St. Joseph County Bar Association
                 April 2012 Newsletter



Please be sure to join us for some great events in the coming weeks and months!



2       Court of Appeal Oral Arguments at Notre Dame Law School, 3:30 P.M.

28     Probate Judge Forum, IUSB, 3:00 P.M.-4:30 P.M.



1       Law Day---"Ask A Lawyer," 1:00 P.M. --4:00 P.M. St. Joseph Co. Public Library, Basement

Attorneys needed!  Contact Shawnda at the Volunteer Lawyer Network to volunteer.

3       "Wine Law CLE,"  Morris Bistro, 4:00 P.M. (see details below)

16      "Medicaid & The Practitioner" CLE, Riverside Terrace, 11:00 A.M. (see details below)



1st      SJCBA Annual Meeting, St. Joseph County Courthouse, 11:00 A.M.

15th    New Members Welcoming Picnic and Baseball Outing Click here for details!


Please continue to check for additional information, new local CLE opportunities, and additional ICLEF Video Replays as details become available.

Amy McGuire, Executive Director

Local Rules 2012 

Judges' Corner

Submitted by 

Hon. Michael G. Gotsch

Judge, St. Joseph Circuit Court



The St. Joseph Superior Court  has revised the weekly calendar for the Traffic & Misdemeanor Division.  Infraction hearings are now scheduled for hearing on Monday mornings in the St. Joseph County Council Chambers (4th Floor, County-City Building).  Bench trials for cases involving either private attorneys or pro se litigants are held on Monday afternoons.  The Court has arranged for a senior judge to preside over these Monday hearings.



The Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure provide that "Courts may regulate local court practice by adopting and amending in accordance with - and not duplicative of - these Rules of Trial Procedure or other Rules of the Indiana Supreme Court.  Courts are strongly encouraged to adopt a single set of local rules for use in all courts of record in a county and will be required to do so after January 1, 2007."  Indiana T.R. 81(A) [Emphasis added].  The rules also provide for periodic review and amendment of local rules.  See, Indiana T.R. 81(J).

As a result of this statewide requirement, the Circuit, Superior, and Probate Courts in St. Joseph County developed and promulgated a single set of local rules in 2006.  Since that time, the St. Joseph County Courts have conducted an annual review of the local rules in May of each year, which has resulted in annual amendments of the local rules.


Pursuant to T.R. 81(C), the Division of State Court Administration (SCA) is responsible for establishing for proposing, receiving comment, and adopting local rules.  SCA established the following schedule:

 Notice of proposed local rules                       June 1

  Close of comment period                                July 1

  Final approval by local courts             July 2 to July 31

  Submission to Supreme Court                    August 1

  Effective date of Local Rules                       January 1


Last year, the judges considered several proposed revisions to the local family court rules, but tabled the proposals and forwarded them to the Family Law Committee for their review and comment.  Presently, the Family Law Committee is reviewing these proposed changes to the local family court rules.  Anyone interested in assisting with the review of the local family court rules should contact Mark James.  Anyone with an interest in local rules in general or with suggestions about local rules specifically should contact Doug Sakaguchi or me.





Thank you to those who have filed new W9s with our office.  If you have not sent us a new one, please do so. 


New Child Support IWO -If you put a complete Social Security Number on the new forms for income withholding orders, please be sure to copy the form on "green" paper as this record would be confidential.  The new forms found at:


Superior Civil Cases - If a case has been transferred to a different Judge and a new cause number is given, please put that new cause number on subsequent pleadings.  If a case is transferred to a different Judge and the original cause number is retained (ex: special judge) please put the cause number and the name of the Judge to whom the case is now assigned.  This will help the Clerks expedite your paperwork.


Walkerton addresses - In order to help with the service of summons by sheriff and the address of the party is in Walkerton, please notify us if the address is located in St. Joseph, Starke, LaPorte, or Marshall County.  This will eliminate having to send to paperwork multiple times to find the correct Sheriff's Dept to serve the papers.


Withdrawal of appearance - Please be sure to advise the garnishment clerk if you are withdrawing your appearance in a case that we are receiving garnishment payments on.


"Issues in Indiana 

Wine Law"


A CLE Presentation b

William L. Wilson, 

Anderson Agostino & Keller


1.5 CLE  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

4:00 PM - Seminar
Reception to follow



Click here for full details and registration form


Morris Bistro, 

211 N. Michigan Street

South Bend, Indiana  

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 



"Medicaid & 
The Practitioner"
 Presented by
Local Elder Law Practitioners 
Jennifer L. VanderVeen, Certified Elder Law Attorney, and Douglas D. Germann, Sr. 
 Wednesday, May 16, 2012
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Riverside Terrace, 426 Lincolnway East, Mishawaka, IN

Ask A Lawyer - May 1, 2012
In honor of Law Day

indiana flag
The Volunteer Lawyer Network and the
 St. Joseph County Bar Association are partnering to help the local community in honor of Law Day.  
Earn your pro bono hours!!!
Please join us at the St. Joseph County Public Library, 304 S. Main Street, South Bend, IN 46601 from 1:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.
We need volunteers!!  Please contact Shawnda at the Volunteer Lawyer Network to volunteer via phone at 574-277-0075 or email at

Thank you!
In This Issue
Judges' Corner
Clerk's Corner
5/16 CLE
ICLEF Video Replays

News from...

The New Lawyer Committee 


 The NLC is sponsoring a Suit and Clothing Drive now through May 3, 2012.  Please see the flyer attached to this newsletter.  Donation boxes will be placed at the law library and various firms throughout the area.  For pick-up at your office or to obtain a tax receipt for your donation, please contact Tony Rose via email:

 Click here 

for Suit Drive flier!


The NLC is organizing a Habitat for Humanity build on June 9, 2012.  There will be two shifts: 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. and 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.  Feel free to work one or both shifts.  The NLC will be sp     h.  All SJCBA members and their families are encouraged to participate.  For registration information, please contact Chanda Berta at:


The Wine Law CLE presented by Bill Wilson is now set for May 3, 2012, at the Morris Bistro.  A sampling of wines and networking reception sponsored by the ISBA Young Lawyers Section will follow the presentation.  All SJCBA are encouraged to attend.  Please see the attached registration form for more information.




Saturday, April 28, 2012

3:00 - 4:30 P.M.


Probate Court 



University Grill, Administration Bldg.


Each candidate will be present and will be given time to:

  • Make opening statements
  • Answer prepared questions posed by the moderator
  • Make closing statements

A light reception will follow.


Click here for flier & map.





Eagle Scout Badge 

Hon. Michael Gotsch to receive

The Soaring Eagle Award 

The LaSalle Council, Boy Scouts of America, has announced that they are awarding Circuit Court Judge Michael Gotsch with their Soaring Eagle Award.  The award will be presented at the annual Mayors' Luncheon for Scouting on April 25, 2012. 


The Soaring Eagle Award is a Scouting Award exclusive to the LaSalle Council.  This award recognizes individuals who have been successful in the field of endeavor and have demonstrated integrity, a record of volunteer leadership, and service to youth and their community.


Judge Gotsch earned his Eagle badge in 1972 while in Troop 1328 of Rockville, Maryland, and is being honored by the LaSalle Council for continuing to demonstrate the qualities of an Eagle Scout and living the tenets of the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. An Army veteran and a Notre Dame law school graduate, Judge Gotsch is being recognized for community volunteerism and his strong commitment to youth development and protection.  He was the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Outstanding Judge of the Year for 2010, and was a member of the Governor's Commission on Abused and Neglected Children.  Judge Gotsch currently serves on the Executive Board of the LaSalle Council as Vice President for Membership.


The Mayors' Luncheon for Scouting will take place on Wednesday, April 25 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Windsor Park 

Conference Center, 4020 Edison Lakes Parkway in Mishawaka.  Individual tickets and group tables are available. Please contact Patrick Keenan at 574-289-0337 x311 or  to purchase tickets or for more information.


Technology Tip:

Most of us have backups of our computer hard drives, but how many can say for certain those backups are any good? Backup media (tapes, drives, etc.) can fail, and backup software can malfunction.
 Wisdom dictates having a regular schedule of backup audits--examining the data on the backup device to make sure when disaster strikes, you can restore your data. Don't wait until a crisis hits and then hope your backup systems have worked. Check and be certain. Now is the time to discover your backup system is not doing its job. The day your brief is due is not the time to make that discovery.

ICLEF Video Replays
Presented by the SCJBA
All programs begin at 9:00 a.m. in the Law Libary in the basement of the Courthouse.  Please go to to pre-register.  Walk-ins are allowed as well.

March 2012

3/30 - - 12:30 pm.  Leaping Ahead: Hot Topics in Elder Law Practice (3 CLE)


April 2012

4/4 The Lawyer's Active Role In the Transformation of the Corporation-National Speaker Program (6 CLE)

4/26 Annual Property Tax Institute (6 CLE) **


May 2012

5/9    DWI at Trial (6 CLE)

5/23   Estate Inv. & Financial Planning (6 CLE)  

5/30  -9:00 A.M.  Representing Clients in VA                                    Matters (3 CLE)

         1:00 P.M.   Nuts & Bolts of QDROS 

                                    (3 CLE)**


 ** Moderator needed

Contact Us


101 S. Main Street
South Bend, Indiana 46601
Amy McGuire, Executive Director       574.245.6753
Tina Smith,  Lawyer Referral                574.235.9657
Fax                                                     574.235.9905