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Lucas: Trial reports give glimpse into litigation strategies

January 4, 2012
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EidtPerspLucas-sigNot so long ago, trial reports were a popular element in the Indiana Lawyer. They provide litigators the opportunity to share success stories and relay some of the unique issues that arise and arguments that are made in what might otherwise be considered routine cases. Every lawsuit has a story, and through trial reports, lawyers have the opportunity to convey those to their peers.

Over time, the number of trial reports the newspaper has received has slowed to what could now be described as a trickle. Sure, the recently released trial court statistics from Indiana’s state courts reveal that the overall number of issues that go to trial has dropped in the last decade, (see more about the trial court statistics in our story on page 1) and that might account for some of the reduction, but I don’t believe that is the primary reason for the decline in submitted trial reports.

Everyone is busy. It is difficult to find time for things that are not required. There are not enough hours in a day – I get that; I live that! But when you are involved in a trial that presents interesting issues or has an outcome that you see as “justice being served,” I hope you will take a moment to submit a trial report. It is as easy as visiting www.theIndianaLawyer.com and selecting the green “submit” tab, followed by the “submit a trial report” tab and completing the accompanying form.

We ask you for the facts: case name and number, injuries incurred, bench or jury trial, disposition/awards, etc. We’ll give you the opportunity to describe the facts of the case, compelling expert testimony and the arguments made. In the name of accountability, we require the attorney submitting a trial report to send the report to opposing counsel and verify that step has been taken.

Lawyers learn quite a bit from the experiences of their professional peers. By reading about cases similar to their own, they learn how other courts are ruling on a particular issue. By reading about trial strategies, techniques and experts used, they gain valuable insights – strategies they may employ in the future.

The Indiana Lawyer would like to revive the trial report section of the newspaper in 2012. I encourage you to submit your reports. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact me at klucas@ibj.com or 317-472-5233.•

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  1. File under the Sociology of Hoosier Discipline ... “We will be answering the complaint in due course and defending against the commission’s allegations,” said Indianapolis attorney Don Lundberg, who’s representing Hudson in her disciplinary case. FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW ... Lundberg ran the statist attorney disciplinary machinery in Indy for decades, and is now the "go to guy" for those who can afford him .... the ultimate insider for the well-to-do and/or connected who find themselves in the crosshairs. It would appear that this former prosecutor knows how the game is played in Circle City ... and is sacrificing accordingly. See more on that here ... http://www.theindianalawyer.com/supreme-court-reprimands-attorney-for-falsifying-hours-worked/PARAMS/article/43757 Legal sociologists could have a field day here ... I wonder why such things are never studied? Is a sacrifice to the well connected former regulators a de facto bribe? Such questions, if probed, could bring about a more just world, a more equal playing field, less Stalinist governance. All of the things that our preambles tell us to value could be advanced if only sunshine reached into such dark worlds. As a great jurist once wrote: "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman." Other People's Money—and How Bankers Use It (1914). Ah, but I am certifiable, according to the Indiana authorities, according to the ISC it can be read, for believing such trite things and for advancing such unwanted thoughts. As a great albeit fictional and broken resistance leaders once wrote: "I am the dead." Winston Smith Let us all be dead to the idea of maintaining a patently unjust legal order.

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  3. Do you know who the sponsor of the last-minute amendment was?

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