There was a time, not so long ago, when judges were “potted plants.” The judicial role was widely reserved, somewhat withdrawn, apart from public statement or positions, and any work to change the legal system was considered improper. Changing standards and challenging times seem to have changed all that.
As COVID-19 numbers descend, we are left with a plethora of mixed feelings. Many are overwhelmed with joy and giddiness. Some are still numb and can’t feel anything — yet. And others are trying to make sense of the past two years and the lasting realities that lay ahead. Our courts and judges fit into the latter category.
The Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on Senate Bill 410 on Wednesday, a measure designed to give “kinship caregivers” the right to intervene in termination of parental rights cases.
What do Saint Thomas More, patron saint of lawyers, and Indiana’s commercial courts have in common? They both made history by the effective streamlining of business law cases.
Everyone is now familiar with the ongoing effects of COVID-19 upon how the world is working, and some possible future scenarios both in the legal profession and beyond. The question for judges at every level is, “Do we ever need in-person proceedings?”
The Indiana Supreme Court is extending through May 17 the previously approved emergency relief orders issued to trial courts due to COVID-19. Justices are also setting a May 15 deadline for courts to submit transition plans for expanded operations.
Indiana Lawyer managing editor Olivia Covington was awarded the Indiana Judges Association’s Media Award for her coverage of Indiana’s problem-solving courts.
The Judicial Nominating Commission in August reappointed Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush for another term. It was hardly a surprise. Chief Justice Rush is a special kind of judge. Recently, she took time to reflect on her work and remarkable career.
The Judicial Conference Community Relations Committee is seeking nominations for two annual awards recognizing one member of the judiciary and media for their “Excellence in Public Information and Education.” The committee, on behalf of the Indiana Judges Association, will select the recipients of The Judge’s Award and The Media Award.
Longtime Marion Superior Judge David Dreyer will step down after 23 years on the bench when his term expires at the end of 2020, he announced Tuesday. Dreyer, 63, a 23-year judge who has presided in civil and criminal cases on the state trial court bench in Indianapolis, said in a news release that he intends to seek senior judge status and continue hearing cases.
What do people think about judges? And what do judges think about them? In the nonstop information age, whatever the public thinks about the courts, it may not matter if nobody, including judges, can actually notice and think about it for any meaningful length of time.
The Judicial Conference Community Relations Committee is accepting nominations for the “Excellence in Public Information and Education” awards, given annually to one judge and one member of the media. On behalf of the Indiana Judges Association, the committee will select winners to be recognized for their efforts in judicial community relations.
All of us lawyers live two lives. One is the world of daily work endeavors — cases, clients, decisions, deadlines and problem-solving. The other life of lawyers and judges is the non-legal real world, away from smartphones and computers, outside our office, and outside the courtroom where experiences of family, friends, and private interests fill our personal time.
We continually see how the legal profession is profoundly affected by technology. Can we imagine a court case without a courtroom or any tangible paper? Many of us can because it already happens.
Changes in the legal landscape are of course parallel to what is happening everywhere. Lawyers used to function and prosper well during any economic or social circumstances. Law firms seemed to be immune to barriers and uncertainties facing other business entities. But today, as Jerry Garcia once wrote, “if the thunder don’t get ya, the lightnin’ will.”
If judges wore wigs in the United States, there might be a marked increase, I say, in public confidence in our courts. Hopefully, it would not be outweighed by any marked increase in public satire, but it could not be any worse than the judge shows now on daytime TV. The public always needs to understand that courts are serious and judges are different. More importantly, it is necessary to understand why.
Marion Superior Judge David Dreyer discusses the "Change of Judge" rule in this issue of Indiana Lawyer.