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What the ISBA is watching this session

January 22, 2010

The Indiana State Bar Association is watching several bills introduced in this 2010 session, including probate and family law matters.

Paje Felts, legislative counsel at ISBA, said there are a few bills the bar association's sections have provided information about to help amend, including Senate Bill 65, which deals with guardianships and estate administration, and SB 67, which involves trust matters. SB 65 is out of committee and SB 67 has passed a second reading.

Felts said several attorneys in its real property and agricultural law sections have recommended some amendments to House Bill 1265, a coal-bed methane property bill. That bill is still in the Committee on Commerce, Energy, Technology and Utilities.

She also noted that several of the state bar's sections didn't meet until late this week or will meet next week, so there is the possibility those sections may suggest bills to watch or have amendments to offer.

The bar association typically doesn't take a position with most bills, but it has this session with HB 1193, which deals with juvenile, education, and law enforcement matters. A juvenile justice summit in August 2009 by the ISBA led to the introduction of that bill. The bill passed through the House and has been referred to the Senate.

Felts said the ISBA is also involved with SB 134, which deals with noncode statues and is on its third reading.

"It's an innocuous bill but important to practitioners so that they can find the laws that affect their practice," she said. "We have a lot of laws that are good law, but they are noncode so there's no way to track them."

The issue arose after discovering that some bills passed are classified as noncode and are difficult to find. The only way to locate them is to go to the original public law, Felts said.

Other bills the ISBA is watching include:

- SB 163, a bill tackling various child support matters that has made it out of committee.

- SB 273, which would require administrative law judges employed by the Department of Workforce Development be an attorney. It's still in the Committee on Pensions and Labor.

- HB 1062, which would enact the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act. The Committee on Judiciary passed the bill this week.

- HB 1034, which deals with bankruptcy exemptions. The bill has passed the House and has been referred to the Senate.

- HB 1315, which says the practice of law by a non-attorney is considered racketeering activity for purposes of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law. The bill has been assigned to the Committee on Judiciary and will be heard Monday, Felts said.

- HB 1350, which would enact the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act. The bill also has been assigned to the Committee on Judiciary.

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