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Supreme Court revises rules, creates new committees

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The Indiana Supreme Court has created two new committees to study issues relating to pro se litigants and child advocacy.

The Planning Committee on Self-Represented Litigants will provide a long-range strategy for improving access to justice for pro se litigations, including protocols for judges and clerks or general guidance to courts, legal service providers, and public organizations. This group will meet at least four times a year and recommend policy or procedure changes to the Supreme Court.

The number of members isn't outlined, but the committee will consist of judges, practicing attorneys, legal academia, state and local officials, and public organizations. All will be appointed by the high court and serve three-year terms.

Likewise, the Advisory Commission on Guardian ad Litem/Court Appointed Special Advocate will provide a similar long-range strategy for promoting, expanding, and training child advocacy programs. Recommendations will also be made to the Supreme Court.

This committee of 18 will be composed of judges and directors of certified, volunteer-based GAL/CASA programs throughout the state. The group will meet at least quarterly and act by a majority vote, according to the rules.

Prior to these committee additions, the Supreme Court oversaw the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee, Race and Gender Fairness Committee, and Records Management Committee.

Details of both newly formed committees are outlined in revisions to Indiana's Administrative Rules, which the court modified this week. The rules take effect Jan. 1. The order can be viewed online here. 

In addition to these administrative rule changes, the Supreme Court also revised other rules such as those governing appellate practice, jury pools, and evidence rules. Many included housekeeping and language revisions; others dealt with increasing the number of allowable print fonts for briefs from 6 to 16, adding a designation of attorney surrogate to disciplinary rules, and changing the hours requirement for specialty status from 33 percent to 25 percent of total practicing hours.

All of the rule changes can be found at the Indiana Supreme Court's Web site.
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  1. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  2. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  3. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  4. 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.

  5. Agreed on 4th Amendment call - that was just bad policing that resulted in dismissal for repeat offender. What kind of parent names their boy "Kriston"?

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