Proposals to Amend the Indiana Rules of Court
To the Bench, Bar, and Public:
The Indiana Supreme Court seeks public comment on the following proposed amendments to the Indiana Rules of Court.
Admission and Discipline Rules
The proposed amendment to Admission and Discipline Rule 13 would provide Indiana with a detailed waiver provision that sets out a path for otherwise qualified law school graduates to sit for the Indiana bar exam. The amendment gives the Board of Law Examiners discretion to waive Rule 13’s American Bar Association accreditation requirement for applicants in two instances:
- when the applicant has graduated from a law school located in the United States that is not approved by the ABA, was eligible upon graduation from that law school to take the bar exam of another state, and the Board finds the applicant is qualified by reason of education or experience to take the Indiana bar exam; and
- when the applicant has completed legal education in a jurisdiction outside of the United States, has obtained a graduate degree in American law from a law school approved by the ABA, and the Board finds the applicant is qualified by reason of education or experience to take the Indiana bar exam.
The proposed amendment also sets out the materials a waiver applicant must provide the Board and makes clear that the Board’s decision is subject to final approval by the Supreme Court. In addition, the proposed amendment deletes outdated provisions and makes non-substantive changes for consistency across the rules.
Rules of Trial Procedure
Civil Litigation Taskforce Recommendations
In 2021, the Indiana Supreme Court created the Civil Litigation Taskforce as part of the Indiana Innovation Initiative. The Court directed the taskforce to focus on improving civil litigation procedures and case management. The taskforce recommended several amendments to the Rules of Trial Procedure in the areas of service of process and discovery to reduce costs and delays, plus improve service to litigants, attorneys, and trial courts. (Please note that Trial Rule 26(B) and Trial Rule 30(A) have two versions for comment).
Local Rules Review
In 2023, the Indiana Supreme Court directed the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure to review county local rules of court to ensure they are consistent with the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure, as recommended by the Civil Litigation Taskforce. The committee recommended several amendments in the areas of withdrawal of appearance, filing and response deadlines, form of pleadings, and judicial officer authority to sit in other courts. The proposed amendments would incorporate several local rules into the Trial Rules for uniform statewide application and delete an obsolete rule.
The proposed amendment to Trial Rule 77 gives basic guidance to clerks and court staff for the creation and management of court records. The rule was promulgated in 1991 when court records were exclusively paper documents and each case had a physical case file. Now that most court records are maintained electronically, some required procedures are no longer necessary.
The Supreme Court invites comments on these proposed rule changes until 12:00 p.m. (Eastern) on Friday, December 15, 2023.
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Send comments by mail to:
Proposed Rule Changes
Indiana Office of Court Services
251 N. Illinois Street, Suite 800
Indianapolis, IN 46204