(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Indiana Supreme Court is adjusting rules and giving guidance to help attorneys and courts meet legal needs.
The Court is also making sure attorneys have more latitude to complete education requirements through distance learning as well as extending the deadline for applications to the July bar exam.
The adjustments to court procedures will be official with five Supreme Court orders.
Chief Justice Loretta Rush explained, “We’re hearing from lawyers, judges, litigants, and law students that the legal system must be more flexible in this trying time. The Supreme Court is ordering rule changes to ensure certain legal services can be provided with remote capabilities and extending the bar exam application deadline.”
The orders address several issues in the legal profession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and will be available on mycase.in.gov.
Order in case 20S-MS-236 suspends language that might prohibit notaries, court reporters, and others from administering oaths to witnesses by remote video.
Order in case 20S-MS-237 identifies conditions under which wills and other estate-planning documents may be signed by witnesses and testators remotely.
Order in case 20S-MS-238 provides direction on the impact of emergency orders on critical family law matters like child support, child custody, and parenting time.
Order in case 20S-MS-239 relaxes the maximum number of allowed online hours for attorney and judicial officer education, which means more professional requirements can be met through distance education rather than in-person learning
Order in case 20S-MS-240 extends the deadline for filing an application to take the July 2020 bar exam.
Chief Administrative Officer Justin Forkner expressed gratitude to a number of leaders and organizations that helped bring the issues to the Court, “The collaborative nature of Indiana’s government leaders—especially the Governor’s office—and input from the Indiana State Bar Association has allowed the Court to identify and address legal issues during this emergency with greater efficiency.”
A website with guidance to courts and messages from the Court provides details on the Judicial Branch’s response to COVID-19.