ILNews

Lawmakers pick summer study topics

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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State lawmakers have announced what topics they'll explore before the 2009 legislative term begins.

On tap: immigration, administrative law judge powers, Indiana's alcoholic beverage laws, and a variety of other legal issues.

The Indiana Legislative Council Thursday created multiple new interim study commissions that will meet this summer. What they recommend helps set the stage for the next session. Legislative leaders will appoint lawmakers to the panels in coming weeks, and most must make recommendations to the General Assembly by Nov. 1.

One of the biggest topics will be a newly created committee to study immigration issues, specifically the financial and economic impact of illegal immigrants, federal limitations, and the potential of e-verification systems.

The Interim Study Committee on Alcoholic Beverages will study the historic origins of Indiana's alcoholic beverage laws and how the 21st Amendment fits into this century. Also to be studied will be whether microbreweries can offer beer for carryout on Sundays.

Lawmakers on the Administrative Rules Oversight Committee will consider whether all commissions created solely to review state agency decisions can be replaced with a type of "office of appeal" staffed by administrative law judges.

The Child Custody and Support Advisory Committee plans to study whether the statute concerning supervised visitation should be amended to cover situations where violence accusations have been made against a non-custodial parent but did not result in charging or conviction.

Topics the Commission on Courts will study include: judicial mandates and alternatives to the current system, the election of Court of Appeals judges and public information about retention votes, the potential creation of a sixth Court of Appeals panel, modernizations of mechanic's liens filing system through an online statewide registry, and whether St. Joseph County judges should be elected or appointed.

The Sentencing Policy Study Committee will study the penalties for salvaged material theft, such as valuable metals and architectural salvage material, and the effectiveness of 2007 legislation on this type of crime.

Certain issues concerning the prosecuting attorneys retirement fund will also be studied by the Pension Management Oversight Commission.

A full list of the interim study committees can be found on the General Assembly's Web site.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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