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IBA: Make Time to Pause for Professionalism

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Civility and professionalism — and often the lack of it — have become increasingly discussed subjects in judicial opinions and between lawyers. To recognize and advance the importance of civility and professionalism in the legal profession, several years ago the Indianapolis Bar Association founded a Professionalism Committee. This Committee has undertaken several projects, most of which are driven by the “Standards of Professionalism” adopted by the Committee. Those standards can be found at www.indybar.org/resources/professionalism.

We are all aware of the Rules of Professional Conduct, the Indiana Rules For Admission To The Bar And The Discipline Of Attorneys, the Rules For Alternative Dispute Resolution, and the Code of Judicial Conduct. Those rules spell out the formal parameters that govern our conduct as lawyers and judges. A new program from the Indianapolis Bar Association seeks to quickly and easily add some practical insight about how those rules apply in daily practice.

Over the last year, the Professionalism Committee and numerous preeminent members of the Indianapolis Bar Association and the Judiciary have worked on a new initiative entitled, “Pause for Professionalism.” The purpose of this program is to provide members of the Bar Association with quick (no more than 5 minutes) and easy to access (just “click”) videos that are delivered to your in-box. The presenters are highly respected judges and lawyers who give a succinct presentation on the practical application of topics dealing with civility, professionalism, and/or ethics. You can look forward to seeing videos from Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker, Chief Judge Margret Robb, Judge Gerald Zore, Melissa Avery, Bob Hammerle, Wayne Turner, Melissa Proffitt Reese, and John Van Winkle. The subjects include civility in family law, discovery, criminal law, appeals, mediation, business transactions, and more.

Beginning in March, please keep your eye open for the “Pause for Professionalism” link within the IndyBar weekly e-bulletins. The Professionalism Committee encourages you to click on these videos and take no more than five minutes of your time to “Pause for Professionalism.” New videos will be distributed every other month; following their debut each will be available for viewing anytime on the IndyBar website at http://www.indybar.org/resources/video-gallery.php.•
 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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