Opinion

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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Smith: What to do when the EPA sends an Information Request

October 8, 2014
Even the best companies occasionally attract the attention of regulators. Recently, the United States Environmental Protection Agency announced that it will be focusing on addressing noncompliance issues and vigorous enforcement. EPA commonly investigates compliance and potential enforcement with an “Information Request.”
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Hammerle on ... 'The Skeleton Twins,' 'The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them'

October 8, 2014
Robert Hammerle
Bob Hammerle says "The Skeleton Twins," which stars two people know for their comedy work, derives its strength not from comedy but the emotional connection of disturbed twins.
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Making Rain: I'm pretty sure my clients love me

October 8, 2014
Dona Stohler
Most small to mid-sized companies use on average three to five law firms. Larger companies use even more. So, each and every day you are being compared to your competitors. Knowing how you compare to them in terms of your service and client satisfaction is good to know. You can get this information in a variety of ways and use it to bring in even more business from the client.
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Dean's Desk: Distance learning comes of age at NDLS

September 10, 2014
Nell Jessup Netwon
Thanks to distance-learning technology, professors as well as students have much more flexibility than previous generations did. Today a professor might teach in Chicago one week and in South Bend the next.
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Alerding/Latterell: A 2014 view of portability

September 10, 2014
Gift and estate tax planning has gotten easier for married couples thanks in part to a relatively new concept: porting of the federal gift and estate tax exemption to a surviving spouse.
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Thomas: When drafting a will, be as specific as possible

September 10, 2014
To ensure that your client’s property will go to the beneficiaries of his or her choosing, as opposed to the beneficiaries that the state chooses, it is imperative that the last will and testament be very specific and provide for as many contingencies as possible.
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Start Page: Microsoft Outlook distribution lists reduce email frustration

September 10, 2014
Seth Wilson
Have you ever used the “reply all” option on an email that has multiple recipients, only to get a return email notifying you that one (or more) of the email addresses was typed incorrectly by the original sender? Or, do you frequently email the same group of people by typing one email address at a time, only to realize that you forgot to include someone (usually right after you hit send)? The solution? Use distribution lists in Microsoft Outlook.
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Sidebars: Noblesville eatery’s Buffalo chicken sandwich is tasty surprise

September 10, 2014
Jennifer Lukemeyer, Fred Vaiana
We give Copper Still Kitchen & Bar 3 gavels!
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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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Hammerle On… 'Land Ho!' 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,' 'The Trip to Italy'

September 10, 2014
Robert Hammerle
Bob Hammerle says the stars of "The Trip to Italy" have no shame when they get together.
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Deveau: RCRA threatens validity of brownfield redevelopment

August 27, 2014
During the past 12 months a troubling trend has developed in the area of brownfield redevelopment. In several routine property transactions, buyers, sellers and lawyers have had the unpleasant experience of having their deals scuttled by a questionable application of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
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Inside the Criminal Case: Can your lyrics be used against you in court?

August 27, 2014
James Bell, K. Michael Gaerte
It is common knowledge that what you say can and will be used against you. But what about what you sing or intend to sing?
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Editor's Perspective: Another crack in the glass ceiling

August 27, 2014
Kelly Lucas
I’d like to make a suggestion to Indiana lawmakers when they return for the 2015 legislative session. I am not telling you how to do your jobs, but this suggestion falls under the guise of editing, so I feel I’m within my bounds.
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Federal Bar Update: Proposed rule changes, redacting documents

August 27, 2014
John Maley
The Judicial Conference Advisory Committees on Civil Rules has published proposed amendments to several rules and is seeking public comment.
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Hammerle On…'Guardians of the Galaxy,' 'Boyhood'

August 27, 2014
Robert Hammerle
Bob Hammerle says there isn't a mother who won't shed a tear watching "Boyhood."
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Column: ENDA would protect sexual orientation, gender identity

August 13, 2014
With same-sex marriage gaining momentum in Indiana and across the nation, it is no surprise that protection from discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity is most likely on the horizon.
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Gruber: NLRB announcement shakes up joint-employer standard

August 13, 2014
It is ironic that the week after Burger King’s new CEO is heralded for a profitability plan designed around the increase of franchises and the reduction of company-owned locations, the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board directed officials to treat McDonald’s USA as a “joint employer” with its franchisees for purposes of the National Labor Relations Act.
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Making Rain: When a room full of strangers freaks you out

August 13, 2014
Dona Stohler
As most good rainmakers know, it is all about networking, and sometimes this means talking to people who are total strangers. It can be daunting to attend an event that your firm is sponsoring or a conference that your target market attends and be expected to “go out there and make new friends.”
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Book review: Divorce case allows glimpse into amusing law firm matters

August 13, 2014
It begins with a ten year old’s Happy New Year greeting to her grandpa, including the sentence, “Mommy and Daddy are cranky.” It ends with a brief reminder on a lawyer’s personal legal stationary. In between these handwritten notes, “The Divorce Papers” tells a story about a divorce through legal documents, emails, court filings, news articles, a psychiatric report, statutes, judicial opinions, billable hour reports, invitations, and, of course, offers and counter-offers.
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Remembering former Indiana Justice Dixon W. Prentice

August 13, 2014
A former law clerk of Justice Dixon Prentice reflects on his time working with the justice.
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Hammerle On … 'Wish I Was Here,' 'Life Itself'

August 13, 2014
Robert Hammerle
Bob Hammerle says "Wish I Was Here" is one of those overlooked films that answers the question, "Is there anything worth a damn playing in the theater?"
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Inbox - 7/30/14

July 30, 2014
A reader responds to a recent article about employment after graduating law school.
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Bell/Gaerte: 3 things to know about ethical advocacy in closing argument

July 30, 2014
James Bell, K. Michael Gaerte
Recently, several published decisions have found attorneys to have engaged in improper advocacy. Here are three things to know about ethical advocacy in closing argument.
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  1. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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