Viewpoint

Cox: Time records and billings are important risk management tools

April 9, 2014
Dina Cox
It’s sad but true: The work product of an attorney that clients study most closely is the attorney’s bill. Dina Cox says because of this close scrutiny, coupled with your own standards of professionalism, it is important that your time records and any invoice for services sent to the client be clear, detailed and accurate.
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Quality of Life: Don’t be a slug when dealing with a workplace bully

March 26, 2014
Jonna Kane MacDougall
According to a 2010 survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute, a nonprofit organization in Bellingham, Wash., 35 percent of American workers reported being bullied at work.
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Sidebars: Delicious comfort food is made with care at Indy eatery

March 26, 2014
Jennifer Lukemeyer, Fred Vaiana
We give DeeGusto’s Southern Cooking 3 1/2 gavels!
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Inside the Criminal Case: Can a defendant be convicted for being ‘annoying?’

March 12, 2014
James Bell, K. Michael Gaerte
In 2012, the General Assembly amended Indiana’s public intoxication statute to provide, in part, that a person was guilty of public intoxication if the individual is intoxicated “in a public place” and “annoys … another person.” Indiana Code §7.1-5-1-3(a)(4). But what constitutes “annoying?”
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Lucas: Our current gun control approach is not working

February 12, 2014
Kelly Lucas
While I am not arguing against a person’s right to own guns or protect himself from threat, here is the question I can not shake: When does one person’s right to own a gun trump another person’s right to return home alive? In fiercely protecting one, we are clearly not doing enough to ensure the other.
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Bell/Gaerte: 3 things to know about withdrawing from a case

February 12, 2014
James Bell, K. Michael Gaerte
Unfortunately, there comes a time in some attorney-client relationships when breakup is inevitable. You may have tried to “work things out” with your client, but things only got worse. So what do you do?
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DTCI: Can women in the legal profession really beat the odds?

October 23, 2013
From DTCI
Research has shown that the greatest barrier to advancement for women attorneys is the work-family conflict.
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Federal Bar Update: Rule requires advance service of non-party document requests

October 23, 2013
John Maley
Unknown to some practitioners, since 1991 the current version of Fed. R. Civ. P. 45 requires advance notice to opposing parties of document subpoenas issued to non-parties.
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Hammerle on … 'Gravity,' 'Captain Phillips'

October 23, 2013
Robert Hammerle
Taking place on a damaged space station, Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity” is the most challenging space adventure focusing on the human heart since Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968). It forces you to examine the ultimate purpose of life given the fact that we are all going to die.
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Indiana Judges Association: Are changes needed to ‘change of judge’ rule?

September 25, 2013
David Dreyer
Marion Superior Judge David Dreyer discusses the "Change of Judge" rule in this issue of Indiana Lawyer.
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Lucas: Ever wonder ‘What do reporters really want?’

June 19, 2013
Kelly Lucas
Lucas offers a few suggestions to a list created about what reporters want - and don't want - when interviewing attorneys.
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Indiana Judges Association: Judges need to take control of cultural standing

May 8, 2013
David Dreyer
Have you ever Googled “lawyer dog”? If you do, be prepared to see a limitless line of websites all featuring identical photos of the same canine seated behind his desk, along with various one-liners related to the law, dogs and just silliness.
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Federal Bar Update: Supreme Court takes rare steps on procedural decisions

May 8, 2013
John Maley
With its limited docket, the U.S. Supreme Court rarely decides procedural issues, focusing instead on weighty constitutional issues or resolving split interpretations of federal statutes. This term, however, the Supreme Court has addressed several procedural issues.
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Lucas: 2013 Leadership in Law Award winners revealed

April 24, 2013
Kelly Lucas
Through the profiles in the Leadership in Law award supplement, it is our goal to introduce IL readers to the men and women behind the public and professional personas.
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Lucas: Had a tough day? Escape to the movies!

February 13, 2013
Kelly Lucas
With this issue of IL, we begin presenting movie reviews by Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer Bob Hammerle. Bob is known to many lawyers and businesspeople for his passion about cinema and his colorful commentary about the latest shows to hit the theaters.
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Indiana Judges Association: Judges are good government partners

January 30, 2013
David Dreyer
Judge David Dreyer writes a letter to Gov. Mike Pence about how to make people more legally literate.
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LaBret: Demystifying online reputation defense

January 30, 2013
Jabez LaBret writes about how lawyers can control what shows up about them in online searches.
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Badger: Using arbitration clauses to reduce potential liability risk

January 16, 2013
Steven Badger
In the first part of this column, I outlined the advantages and disadvantages of arbitration as an alternative to litigation in court and concluded that neither arbitration nor litigation is preferable in all situations. This second part provides more specific suggestions on when to use arbitration in certain high-risk, “bet-the-company” situations.
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Badger: To arbitrate or litigate, that is the question

January 2, 2013
Steven Badger
In my world of dispute resolution, one of the most basic questions is whether a particular business dispute should be resolved in arbitration or in a court of law. Like many of the questions I am frequently asked by clients, there is no simple answer that fits all occasions and situations.
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McGoff: It is a new year, start creating a new 'you'

January 2, 2013
Sharon McGoff
Each year, as Jan. 1 approaches and we gaze in the mirror at the after effects of the holidays … dark circles under our eyes, too many cookies and an over-abundance of cocktail parties, we set our sights on resolutions. We vow that “this time” we are going to do it! However, the statistics show that over 80 percent of us who set New Year’s resolutions will fail.
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DTCI: Client relationships and effective case management

November 21, 2012
From DTCI
Both authors of this article recently had experiences in which our clients have shown us the true emotional impact that litigation can have on a new litigant.
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Lucas: Dedication of clerks leads to smooth elections

November 21, 2012
Kelly Lucas
The 2012 elections are finally over. And while I think most people, with the possible exception of mail carriers and holiday Scrooges, are happy to have gift catalogs replace political flyers in their mailboxes, I would bet that no group is happier to see election season come to an end than the county clerks.
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Book review: 'The Science of Attorney Advocacy'

November 21, 2012
Rodney Nordstrom
Unlike other books I have recently reviewed, the book “The Science of Attorney Advocacy targets a different type of reader.
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Lucas: More information is needed when judging the judges

October 24, 2012
Kelly Lucas
Up the street and around the corner from my Broad Ripple house, a yard sign caught my eye that didn’t involve the usual Democrat versus Republican political rhetoric. This simple, hand-painted sign called for the ouster of Supreme Court Justice Steven David.
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DTCI: take the time to appreciate life's moments

October 24, 2012
Michele Bryant
I cannot imagine any professionals more obsessed with time than lawyers. While a great debate still rages as to whether the billable hour is dead, the fact remains that many lawyers continue to measure services to clients by a unit of time: the billable hour.
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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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  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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