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Supreme Court amends more rules

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The Indiana Supreme Court has amended various rules of court, including admission and disciplinary, alternative dispute resolution, and appellate procedure rules.

The orders - all dated Sept. 15, 2009 - were posted Monday afternoon on the court's Web site. The following rules have been amended:

- Administrative Rule (5)

- Rules for Admission to the Bar and the Discipline of Attorneys

- Rules of Appellate Procedure

- Rules for Alternative Dispute Resolution

- Rules of Evidence (201)

- Rules of Procedure for Original Actions

- Rules of Professional Conduct

- Rules of Trial Procedure

The justices unanimously agreed regarding all of the orders except for the admission and disciplinary amendments. Justices Brent Dickson and Robert Rucker dissented to amendments made to Rule 23 Section 20 involving immunity. The changes say each person shall be absolutely immune from civil suit for all of his or her oral or written statements intended for transmittal. The word "sworn" was replaced by "oral."

Justice Rucker also dissented to Rule 2, which involves registration and fees. The amendment adds that any attorney who fails to make an Indiana Interest on Lawyer Trust Account certification by Oct. 1 of each year shall be assessed a delinquent fee.

The Supreme Court also released two orders Sept. 15 detailing changes to the Child Support Rules and Guidelines, and adding a new Rule of Evidence that certain statements must be recorded before they can be admitted into evidence in felony criminal prosecutions.

All of the changes take effect Jan. 1, 2010, except for the recording of statements. That rule begins Jan. 1, 2011.

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  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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