HB 1411 creates a pilot program administered by the Indiana Supreme Court that would provide legal research support for trial court judges. Under the program, a party to a case where a motion to dismiss or motion for summary judgment or other “complex motion” can ask the trial court to get assistance from the pilot program attorneys. (Actually, reading the text of the legislation – it might just be the party filing the motion who gets to petition for pilot program assistance.) If the court goes along and asks for help, the pilot program attorneys would provide research and drafting assistance. “If the pilot program assists in resolving a complex motion, the opinion . . . must contain analysis and case law citations.”
I’m a pretty calm guy, and I understand that trial courts get busy; but there is very little that will get my blood up so much as filing a strong motion for summary judgment and having it denied without explanation. If I’m wrong and my client is going to have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a trial, tell them why.
At the same time, I can see where a litigant might be hesitant to ask the court to get outside help. “Uh, hey judge, sure you’re smart enough to figure this one out?” Another deterrent is that, if the pilot program is used, the petitioner might have to pay the judicial center a fee for the privilege of getting an opinion with bells and whistles like an explanation and citations and stuff.