My campaign handout is printed. We have 8,000 which we plan on passing out door-to-door in Decatur Township between now and election day.
Thanks to all those who added their comments, suggestions and corrections to the earlier draft. Specifically, thanks to my wife Lisa for her editorial suggestions and sharp eye in proofing; my son Alex and secretary Krissy Marvel for their patience and assistance with the photography; Jon Easter, Patty Rigsby and Joyce Fitzpatrick for their suggestions on the layout and photos.
And a special thanks to my friends Kokomo attorney Priscilla Pelgen, her husband David Pelgen and David's printing company Printcraft Press in Kokomo, for their assistance in printing.
If you have not attended the Indiana State Bar Association's Annual Meeting for a while -- or maybe never -- you owe it to yourself to invest in yourself and your practice by planning to attend the 2010 event.
There were lots of great CLE sessions. Chuck Kidd gave a great update on recent disciplinary cases. The discussion about relatively new Rule 8.4. It's a new rule governing what is perceived as discriminatory conduct, and stretches far beyond any previous restrictions. What once may have been viewed as boorish or even accepted conduct or comments about race, gender, sexual orientation and similar matters is now getting lawyers in front of the Disciplinary Commission. It was a very important session.
But even more important was the opportunity to network with fellow members of the bar. In just a short time, I had conversations with an Indiana Supreme Court justice, a Court of Appeals judge, and renewed acquaintances with lawyers from South Bend, Fort Wayne, Columbus and throughout the state.
It's not too early to put it on your calendar for 2010.
I could not help but notice the juxtaposition of two articles in a recent issue of Indiana Lawyer and how they reflect on the administration of justice, particularly by Governor Mitch Daniels.
In one article Gov. Mitch Daniels vehemently attacked the Court of Appeals judges who issued a decision overturning Indiana's voter identification law. It wasn't that Gov. Daniels disagreed with the decision, but the way he did it. The Governor blasted the judges who decided the case, calling it political, saying the writing judge was usually wrong, and stating that "better judges" had affirmed the law. The Governor's statement effectively called the deciding judges incompetent and political stooges who decided cases based on politics, not the law.
Gov. Daniels vitriolic language drew the unusual step of sharp rebukes from both the Indiana State Bar Association and the Indianapolis Bar Association.
But on the same page of the Indiana Lawyer was a story about the Innocence Project headed up by attorney Barry Scheck. The article featured an Indiana man who spent 17 years in prison on a wrongful conviction.
What is noteworthy is that Gov. Daniels has sent more prisoners to their death than any recent governor. Eight in five years.
Think the irony is lost on the Governor. Here he is sending men to their death who have had their cases heard by the same judges that the Governor says are incompetent.
Hey Gov. Daniels -- what happens the next time someone comes up for execution that has had their appeal heard by these judges you called incompetent?
Police work is tough. No question. But any criminal defense lawyer will tell you that some police officers are not above shading the testimony, or even creating testimony , to put the accused behind bars.
Example 1: In Lafayette, Special Judge Millikan just denied a motion to dismiss an officer from a wrongful death case where he failed to check on the well-being of a child, who was later murdered -- then lied about it on his report -- and in his later deposition.
Former Tippecanoe Deputy Glen Teller was convicted of perjury after he admitted to a fellow deputy that he lied both on his report and in the deposition. For the article, CLICK HERE.
Example 2: Five Birmingham policemen were fired after the discovery of video showing them beating an injured unconscious man, then deep sixing the video for more than a year. For the article, CLICK HERE.
Its not that the victim was a good guy. He lead police on a wild car chase, endangering countless people on the road. At one point he purposely swerved toward a policeman in the road, barely missing him. The guy deserved the 20 year sentence he received -- and maybe a little more.
But nothing justifies the conduct of the five officers involved.
The van they were chasing flipped, and the driver was thrown out, obviously injured and unconscious in a drainage ditch. The officers jumped from their car and began beating the unconscious man with fists and clubs. The video stops only when one officer apparently remembers the who thing is being recorded, and runs back to his car and switches off the video camera.
To make matters worse, the cops hid the video for over a year. When you see it, you'll know why. To see the video, CLICK HERE.
Democrats are for bigger government in Washington, less power to the States. Republicans believe that local government is better, and Washington intrudes too much into the rights of States to governm. Right? That's what we keep hearing the talking head so.
But what we're really finding out is that its not about smaller government in Washington, or more power to the States. It's about whatever method pushes your own agenda forward. Remember Terri Shivo? Certain GOP legislators made a mockery of the notion of keeping the federal government out of local affairs, and sponsored an intrusion that no Democrat would ever dare propose -- that a state court decision on a matter of state law be subject to review by a federal appeals court.
Now the latest role reversal. The Obama Administration has prompty (thankfully) acted to undo the Bush Administrations last-minute efforts to usurp state law on nearly every type of consumer legal action by means of pre-emption. The result: States remain free to make and enforce their own laws which they feel are necessary to protect their own citizens.
Here's an except from the Associated Press article :
"The Obama White House on Wednesday undid a Bush administration policy that used federal regulations to undermine a wide range of state health, safety and environmental laws.
Many of the federal regulations limited the ability of injured consumers to sue companies in state courts.
The move involving a policy known as "pre-emption" marks the latest step by President Barack Obama to redo the policies of his predecessor.
In a memo to government department heads, Obama said that pre-emption of state law should be undertaken only with full consideration of the legitimate prerogatives of the states.
The Bush administration rule-making effort also had undercut state financial regulation and state consumer protections in many fields.
The Obama White House on Wednesday undid a Bush administration policy that used federal regulations to undermine a wide range of state health, safety and environmental laws.
Many of the federal regulations limited the ability of injured consumers to sue companies in state courts."
The 8th Annual Indiana Solo & Small Firm Conference is coming up soon -- June 4-6 at Belterra Resort, Casino & Spa.
I'm not much of a casino fan, but this is a fantastic location for the Conference. The meeting rooms are great -- as good as any place where we have held the Conference. And the meeting area is separated from the casino area so if you don't gamble, you don't have to pass slot machines and blackjack tables in order to attend your CLE sessions.
But this Conference is more than CLE sessions, and Belterra is a great place to unwind. The drive is a bit long -- but it is through beautiful country that will, if you let it, help put you in a more relaxed state of mind.
The resort has a world class golf course, an inviting pool, and a full service spa. Belterra seems out of place -- a 15-story resort that springs up from the fields along the banks of the Ohio. Take a stoll across the grassy lawn behind the hotel and spend a while just watching the river flow by.
So take advantage of all the great CLE. Take your chance at the gaming tables if you are so inclined. But make sure to take a few quiet moments for yourself. That too, is as important as your ethics CLE sessions.