In This Issue of Indiana Lawyer

JUNE 24-JULY 7, 2020

A new regional center in Indianapolis is bringing economic excitement as an immigration law firm plans to boost businesses, communities with foreign investors. The final chapter of Valparaiso Law School has brought bittersweet memories for alumni. And as a slate of new laws are set to take effect July 1, two lawyers whose clients lost in court saw new laws that adopted the positions they fought for.

Top StoriesBack to Top

Economic excitement: Immigration law firm plans to boost businesses, communities with foreign investors

Marco Moreno was introduced to the idea of economic development by watching a rundown, forgotten neighborhood in Indianapolis get a second chance. He came to the Circle City to study law and was intrigued by the neighborhood redevelopment work. A few years later, his interest was reignited when he learned how regional centers were boosting international funding for projects designed to grow businesses and help communities in the United States. Now the immigration attorney is running a unique regional center in Indianapolis.

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Bittersweet memories for Valparaiso Law School alums

Before the signs were taken down and the remnants of the past 140 years were put into an archive, Nadia Wardrip took her 2-year-old daughter to Valparaiso Law School at the end of May to snap a couple of photos. The Lake County deputy prosecutor had spent 12 hours a day, six days a week at the law school so she could become a prosecutor, as she had dreamed of doing since high school. Going back one last time helped her explain to her little girl how she became who she is.

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As story concludes after more than 140 years, faculty reflect on Valparaiso Law School’s legacy

In a final twist of cruelty, the final graduating class of Valparaiso Law School and the alumni did not get to gather one final time to commemorate their alma mater. The COVID-19 pandemic prevented faculty, alumni and friends from saying goodbye together. So the institution closed quietly after the class of 2020 concluded their studies in May, ending a tenure in legal education that began in 1879.

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Saying goodbye: Baker to retire after more than 40 years as a judge

It wasn’t quite the retirement he expected. With COVID-19 forcing most of the population to work from home, Court of Appeals Judge John Baker quietly visited the Indiana Statehouse in early June to pack up his chambers. Though he won’t officially retire until July 31, he decided to close out his Indianapolis office early, without the usual pomp and circumstance of a sendoff. “I wanted to work from home,” Baker said with a laugh, “but I didn’t mean for everyone else in the world to have to do it.”

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FocusBack to Top

Seeking a safe harbor: Manufacturers call for liability protections amid COVID-19 efforts

As the novel coronavirus began its spread across the United States, virtually every industry adjusted operations. That includes the manufacturing industry, which was faced with the dichotomy of the need for layoffs and the need for additional output. But as these businesses have aided in the effort to slow the spread of the virus, industry experts say there’s a shadow over their work: the fear of liability lawsuits.

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Blaiklock and Whybrew: COVID-19 and force majeure in the manufacturing context

The global COVID-19 pandemic ground the world economy to a virtual halt in many sectors, including manufacturing. Many manufacturing lines slowed to a crawl or stopped completely. Travel became practically impossible, if not prohibited by various government orders. Despite that, supply contracts remain in place. What impact COVID-19 has on the legal relationships between customers and manufacturers will depend primarily on the presence — and nature — of force majeure clauses in the governing documents.

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OpinionBack to Top

Bravo: ‘Failure to speak up would let down’ the legal community

When I recently saw the video of George Floyd’s extrajudicial killing by law enforcement, a familiar sense of anguish, fury, hopelessness, and malaise swept over me. So did a sense of helplessness. We had seen this video before, over the long and many years. We had read this story. And yet, I had never before witnessed such a starkly calm extinguishment of a human life — a Black human life.

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Letter to the editor: Attorneys’ oath demands action

In light of excessive police violence, I call on my fellow barristers, who took the same oath as I, to begin living that oath. “I will never reject, from any consideration personal to myself, the cause of the defenseless, the oppressed or those who cannot afford adequate legal assistance; so help me God.”

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Quick: Best marketing during pandemic — Lend a hand

During this unprecedented time, I have been asked by a number of clients if they should alter their marketing plans. My answer is “Yes, but don’t stop marketing.” Further, attorneys — like many other businesses — while still doing at least partial in-person interaction, should consider increasing certain aspects of contact with customers.

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Start Page: Using Microsoft Teams for mediation

Personal and work lives have changed drastically in 2020, and we are only halfway through the year! If nothing else, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how flexible and resilient we need to and can be. It has also reminded us of how “essential” legal services are. What do you do when you are deemed “essential” during a global pandemic? You get creative.

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Special SBack to Top

New laws overrule court rulings

Sometimes you lose the battle but win the war. That happened for at least two Indiana lawyers this year. While their clients lost in court, the results of their cases so struck a nerve that the Indiana General Assembly reacted, passing legislation that enshrined into law relief lawyers and their clients fought for.

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New laws for 2020

The Indiana General Assembly passed laws this year on matters ranging from increasing the smoking and vaping age to laws banning distracted driving, specifically prohibiting the use of a cellphone behind the wheel. The following enrolled acts, followed in parentheses by their corresponding public law numbers, take effect July 1 unless otherwise noted.

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Disciplinary ActionsBack to Top

Bar AssociationsBack to Top

IndyBar Review Prep Course Lives On Amidst Pandemic

During the current health crisis, the Indianapolis Bar Association remains committed to its responsibility to support and equip law students with practical skills and knowledge to thrive as a young lawyer in Indianapolis. It is for that reason we’ve modified and adapted our IndyBar Review prep course, the most comprehensive bar prep course in the region, keeping in mind the same goal to prepare students for the July 2020 Indiana Bar Examination.

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IndyBar: Construction and Conversion Deadlines in the Time of COVID-19: Check Your Loan Documents

Since the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the United States in March 2020, many developers and borrowers with real estate construction or rehabilitation projects underway are faced with the critical question of whether they can adhere to the construction, conversion and other deadlines set forth in the project’s loan documents. Here are some key items to review if COVID-19 may cause the project to miss a critical deadline.

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IndyBar: Season 2 of ‘Off the Record with James Bell’ Highlights Innovation and Growth Within Indy’s Legal Community and Beyond

From Indy legal legends to nationally renowned writers and field experts, “Off the Record” host (and past IndyBar president) James Bell goes beyond the courtroom and delves into the minds of his esteemed guests. The podcast features stories and insight on topics like gender diversity in the profession, President Donald Trump’s impeachment, what it’s like to argue at the U.S Supreme Court, the fight for racial equality and so much more.


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DTCI: COVID-19 and Worker’s Compensation

As more employees are able to leave home and return to their traditional workplace with peers, exposure increases by default. Given the increased interaction, Indiana worker’s compensation defense attorneys may be seeing just the beginning of their indirect battle with COVID-19. This article sheds light on Indiana’s treatment of diseases in the worker’s compensation setting and describes what an employer, its insurer, and its defense attorney should expect if faced with a COVID-19 claim.

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DTCI: Award Nominations Invited

The Defense Trial Counsel’s Annual Meeting will be held November 19-20 at French Lick Resort. One of the highlights of the meeting is the presentation of the “Defense Lawyer of the Year,” the “Diplomat of the Indiana Defense Trial Counsel,” and the “Outstanding Young Lawyer” awards. The DTCI’s Awards Committee is now accepting nominations for this year’s awards.

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