Last UpdatedFRI., JANUARY 30, 2015 - 2:20 PM

Rush rolls out commercial court plan in State of Judiciary

Commercial courts heralded by Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush in her first State of the Judiciary address could be in business soon, with the first pilots launching as early as this summer, according to judges and lawyers involved in developing the plans.More.

Judges deny request to modify probation to allow contact with daughter

Jennifer Nelson
The judges on an Indiana Court of Appeals panel had different reasons for affirming the denial of an incarcerated man’s petition to modify his probation so that he could have contact with his daughter.More.

7th Circuit rules man entitled to new hearing on crack-cocaine sentence

Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a prisoner’s motion for a reduced sentence for distributing crack cocaine, finding that he is allowed to bring his petition for relief under 28 U.S.C. Section 2255.More.

New part-time law school program launched at Indiana Tech

Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Tech Law School has started the state’s first part-time day program to allow students to obtain their J.D. in as many as seven years.More.

In This Issue

JAN. 28-FEB. 10, 2015
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Commercial courts heralded by Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush in her first State of the Judiciary address could be in business soon, with the first pilots launching as early as this summer, according to judges and lawyers involved in developing the plans. In our 25th anniversary story, reporter Marilyn Odendahl takes a look at firm overhead costs over the past 25 years. The mandatory pro bono rule is currently undergoing tweaks to address concerns raised by attorneys.

Top Stories

Law firms see overhead costs shift during past 25 years

All the modern devices and technology used by law firms these days come at a high cost and are often among the top firm expenses, according to managing partners.More.

Valparaiso Law Dean Andrea Lyon built a career battling the death penalty

Lyon remains a passionate, unwavering opponent of capital punishment. Her career path has turned from the courtroom to education. She is now the dean of Valparaiso University Law School, but death penalty defense work is a small world and she maintains a strong connection to it.More.

'Dead Man Walking' author calls for judicial reform

Sister Helen Prejean, at a recent talk at Valparaiso University, called the death penalty process "unjust."More.

Attorney reaction spurs tweaks of pro bono reporting rule

During a January lunchtime meeting of the Elkhart City Bar Association, attorneys served a plateful of questions about the state’s new mandatory pro bono reporting rule and ladled on some skepticism.More.

Rush rolls out commercial court plan in State of Judiciary

Commercial courts heralded by Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush in her first State of the Judiciary address could be in business soon, with the first pilots launching as early as this summer, according to judges and lawyers involved in developing the plans.More.

Bill to open adoption records moves forward

Indiana has nothing to fear from abandoning long-established practice and following the lead of numerous states in order to allow some 350,000 adopted Hoosiers access to their birth records, a leading national advocate said.More.

Changes being considered for medical malpractice claims

More medical malpractice cases could be filed directly in state trial courts without first having to go through the exhaustive and mandatory medical review process under legislation pending in the Indiana Senate. A proposal in the Indiana House of Representatives aims to raise the caps on damages and insurer liability.More.

Menard accused of witness tampering

The gritty legal battle between hardware store titan John Menard Jr. and Indianapolis power couple Steve and Tomisue Hilbert now includes this accusation: trying to buy off a witness.More.


Partial-termination dispute gets full treatment from court

After nearly 19 years and five appearances before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, a dispute over retirement benefits has ended where it began and elicited an admission of mistaken interpretation from the court.More.

Trust proposal in Legislature would shield assets from creditors, permit perpetuity

Assets could be shielded from creditors and passed down to numerous generations under a legacy trust proposal being considered by the Indiana General Assembly. The proposed estate-planning device would be exempt from the rule against perpetuities.More.


Making Rain: Business strategies to do and not do in 2015

The beginning of a new year always seems like a good time to look at what’s working and what’s not in terms of your business development strategies.More.

Federal Bar Update: Southern District's uniform protective order

Throughout 2014, a subcommittee of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana’s Local Rules Committee, including Magistrate Judges Denise LaRue and Debra McVicker Lynch, was hard at work on a proposed uniform protective order.More.

Riggins: The effects of Obama’s immigration executive actions

A debate is being waged regarding the effects of the executive actions. Proponents tout ameliorative socioeconomic effects, while opponents decry a thinly veiled grant of amnesty. In this landscape, it is important to understand the intent and effect of the executive actions.More.

DTCI: Remembering my time with popcorn and lost traditions

What will your kids remember about their childhood – high scores on "Call of Duty" or "iFunny"; or you and time with popcorn?More.

Hammerle on … 'Selma,' 'American Sniper'

Bob Hammerle says the strength of "Selma" flows from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s relationship with his wife and President Lyndon Johnson.More.

In Brief

ESPN sues Notre Dame over police records involving athletes

ESPN has filed a lawsuit against University of Notre Dame, alleging the school is violating Indiana's public record laws by withholding police incident reports about possible campus crimes involving certain student-athletes.More.

Campaign finance protest, hidden camera disrupt high court

For the second time in 11 months, opponents of the Supreme Court of the United States rulings lifting limits on money in political campaigns briefly disrupted proceedings in the courtroom and embarrassed the court by managing to get a camera past court security.More.

Regional mock trial and moot court competitions need volunteer judges

Volunteers are needed to serve as judges for the moot court and mock trial competitions to be held as part of the Midwest Black Law Students Association’s conference next month in Indianapolis.More.

US Supreme Court sets stage for historic gay rights ruling

The Supreme Court is getting back in the marriage business. The justices agreed Friday to decide a major civil rights question: whether same-sex couples have a right to marry everywhere in America under the Constitution.More.

Lawyers sought for Lung Association stair climb benefit

The central Indiana legal community hopes to reach new fundraising heights in the fifth annual American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb Law Firm Challenge.More.

ILAS annual fundraising campaign nearing goal

The Indianapolis Legal Aid Society is making a final push in its 2014 holiday dollar campaign, hoping to entice late donors and surpass the record amount donated during the 2013 effort.More.

New Albany attorney named part-time magistrate judge

A senior partner with Kightlinger & Gray LLP has been selected as a part-time magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.More.

Special Sections

Indiana Court Decisions - Jan. 7 to 20, 2015

Read recent Indiana appellate decisions.More.

On The Move

On The Move - 1/28/15

Read who's recently joined a new firm, become partner or been appointed to serve on a board.More.

Disciplinary Actions

Disciplinary Actions - 1/28/15

Read who's recently been suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court.More.

Bar Associations

Abrams: Reminiscing

2014 was an unbelievably good year. Lots of achievements by the IndyBar worthy of cheer.More.

IndyBar: National Purchasing Partners: Big Savings, Bigger Impact

IndyBar members now have the benefit of discounts on travel, office supplies, cellular devices and plans and much more through a new agreement with National Purchasing Partners (NPP), a group purchasing organization (GPO) created to leverage the purchasing power of a group of businesses to obtain discounts from world class vendors.More.

IndyBar: Avoiding ‘Time Outs’ Through Lessons in Civility

Melanie Reichert writes about the three attorneys who led by example for her.More.

IndyBar: Blomquist Honored at Antoinette Dakin Leach Celebration Luncheon

Members of the legal community flocked to the Skyline Club on Thursday, Jan. 15 to recognize Blomquist as the 2014 recipient at the Antoinette Dakin Leach Celebration Luncheon.More.

IndyBar Frontlines - 1/28/15

Read news from around the IndyBar!More.

Online Extra: Judicial Roundtable 2014

When Loretta Rush was named chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court in August, Indiana hit a milestone. For the first time, all of our state's appellate courts were being led by women. Indiana Lawyer recently invited Rush, Indiana Court of Appeals Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik, Indiana Tax Judge Martha Wentworth and Chief Judge Robyn Moberly of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana's Bankruptcy Court to discuss their career paths as well as opportunities and challenges today's courts and lawyers face.More.
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Indiana makes gains in permanent placement

The state sees improvement, but aims to do better.More.

Views shift on use of executions

What if 1976 hadn’t played out the way it did, and some of the jurists on the U.S. Supreme Court had held the view of capital punishment at that juncture that they did at the end of their judicial careers? The death penalty may never have been reinstated.More.

What's next for Indiana's death penalty?

Unlike other states, Indiana has not abolished or suspended use of executions.More.

State death penalty cases averaged 17 years

When the moment of death finally arrives, it ends what may be described as a long legal journey to justice within the capital punishment system.More.

Balancing philosophical with practical concerns regarding death penalty

Indiana Lawyer takes an in-depth look at the death penalty in the "Cost of Justice" series.More.
Juvenile Justice Juvenile Justice


A last-minute change to a bill during the 2009 special session has stripped judges of their discretion regarding juvenile placements out of state by requiring them to get permission from the Department of Child Services. All three branches are reacting.


Escaping execution

Exoneree joins statewide campaign calling for a death-penalty moratorium.More.

Reforms urged to prevent mistakes

Indiana explores what revisions to make to its criminal justice system.More.

Aiming for exoneration

Inmate awaits court hearingMore.

CJ: Most players in appeals acting responsibly

The Indiana chief justice said in an order that he would "smack down" judicial overreaching or overspending.More.

Bose lays off lawyers

Cuts are state's first announced publiclyMore.

Lawyer lands on feet

Attorney's job loss leads to his own legal consulting businessMore.

Mergers: Are we done yet?

2008 could be record year for law firm consolidationMore.

Tough times drive change

Attorneys see evolving legal work caused by economic woesMore.

After exoneration

Wrongfully convicted Hoosier settles federal suit for $4.5 million.More.

Counties must pay for juvenile facilities

Indiana counties are responsible to pay a portion of costs to operate juvenile detention facilities.More.

Teens share stories about juvenile justice experience

Two Elkhart County teens say it took incarceration to teach them a lesson.More.

Detaining questions

Funding of youth detention, alternatives draws concern.More.

State slow to achieve juvenile justice reforms

Local successes exist; systematic changes lag.More.
Juvenile Justice Juvenile Justice

Improving a child's access to counsel

A proposed draft rule would change waiver procedures in the juvenile justice system.More.

Early intervention for juveniles

A new law, along with pilot programs, encourage alternatives to keep kids out of courts.More.

The evolution of capital punishment

The Indiana Lawyer takes a historical look at how the death penalty system has evolved during the past 40 years and how Indiana has amended its practices and procedures through the decades.More.

Enduring legal process doesn't change parents' desire for justice

For 11 years, Dale and Connie Sutton’s lives as parents have been about ensuring what they see as justice for their murdered daughter.


Mental aspect of capital cases can be challenging

When it comes to tallying the total price of capital punishment, the cost of those cases for the legal community is more than just expansive legalese and court procedures that span a decade or two.More.

Prosecutors: money doesn't trump other factors when considering death penalty

At a time when capital punishment requests are down and some state officials are questioning the cost and overall effectiveness of seeking a death sentence, the issue of what it’s worth to go after this ultimate punishment is getting more scrutiny in Indiana and nationwide. Read more in Indiana Lawyer's in-depth look at the death penalty and the cost of justice.More.

Recent changes impact state justice system

National and state advocates pushing for wrongful conviction reforms judged that Indiana was behind other jurisdictions in strengthening its justice system, but they emphasized that ongoing discussions were a good starting point for the Hoosier legal community.More.

Clinic argues for man's innocence

the Indiana Supreme Court is considering whether to accept a post-conviction case on an issue some say is an important question of law relating to wrongful convictions.More.

Rising number of exonerees reflects flaws in justice system

Convicts are turning to methods that have freed others who were wrongfully convicted, as well as new issues that continue surfacing in the nation's court system.More.

Teaming up for change

National, local experts meet in Indiana to discuss juvenile justice.More.

Indiana: Better economic climate

State's legal community successfully rising to recession-related challengesMore.

Lawyers challenge imbalance of power

Budget statute affected juvenile codes and gives the Department of Child Services oversight of judicial decision-making.More.

Attorneys squeezing savings

Bar associations offer discounts, cost-cutting options for legal communityMore.

Money woes 'going to get worse'

County courts, prosecutors, public defenders face tight budgetsMore.

Indiana's legal aid in trouble?

3 legal aid providers discuss the economy's effectsMore.

System delivers injustice

Exonerated face new, old legal hurdles after release.More.

Marion County a model for juvenile detention reforms

Detention alternatives, Initial Hearing Court draw national praise.More.

What's next for Indiana's juvenile system?

Indiana lags in statewide reform, but builds on localized successes.More.

'Out of the court's hands'

Lake County teen recognizes she is responsible for future in juvenile system.More.

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Kristie Malnar v. Ruth Black



Motorcycle Accident
Garrett Minniear v. Chase King d/b/a King Masonry LLC



Medical malpractice
Resa v. Greathouse-Williams, et al.


More Trial Reports


How do managing partners manage their social media?

Do you have a LinkedIn account? If you are a managing partner, then you most likely do, although your online presence may be begrudgingly, depending on your age.More.


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Opinions Jan. 30, 2015

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Anthony Bailey
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Criminal. Finds Bailey’s motion asking for a reduced sentence is best understood as a petition for relief under 28 U.S.C. Section 2255 for a sentence that was imposed contrary to the law. Based on Dorsey v. United States, Bailey should have been subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of only 10 years, instead of 20, after he pleaded guilty in 2011 to distributing crack cocaine. Remands for a new sentencing hearing.More.
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