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Pence signs probate, problem-solving court legislation

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Gov. Mike Pence signed 25 bills into law Monday, including legislation restricting criminal background checks and changes to probate and trust administration.

House Enrolled Act 1056 makes various changes regarding a personal representative’s employment of an attorney, the powers and duties of a personal representative, guardianships and the rules of trust construction. The legislation also says that estate lawyers do not have a duty to collect, possess, manage, maintain, monitor or account for estate assets, unless otherwise required by a specific court order. Estate lawyers are also not liable for any loss suffered by the state, except for losses caused by the lawyer’s breach of duty owed to the personal representative. An estate attorney represents and only owes a duty to the personal representative under the new law.

The original bill was prepared by the Probate Code Study Commission. Estate attorneys hoped the legislation would clarify concerns raised after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled on the scope and duties of a lawyer working on behalf of an estate’s personal representative.

House Enrolled Act 1016 allows problem-solving courts to offer rehabilitative services to participants. It also urges the Legislative Council to require the Commission on Courts during the 2013 legislative interim to evaluate the funding of veterans courts and to make recommendations to legislators. The new law also simplifies the problem-solving court fee transfer process.

HEA 1392 restricts criminal background checks and specifies that a clerk of a court is not a “criminal history provider” under the new law. The law allows a criminal history provider to provide certain information relating to an incident that did not result in a conviction, as well as provide information concerning expunged, restricted or reduced convictions to a person required by law to obtain the information. The introduced version of the bill was prepared by the Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee.

Other legislation Pence signed Monday includes:

HEA 1029 on who may obtain adoption history information; HEA 1061 allowing Marion Superior courts to appoint 12 full-time magistrates and Warrick Circuit and Superior courts to jointly appoint a magistrate; and HEA 1108 on sentencing for youthful offenders.

 

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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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