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New planning report form now in use in Northern District

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FedBarMaley-sigEffective Aug. 14, the Northern District of Indiana has a new form for the “Report of Parties’ Planning Meeting” that is required to be submitted after the parties’ Rule 26(f) planning conference. This new form is to be used going forward.

The new and improved form is the result of work by the magistrate judges and the Local Rules Advisory Committee, with the goal of making the form simpler, consistent with federal and local rules, and reflective of current practices.

As an example of recognizing the realities of modern practice, the form starts off with this statement acknowledging that often times these schedules are worked out among counsel by email, “The parties [held a planning meeting] [conferred via electronic mail] under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(f) and agreed to this report on __________.”

The new form will be simple and easy for practitioners to use. It is available in Word and Wordperfect format on the court’s website.

Federal rule amendments take effect Dec. 1

This term the Supreme Court of the United States approved amendments to various federal rules. Barring action by Congress blocking the amendments (extraordinarily unlikely), the amendments take effect to cases commenced on or after Dec. 1, and to cases pending as of that date “to the extent just and practicable.”

The key change affecting federal civil practitioners will be a significantly revised Rule 45 on subpoenas. More detailed guidance on the new rule will follow later this year, but the key changes are: (a) the notice requirement to opposing counsel on subpoenas is more prominent; (b) the amendment clarifies that the 100-mile rule indeed applies; (c) the new rule allows transfer of subpoena issues to the court where the matter is pending upon the consent of the person receiving the subpoena, or for extraordinary circumstances; and (d) issuing subpoenas will now show only the caption from the court where the action pends, even if the subpoena is going out of district.

Proposed future rule amendments open for public comment through Feb. 15

The Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules has issued proposed amendments to Rules 1, 4, 6, 16, 26, 30, 31, 33, 34, 36, 37, 55 and 84. The proposals with commentary are available at www.uscourts.gov in the “Rulemaking” section. Most of the proposals stem from discussions and ideas at the so-called 2010 Duke Conference where three main themes were repeatedly stressed: (a) proportionality in discovery; (b) cooperation among lawyers; and (c) early and active judicial case management.

For instance, Rule 4(m)’s 120-day service period would be reduced to 60 days. Rule 26 would be amended to allow early document requests prior to the 26(f) conference. Rule 26 would also be amended to limit the scope of discovery so that it must be proportional to the needs of the case considering the amount in controversy, the importance of the issues at stake in the action, the parties’ resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit. Also, the presumptive limit on number of depositions would be five rather than 10, and the time limit reduced from seven hours to six hours.

Practitioners are encouraged to review the proposals and provide comment to the advisory committee.

Save the date – The annual Federal Civil Practice 3-hour CLE seminar will be Thursday, Dec. 19, from 1:30 – 4:45 p.m. in Indianapolis.

Golf with other attorneys – The 5th Annual Joseph Maley Foundation golf outing is set for Sept. 20 at Eagle Creek Golf Club in Indianapolis. This event is well attended by area attorneys. To register or sponsor, visit www.josephmaley.org.•

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John Maley – jmaley@btlaw.com – is a partner with Barnes & Thornburg, LLP, practicing federal and state litigation, employment matters, and appeals.

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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

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