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Justices of the Indiana Supreme Court, a 467-page multi-author volume exploring the lives of the 106 Justices of the Court, is now available from the Indiana Historical Society Press.  Edited by Linda C. Gugin and James E. St. Clair, it examines the lives of the 106 men and women who have sat on the state’s highest court.  The book includes an introduction by the Chief Justice of the United States, John G. Roberts Jr.

With 72 authors, the book captures details of the lives of the self-taught, circuit riding Justices from the early days of statehood through the 21st century Justices now serving on the Court.  Photographs, including those from previously unpublished private family collections, complete the edition.  The public can purchase the book at the Indiana Historical Society for $37.95.

The Supreme Court’s educational outreach program, “Courts in the Classroom” (CITC) collaborated with the Indiana Historical Society Press on Justices of the Indiana Supreme Court.  The Indiana Bar Foundation made a grant in support of the project.  CITC’s primary objective is to help educators, students, historians, and interested citizens learn about the history and operation of Indiana’s judicial branch.  As part of its outreach, CITC provides free lesson plans to teachers, interactive programs in the state Supreme Courtroom and publications about Indiana’s legal history.  For more information please contact Dr. Elizabeth R. Osborn at eosborn@courts.state.in.us or visit courts.in.gov/citc.  CITC will offer the book to schools and libraries across the state at no cost.

Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard sees the book as a valuable addition to civics education.   “This book has remarkable historic value,” explained Chief Justice Shepard.  “We are thrilled that students, educators and the public will have this resource that showcases the rich history of the third branch of government.”

The Indiana Supreme Court and CITC previously collaborated with the Indiana Historical Society Press on the publication of Hoosier Justice at Nuremberg ($6.95). The Nuremberg book, by Suzanne S. Bellamy, examines the roles of two Indiana Supreme Court Justices in post-World War II Germany.  In 1947, Justices Frank Richman of Columbus and Curtis Shake of Vincennes were called to serve as civilian judges in the Nuremberg tribunals.

These books and other Supreme Court publications (courts.in.gov/citc/bookstore.html) are available to libraries, teachers and all other educational institutions free of charge.  Requests should be sent to Sarah Kidwell at skidwell@courts.state.in.us.

A Continuing Legal Education program will be offered on Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 3:00 pm in the Supreme Court Courtroom featuring authors from the book.  Reservations are required.  Contact Elizabeth Osborn at eosborn@courts.state.in.us.

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Guest post by Laura A. Wright

One of the perks of living in a democratic country is that we have the right to free speech, which means that we can say pretty much what we please in any form of media, oral or written. But in reality, freedom of speech is restricted by the letter of the law or how we choose to interpret it. While we all know that making inflammatory or hate-inciting speeches is totally foolish because it could result in legal action being taken against us, we’re generally unaware of the repercussions that anything we write online can have, even if they’re seemingly harmless. The Internet has made life easier and more convenient no doubt, but it is a minefield that is littered with hidden pitfalls that are bound to have adverse consequences if we are not careful about what we do or say online.

You must exercise caution when writing online, to your blog, social network page or website, because:

  • You could get fired: The news is being peppered with items of people who have been fired because they posted something about their jobs on the Facebook or Twitter profiles or because they gave out confidential company information through their blogs and websites. One woman lost her job because she called her job boring while another found herself shown the door when she bad-mouthed her boss, forgetting that he was on her list of Facebook friends and could read her status messages and comments. And yet another was asked to leave because she lied about being ill to take time off work – her charade was discovered when she posted something on her Facebook page, and her employers contended that if she was well enough to access the Internet, she was well enough to come in to work. So watch what you say and control who has access to what you say in order to prevent adverse reactions like losing your job.
  • It could prevent you from getting a job: Most employers Google potential employees to gain an insight into the kind of person they are using bits of information that are generally not available on a resume. They don’t think too well of people who post stories of their drunken binges or other behavior that could be construed as irresponsible and unprofessional. Yes, we all do have dark sides, but not all of us take pride in putting up photos and news of our indiscretions on the Internet. Some people lie on their resumes and they’re often caught out because of random posts they’ve made on the Web, so be careful before you say or write anything that could be traced back to you.
  • You could get sued: If you think you can get away with saying anything about anyone, you’re wrong; bloggers have found themselves being sued by companies and people they have maligned on their sites. And even though you may get off, the hassles associated with legal proceedings are not too pleasant and may drag on for years before you get any closure. So watch what you say so that it does not come back to bite your behind.

Laura A. Wright is a guest author, who contributed this post. Laura writes on the topic of online paralegal degrees. She can be reached at: laura.wright@radiffmail.com

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This blog author was featured recently in an Indiana Lawyer article about an organization I’m involved with, the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library.

The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library Foundation is a public benefit, nonprofit organization championing the literary, artistic, and cultural contributions of the late writer, artist and Indiana native Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. The Library Foundation is creating a library that will also serve as a cultural and educational resource center, functioning as a museum, art gallery, and reading room for readers, writers, and students. In addition, the library will support language and visual arts education for the local community.

Click here for full story by Rebecca Berfanger, Indiana Lawyer.

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Check out the Indiana Intellectual Property & Technology Blog…there’s a new post in the series entitled “A Legal Primer for Bloggers.”  The latest post (4 of 5) covers anonymity issues and discusses what you should know about blogging anonymously and keeping your identity secret, including the duty of your internet service provider to protect your identifying information.  If you’re a blogger (or represent a blogger) and haven’t given much thought to the applicable legal issues, please give it a read.

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I was recently asked by a journalist to provide some comments on guest-blogging.  I put together the following tips for people thinking of getting into guest-blogging, or blogging generally:

bloghand

In addition to my own blogs, I’ve done quite a bit of guest-blogging over the last several years. In fact, my first blogging experience was as a guest blogger on a Virtual Law blog, virtuallyblind.com, created by another attorney, Ben Duranske. Guest-blogging allowed to me learn the in-and-outs of blogging without the pressure of producing content on a regular basis.

Blogging has been a great tool for building my business and gaining recognition in my fields of interest. It’s driven my page to the top of Google search results which of course means more eyeballs seeing the services that I can provide them. Several of my top clients reguIarly comment that they enjoy my blog and the information it provides. I also place importance in the process of researching and writing blog posts, essentially an ongoing CLE that helps me be a better service provider in the long run.

Tips for guest bloggers:

1. Find the Right Audience. If you’ve got a particular topic that you’d really like to write about, write about it! Once you’ve got that great post that you’re excited about, look around and find an existing blog that matches your interest. Contact the blog owner and propose that he/she publish your guest post. I can’t speak for every blog owner, but I would never turn away a guest post with quality content. After all, any positive traffic generated would be to my blog, where people will see my info and content. Even if a blog owner doesn’t want to publish your guest post, the feedback they give can help direct you towards somebody who will.

2. Go for the Oscar. You’ve got the time and energy to really focus on one great blog post, so do it! I think of a full-time blogger as a TV writer, responsible for content day in and day out. Not all of it can be glorious, but the blog readers become familiar with the “character” of the blog writer. A guest blogger is a movie writer. They write that epic post that blows away all the other posts and becomes a definitive source for a particular piece of information. Throw in some explosions, heartwrenching drama, maybe even just great images that the guest blogger spent a little extra time to locate.

3. Guest-Blog 2: The Sequel. Unlike in the movies, sequels are generally a good thing in blogging. Endorse your guest post on your own site and build cross-traffic. Follow-up with additional info in future posts and people ( most importantly clients and potential clients) will start to recognize you as an information hub.

There are several great resources online to help you get started as a guest blogger.  Good luck and have fun.

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Check out the Indiana Intellectual Property & Technology Blog…there’s a new post in the series entitled “A Legal Primer for Bloggers.”  The latest post (3 of 5) covers defamation issues and explores your options when somebody has posted something false and damaging about you, including some common defenses..  If you’re a blogger (or represent a blogger) and haven’t given much thought to the applicable legal issues, please give it a read.

defamation

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Part 2 of the “Legal Primer for Bloggers” series is now up at the Indiana Intellectual Property & Technology Blog.  If you’re a blogger (or represent a blogger) and haven’t given much thought to the applicable legal issues, please give it a read.

updateblog

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