Alcorn, Sage, Schwartz &
Magrath LLP

Madison Legal Issues Blog

'Criminal Rule 26' soon to change Indiana's justice system

Bail for criminal defendants around the nation has become a hugely debated issue -- but not for the reason you might think.

Many defense attorneys and civil rights advocates believe that the cash bail system is unfair. By allowing those who can afford to pay for bail (or, at least, a bail bondsman's services), the system creates two classes of defendants. There's a group that can afford to keep their lives relatively intact while they await trial and another group that often ends up sitting in jail for months while the wheels of justice slowly turn around.

Rubberneckers are putting first responders in danger

If you're a first responder who regularly visits accident scenes on the side of the road (or even in the road), you probably already know what new research is confirming: "Rubbernecking" drivers are a threat to your well-being and safety.

Rubbernecking is the term used to describe drivers who spend more time with their eyes glued to an accident they're passing on the road than they do to the road itself. It's another form of distracted driving -- and it's particularly dangerous to first responders. Many times, police officers, firefighters, medics and tow truck drivers are concentrating on their jobs -- which they should be -- but that doesn't leave them a lot of ability to look out for a driver who has veered out of their lane while gawking at an accident scene.

Your duty to get treated and a Social Security Disability claim

When you file for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, one of the questions that the disability examiner is going to ask is, "Have you gotten treatment for your condition?"

It's an important question.

Considerations for co-parenting during summer months

After a divorce or child custody dispute, summers can be challenging for both co-parents and children to adjust to shifting schedules and new traditions. While Indiana parents must develop and agree on a parenting plan, adjusting to this plan in summer months may be more complicated than you anticipated.

No matter how much time has passed, it may never be easy to spend part of the summer apart from your child. However, there are considerations to implement to keep the summer months as fun and conflict-free as possible for you, your child and your child’s other parent:

Would you refuse to consent to a voluntary police search?

As Midwesterners, most of us are socialized to be both polite and accommodating – especially when interacting with authority figures. We understand that getting out of a traffic ticket or similar situation can sometimes be accomplished with a smile and an admission that we may have been driving faster than we thought.

But should we be so accommodating – especially in cases where the stakes are higher than a speeding ticket? And do we actually have the courage to say “no” when police ask to invade our privacy without a warrant? According to two researchers who have studied the subject of police compliance, most people have a much more difficult time refusing police requests than they predict they will.

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