and they’ve been fighting in court since.
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Editorial: Rule changes still lack needed transparency

March 23, 2016
IL Staff
A proposed overhaul of Admission and Discipline Rule 23 contains some good ideas among the 108 pages of side-by-side comparisons of the old and the new. But the proposals would do little to deprogram the Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission’s culture of confidentiality or boost public confidence in the agency that polices Indiana attorneys.
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Nelson: Politics put U.S. Supreme Court precedent in peril

March 9, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
If you voted for President Barack Obama in 2012, sorry, but your vote no longer counts. That’s effectively what the Republican members of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary said in a Feb. 23 letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
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Indiana Judges Association: 7 hopes on a judicial holiday wish list

December 16, 2015
David Dreyer
As we complete a long, complicated year, my great judge journey leads me to a wish list. While wish lists are not uncommon for gift-giving season, or the start of a new year, this one is intended for regular rumination.
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Mellowitz: Judges should not ignore discovery violations

November 4, 2015
After 27 years in the trenches of civil litigation, most on behalf of injured plaintiffs, it is still shocking to see the blind eye that some judges turn toward even the most egregious violations of the discovery rules.
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Reuben didn’t forget when local club turned him away

September 23, 2015
Mickey Maurer
Note my musings on friend Larry Reuben on the occasion of the spring opening of the Riviera Club pool.
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Attorney Lawrence Reuben remembered for community activism

September 23, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indianapolis attorney Lawrence M. Reuben, who created a strong legacy of community activism, died Sept. 11, 2015. He was 67 years old.
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Express your views on practicing law in Indiana

September 23, 2015
Kelly Lucas
If you have not had an opportunity to take our survey, please take a moment to do so at www.theindianalawyer.com/survey-2015.
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3 things to know about the ethics of files

September 9, 2015
James Bell, Jessica Whelan
A formal opinion recently issued by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility sheds light on what materials belong to the client.
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DTCI: Candor toward tribunal trumps attorney-client privilege

September 9, 2015
Jamie Oss
The requirement for candor toward the tribunal is set forth in Indiana Rule of Professional Conduct 3.3, and it qualifies the attorney-client privilege.
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Nothing is more important to democracy than civic literacy

September 9, 2015
Kelly Sharp
As we approach the 228th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution this Sept. 17, we might consider where civic literacy is taking place.
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Concerns with supervised release conditions

August 12, 2015
James Bell, K. Michael Gaerte
The 7th Circuit has issued a series of additional opinions, shedding more light on the goals, scope and limitations of conditional release.
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Start Page: Scanning solutions

August 12, 2015
Seth Wilson
Mobile device scanning doesn’t take long to learn and helps when you wish you had a copy machine nearby.
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Making Rain: Website mistakes

July 29, 2015
Dona Stohler
A firm’s website has become the way your prospects, and probably current clients, evaluate and validate their choice to hire you to help them with their legal problems.
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Fed Bar Update: Process is underway to fill vacancies on federal bench

July 29, 2015
John Maley
Read about latest developments in the federal bar.
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Tech Untangled: Personal cloud storage device provides subscription alternative

July 29, 2015
Stephen Bour
Retaining your important data exclusively on the hard drive of your computer is a recipe for disaster. To assist you, there are myriad subscription data backup services available today, such as Carbonite and iDrive.
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DTCI: Legal questions abound for hands-free driving

July 15, 2015
Matthew Trainor
Although fully autonomous cars will take years to reach the general public, several car manufacturers already sell or have plans within the next year to begin selling cars with hands-free driving features.
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I’d walk a mile for a cheeseburger – better make that six

July 15, 2015
Sharon McGoff
Do not despair and throw in the towel on your daily exercise routine because you don’t think you could ever burn enough calories to eat burgers. Exercise is, without a doubt, the best medicine for our bodies, minds and spirit.
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Ponzi scheme remains white collar fraud of choice

July 15, 2015
Casey Higgs
Since the fall of Bernard Madoff, the Securities and Exchange Commission has upped its enforcement on Ponzi schemes.
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Quality of Life: Take steps toward a course for new beginnings

April 8, 2015
Jonna Kane MacDougall
While some behaviors may have helped us progress through life at one time, often they become limiting as we develop and mature. There are ways to change these patterns – to create new internal responses or maps, so to speak, so that you will move in a different direction from your old way of being.
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Quick: Use the tools available to market today’s law firms

September 10, 2014
Lawyers are trying new and different ways to advertise with more focus on websites and digital media. But even today, problems remain.
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Indiana Judges Association: Judging from the mountaintop

April 23, 2014
David Dreyer
If judges wore wigs in the United States, there might be a marked increase, I say, in public confidence in our courts. Hopefully, it would not be outweighed by any marked increase in public satire, but it could not be any worse than the judge shows now on daytime TV. The public always needs to understand that courts are serious and judges are different. More importantly, it is necessary to understand why.
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Bell/Gaerte: 3 things to know about responding to disciplinary grievances

April 9, 2014
James Bell, K. Michael Gaerte
At some point, you may have the wonderful opportunity to respond to a disciplinary grievance. With that in mind, here are three things to know about responding to a disciplinary commission grievance.
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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  4. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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