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.



  • 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 think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.