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Suddenly solo

January 19, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
At the 2010 Indiana State Bar Association Solo and Small Firm Conference in June, then-ISBA president Roderick Morgan welcomed those in attendance, particularly those who found themselves to be “suddenly solo.” While he may not be the first to use the phrase, a number of attorneys have found themselves either making that decision or having it made for them in the last couple years.
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SCOTUS history on display

January 19, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Attorneys and history buffs alike may want to consider a detour to the law library at Indiana University Maurer School of Law next time they are in or near Bloomington.
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Legal aid budgets remain steady

January 19, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
While the need for services for indigent Hoosiers during these tough economic times continues to increase, civil legal aid providers are reporting that budgets for 2011 will be similar to those of 2010, and the numbers of cases handled in 2010 are comparable to 2009.
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Annual address praises court activity despite economy, changing times

January 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Even though times are tough, the Indiana chief justice says the Hoosier judiciary remains strong and continues to be a leader that other states look to as an example.
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Elkhart remembers two longtime attorneys

January 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Attorneys in northern Indiana are remembering two in the legal profession who died within a day of each other, including a longtime public defender who many say was one of the best in the state.
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Child support changes targeting the rich?

January 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A case before the Indiana Court of Appeals calls into question the constitutionality of the state’s new child support guidelines, challenging the revisions that last year altered the payment scheme for high-income earners and raised the ceiling on child support obligations.
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Courts offer CHINS facilitations

January 19, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Because mediations have become commonplace in family law cases, it may come as no surprise that a number of Indiana counties have been implementing a similar strategy to determine if a child is a child in need of services, or CHINS.
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DTCI: Kyrouac looking forward to 2011

January 19, 2011
Scott Kyrouac
Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana President Scott M. Kyrouac outlines his goals for 2011.
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Federal Bar Update: Southern District amends civil and criminal rules

January 19, 2011
John Maley
Effective Jan. 1, the Southern District of Indiana amended three local rules affecting civil practice, plus Local Criminal Rule 13.1 affecting criminal practice and sentencing (see the court’s website for the text of all rule changes).
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Indiana Family courts receive more than $200,000

January 5, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
As the family court project of the Indiana Supreme Court’s Division of State Court Administration enters a new year, courts that participate in the program have learned they will continue to operate with about the same amount of funding they have had in recent years.
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Indiana welcomes new Tax Court judge

January 5, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Long before law school and a legal career, Martha B. Wentworth owned a business and says her favorite part of that was paying her taxes.
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Indiana Supreme Court to hear arguments on victim-advocate privilege

January 5, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Domestic violence victims’ advocates and criminal law attorneys are waiting on the Indiana Supreme Court’s decision in a case involving a criminal defendant’s subpoena for records from a victim’s advocacy organization.
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FBI shares hate crime statistics

January 5, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
In late September 2010, as part of the FBI Citizen’s Academy in Indianapolis, agents passed around photos from a cross burning that took place four years earlier in Muncie.
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Judge Margret Robb to lead Indiana Court of Appeals

January 5, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Though she’s been on the appellate bench for 12 years, Judge Margret Robb is now adding a new distinction to her judicial title.
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Planning ahead for retirement

December 22, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
For attorneys who may be making a New Year’s resolution to consider retirement in 2011, 2012, or even 2013, it’s never too early to start planning.
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Indiana pro bono districts take a hit

December 22, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
While low interest rates can be a good thing for those looking to take out loans to buy a home, a car, or to refinance, they mean nothing but headaches and heartaches for organizations that depend on the dollars generated, such as legal aid organizations that rely on funds from Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts.
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Retiring Lake Circuit judge marks 34 years on bench

December 22, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Lake Circuit Judge Lorenzo Arredondo didn’t set out to make history when he took the bench more than three decades ago. But thanks to what he describes as an array of “historical accidents” over the course of his life, the 69-year old has cemented his name in the history books.
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Politics pivotal in legal world

December 22, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Some may say law and politics go together like love and marriage, but it’s more than a cliché when looking at how the Indiana legal community is being influenced and even transformed by the political process.
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Clark County self-help center helps pro se litigants

December 22, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
When pro se litigants find themselves in a courthouse for the first time, there’s a good chance they aren’t quite sure what to do. In the Clark County courthouse in Jeffersonville, just across the river from Louisville, a self-help center for pro se litigants in civil cases has been operational since late May.
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State says goodbye to its first tax judge

December 22, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Retiring Indiana Tax Court Judge Thomas G. Fisher received a warm goodbye at a send-off ceremony Dec. 17, as the state recognized the solid and nationally recognized body of caselaw that Indiana’s first appellate tax judge created during his 24 years on the bench.
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DTCI to promote civility, opposing 'anti-lawyer' sentiments

December 22, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Terre Haute attorney Scott M. Kyrouac wants to advance civility between plaintiffs and defense lawyers, and plans to advocate against “anti-lawyer legislation” that may be lodged against the legal community.
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Law firm evolution hints how Evan Bayh could follow in his father's footsteps - again

December 22, 2010
Michael Hoskins
It all began with three prominent attorneys 30 years ago.
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Indiana BLE executive director resigns

December 22, 2010
Michael Hoskins
After three years of being in charge of the Indiana Board of Law Examiners, a state court staff attorney has resigned, and the search for a new leader is under way.
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Sidebars: Find a little Mardi Gras any time at The Bar

December 22, 2010
Jennifer Lukemeyer, Fred Vaiana
We give The Bar 3 gavels!
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Federal Bar Update: Dec. 1 rule changes now in effect

December 22, 2010
John Maley
As previewed in prior columns, effective Dec. 1 various amendments took effect to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (as well as appellate, criminal, and evidence rules).
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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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