In This Issue of Indiana Lawyer

MAY 27-JUNE 9, 2020

Suspended Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill is fighting to stay in power, facing political rivals as well as a lawsuit that seeks to disqualify him from office. Juvenile probation officers in Marion and Monroe counties delivered for their young clients and their families, providing a gift in tough times. And as law school graduates faced unprecedented challenges from the coronavirus pandemic leading up the July bar exam, quick action by the Indiana Supreme Court delivered some certainty in uncertain times.

Top StoriesBack to Top

Hill’s fight to stay AG continues

Suspended Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill will be reinstated to the practice of law June 17, and he’s said he’s using the time in the interim to “reflect on lessons learned.” His chief deputy, Aaron Negangard, is overseeing the office while Hill serves his suspension, but a lawsuit filed May 21 challenges Hill’s authority to make that appointment.

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Indiana Supreme Court providing certainty in uncertain times

The July bar exam is one example of the Supreme Court’s nimbleness as it moves in a new direction to help recent law school graduates and new lawyers overcome the stress and hardship created by the pandemic. Within the span of roughly two months, the justices moved the May admission ceremony online so those who passed the February bar could begin their legal careers as soon as possible and established the graduate legal intern program to give 2020 graduates the option of getting a limited license.

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FocusBack to Top

Moore & Sweet: A guide to will and trust validation in Indiana

We return to the scenario presented in a previous article, “Premortem validation could help avert will, estate contests” (Indiana Lawyer, Oct. 16, 2019). Recall that the mother (“mom”) changed her will six months before her death, giving the entire estate to her caregiver-daughter (“daughter”) and leaving nothing for her out-of-town son (“son”). Since Indiana has not yet enacted pre-mortem validation statutes for wills or trusts, daughter and son must argue the validity of the final will in court after mom has passed. This article discusses how the scenario (and a similar one dealing with a revocable trust) might play out under current Indiana law.

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Kissel & Snellenbarger: A once-in-a-decade estate-planning opportunity

We are almost halfway through 2020 and have seen the stock market fall, rally and fall again. We have been trapped in our houses unable to help our unstable economy, attempting to find new hobbies to pass the time and, of course, practicing social distancing. The silver lining to this pandemic is that it has provided an opportunity for us to better ourselves, and with falling interest rates, transfer our clients’ wealth to the next generation.

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Tapp & Slusher: Surviving pandemic, murder hornets as new lawyer

When we all set our new year’s resolutions for 2020, none of us likely envisioned trying to achieve those goals in the midst of a pandemic. Phrases like “unprecedented” and “difficult times” are heard every five minutes. Staying at home by yourself and binge-watching Netflix while eating ice cream from the gallon bucket constitutes saving the world.

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Fontan: First-year attorneys can flatten the learning curve

I cannot pretend to completely understand all the challenges new Indiana lawyers will face given the uncertainty of COVID-19. Despite this unprecedented set of circumstances, however, there are many lessons that are applicable not only in times of videoconferencing and home offices, but in future years of practice.

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Collins: What I learned in my first 7 months of practice

Often, attorneys want to hit the ground running right out of law school and acquire as many clients as fast as they can. This sometimes includes getting involved in as many groups as you can fit into your schedule. While these are all good things to start developing immediately, the first and most important thing you want to accomplish is becoming a great lawyer.

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OpinionBack to Top

Stafford: Hill touts his record, so let’s look at his convictions

Say what you will about Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, he is a man of convictions. But for purposes of this earned polemic, let’s set aside the wrongful convictions that are still being overturned from Hill’s years as Elkhart County prosecutor. Instead, let’s focus on his time as AG and explore Hill’s personal and political convictions.

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JLAP: Indiana’s chief justice champions lawyer well-being

Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush staunchly supports and promotes well-being in the legal profession. When she talks to Indiana judges, lawyers and law students, Rush frequently mentions the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program. During her State of the Judiciary speech in January, the first topic Rush mentioned was Indiana’s problem-solving courts, which focus on issues including drugs and mental health.

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Bell & Grass: When silence isn’t golden: The ethics ‘boom shakalaka’ defense

Under normal circumstances, we would try to fill this column with something useful. We would try to give you tips that may help your practice, and we would hope that our column would give you a teensy-weensy bit of knowledge that might help you avoid an ethical problem down the road. However, these are not normal circumstances, so we feel like offering something a little different.

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Trimble: Sound advice from a nationally known lawyer coach

For my column this edition I have the pleasure of introducing a friend, Cordell Parvin, who is one of America’s premier lawyer career coaches. In late February, just before the pandemic, I sat down with Cordell to get his take on a number of questions that had been simmering in my mind. I share that exchange with you now.

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Maley: Tribute to Laura Briggs

With all the challenges facing bench, bar, and litigants in this difficult time, reflecting on something or someone good seems particularly appropriate for today’s column, rather than the usual nuance of jurisdiction and procedure. Laura Briggs is, by all means, someone good, indeed extraordinary. Most federal practitioners in the Southern District know this well, having benefited from Laura’s dedicated service as clerk since 1998.

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Bar AssociationsBack to Top

DTCI: Avoiding Trial By Ambush

This article looks at the practice of disclosing treating physicians as experts and the law underlying the reasons that treating physicians and their opinions should be disclosed in the course of discovery.


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