In This Issue of Indiana Lawyer

OCT. 30-NOV.12, 2019

Over four days of sometimes contentious testimony, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill and four women who accuse him of sexual misconduct took the stand in an extraordinary attorney discipline hearing. The more than 275 new lawyers who took the oath earlier this month got there with a little help from family and friends. And a new law is giving new hope to moms and dads behind bars who formerly faced the presumption of termination of their parental rights.

Top StoriesBack to Top

New lawyers get by with a little help from family, friends

The support of family and friends for students in law school is not only common for most law students, but also necessary. Law professors and counselors say students need a supportive network to rely on inside and outside of law school to help them master the material, tamp down any discouragement or despair and ultimately become successful attorneys with good mental health.

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New law gives moms, dads behind bars hope in TPR cases

Christina Kovats and Kristina Byers previously served time at the Indiana Women’s Prison, and this year they became advocates who worked to draft Indiana legislation aimed at dismantling the black-and-white mentality regarding termination of parental rights for incarcerated mothers. A new law now gives judges discretion in TPR cases involving parents behind bars.

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‘I wanted to serve’: Justice David says service at core of his time on high court

Justice Steven David was never specifically asked to be on the Indiana Supreme Court. Even so, when Justice Ted Boehm retired, David, now the longest-serving justice, said he decided to take a shot at serving Indiana at the highest judicial level. “I’m not sure how I got here, but I’m here,” David said in an interview with Indiana Lawyer. “I wanted to serve.”

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FocusBack to Top

Creating options: SCOTUS lets inverse condemnation suits in federal courts

The June 21 decision in Knick v. Township of Scott, Pennsylvania, 588 U.S. ___ (2019), overturned precedent requiring property owners to file inverse condemnation actions in state court before bringing a federal action. Instead, the 5-4 majority opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, determined the Fifth Amendment Takings Clause is triggered as soon as the government takes land without compensating the property owner.

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Osborne: Landlords may be liable for tenant-on-tenant harassment

Some attorneys may be familiar with and can competently advise their clients regarding the federal and state causes of action for hostile work environment. However, there is a similar, lesser-known cause of action for discrimination in the housing context known as “hostile housing environment” that warrants attention in light of a fairly recent opinion by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals clarifying its scope.

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Blair and Olsen: On economic downturns, construction problems and taxation

Most of us can relate to the feeling of starting a home project, only to complete half of it (likely not very well) and leave the project as-is for months on end. We certainly can, as much as we might not like to admit it. While our spouses might disagree, partially completed home projects are not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things. But what about partially completed commercial buildings? That’s a different story, especially for tax assessment purposes.

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Doell and Sen: Remote online notarizations facilitate e-closings

Among the changes that seek to bring real estate closings into the technological era is a push toward electronic and remote online notarization. Where adopted, RON laws will allow a remote notary, legally commissioned by the applicable state, to conduct notarizations over the internet via digital tools and a live audio/video call.

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New lawyers take oath in admission ceremony

More than 275 people passed the Indiana Bar Exam in July and were eligible to be admitted to practice law in Indiana. Many took their oaths at the Indiana Supreme Court Admission Ceremony on Oct. 2. Here are Indiana’s newest lawyers.

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Coleman and Kile-Maxwell: Pro bono benefits community, young lawyers professionally

We all know that, as Indiana attorneys, we are required to report our pro bono service each year during our annual registration. Aside from giving you something to report each year, we want to share reasons why we think pro bono service is an integral part of every lawyer’s career, particularly for young lawyers, such as the more than 275 who were just sworn in and joined the Indiana bar this month.

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English: Overcoming fear of failure and other advice to new attorneys

No one expects you to know all of the answers as soon as you are sworn in. It’s called the practice of law for a reason. When it comes to making mistakes, the question isn’t if — it’s when. Most of the tasks you will receive, you have never done before. Do your best work, but also accept that you’re going to mess up at some point.

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OpinionBack to Top

JLAP: Lawyer well-being movement is no laughing matter

When my colleagues first expressed a vision for healthier lawyers — not merely helping those already struggling with addiction and mental health diagnoses, but helping all lawyers to thrive — some laughed. Someone even suggested to me that the title for a presentation I was giving should be “Is Lawyer Well-Being an Oxymoron?”

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Law Student Outlook: Thoughts on mediation, negotiation and other forms of ADR

Despite our continued interest in litigation, we are here to report that we certainly like what we have found in and are open to future possibilities in alternative dispute resolution. We have also come to recognize that just because our interests lean toward litigation does not mean that we will not encounter and utilize skills such as negotiating that maybe are not seen as being traditionally within a litigator’s area of expertise.

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Bar AssociationsBack to Top

IndyBar President’s Column: Perfecting Our Process

Retired Admiral William McRaven’s 2014 commencement address advice was this: “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed … If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.” This advice finds perfect application in our profession, and I have been thinking lately about the importance of perfecting our process.

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