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Supreme Court amends state rules for courts, attorneys

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Multiple new rule changes will begin next year for the state’s court system, which were announced in a slew of Indiana Supreme Court orders released earlier in the week.

Seven orders dated Sept. 20 were posted online Thursday and make changes to trial and evidentiary rules, post-conviction remedies, appellate procedure, admission and discipline rules and attorney professional conduct regulations. Most take effect Jan. 1, 2012.

The rules revised are:
-    Trial Procedure: Rules 3.1, 53.1, 59, and 81.1
-    Post-Conviction Relief: Rules PC1 and PC2
-    Appellate Procedure: Rules 2, 9, 10, 11, 14, 14.1, 15, 16, 23, 24, 25, 46, 62, 63, and Forms 9-1, 9-2, 14.1-1, 15-1, 16-1, and 16-2
-    Admission and Discipline: Rules 2, 3, and 23
-    Evidence: Rules 501, 502, and 803
-    Professional Conduct: Rule 6.6
-    Administrative: Rules 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 14

Among the changes are revisions to the rule about attorneys admitted temporarily before Administrative Law Judges, the process for “lazy judge motions,” and the district structure for Indiana’s pro bono attorneys.

Specifically, Indiana Trial Procedure Rule 53.1 deals with what are known as “lazy judge motions,” and the changes put the determination that a judge’s ruling was past the 30-day limit in the hands of the Supreme Court’s Division of State Court Administration executive director, rather than the clerk of the court. Proposed changes in the spring would have given judges additional time – 45 instead of 30 days – to rule on motions and cases, but the final version approved by the Supreme Court keeps that time limitation at 30 days with the possibility of extensions.

Admission and Discipline Rule 3, Section 2 is amended to address those out-of-state attorneys and lay people who appear before Administrative Law Judges in state agency proceedings. The issue came up last year after a conflict was discovered between the Indiana Constitution and the state’s Admission and Discipline Rules. The former gives that attorney-admission authority exclusively to the Supreme Court, while the rules haven’t clearly addressed how non-Hoosier lawyers practicing before executive agencies should be handled.

Some ALJs have been admitting out-of-state attorneys for those proceedings, while others haven’t. The Supreme Court was considering whether the ALJs, Supreme Court, or local general jurisdiction court should have the authority to grant that status. In the rule changes, the Supreme Court allows any Indiana court to permit an out-of-state lawyer to appear in those administrative agency settings. The regular admission requirements for temporary attorneys then apply.

Another rule revision made this week includes Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 6.6, regarding the voluntary attorney pro bono plan. The court reshaped the jurisdictional infrastructure from 14 to 12 districts.

The new districts are:

- District A consists of Lake, Porter, Jasper, and Newton counties;
- District B is LaPorte, St. Joseph, Elkhart, Marshall, Starke, and Kosciusko counties;
- District C is LaGrange, Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Noble, Steuben, Wells, and Whitley counties;
- District D is Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery, Tippecanoe, Warren, Benton, Carroll, Vermillion, Parke, Boone, and White counties;
- District E is Cass, Fulton, Howard, Miami, Tipton, Pulaski, Grant, and Wabash counties;
- District F is Blackford, Delaware, Henry, Jay, Madison, Hamilton, Hancock, and Randolph counties;
- District G is Marion County;
- District H is Greene, Lawrence, Monroe, Putnam, Hendricks, Clay, Morgan, and Owen counties;
- District I is Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson, Johnson, Shelby, Rush, and Jennings counties;
- District J is Dearborn, Jefferson, Ohio, Ripley, Franklin, Wayne, Union, Fayette, and Switzerland counties;
- District K is Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Knox, Martin, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, Sullivan, Vigo, and Warrick counties; and
- District L is Clark, Crawford, Floyd, Harrison, Orange, Scott, and Washington counties.

 

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  • Key change in appellate rules
    This article doesn't mention an important change in the Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure. As of January 1, 2012, the Notice of Appeal goes from a simple document filed with the trial court clerk to a much more extensive document with multiple attachments -- essentially, the Appellant's Case Summary, which will no longer exist -- to be filed with the Court of the Clerks (appellate court clerk) and served on the trial court and parties. There is a two-year window of tolerance during which filing with the trial court will not forfeit the right to appeal -- but the rules do not say what happens if one files the old short-form Notice of Appeal with the trial court clerk during that period.

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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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