Last UpdatedTHU., FEBRUARY 11, 2016 - 3:48 PM

E-filing takes baby steps in Hamilton County

What could be easier than filing court documents from your desktop or tablet with automatic service and immediate filing confirmation? If you can see the courthouse from your office, it may seem easier to do things the old way — dashing to the clerk’s office or having a runner do the same. That seems to be true in some cases, at least for now.More.

Apartment residents sue over broken elevator02:32 pm

The owners of an apartment complex who took nearly two months to repair a broken elevator, leaving residents with disabilities essentially stranded in their apartments, have been sued over the summer 2015 incident.More.

Fantasy sports companies defend embattled industry02:06 pm

Fantasy sports sites say their contests aren't gambling because a player's skill level is more of a factor than chance in determining success, but some states have declared them gambling games and either banned them outright or required operators to get gambling licenses.More.

IU students offer free tax assistance02:04 pm

Students with Indiana University Maurer School of Law and the Kelley School of Business will assist local taxpayers with free tax preparation help during February and March.More.

In This Issue

FEB. 10-23, 2016
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Lawyers are warming to e-filing, but hurdles (and proximity to the courthouse) are slowing wider use.Former foes of Indiana lawsuit funding legislation are supporting this year's bills to regulate the industry. The Hoosier roots are still strong for a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Top Stories

Taking a 'side step' in the legal profession

From her desk, Elizabeth Ellis watched the attorneys in her office work and realized as many other paralegals have – I can do that.More.

Hoosier roots still strong for D.C. Circuit jurist

Judge Robert Wilkins returns to Indiana for a Black History Month celebration in the Southern District of Indiana.More.

30 justice applicants bring varied backgrounds

The lawyers and judges vying to become the next Indiana justice include a one-time Swiss Alps guide, an aerobics instructor, and a former Indiana University football player. At least three got their start working at McDonald’s, and more have lived in Rensselaer (three) than were born in Indianapolis (two).More.

From McKinney to mayor

Shane Evans went home to Delphi, Indiana, after graduating from law school last year and walked straight into the top job in city hall.More.

Treatment of mentally ill prisoners changing

After more than seven years of litigation, the Indiana Department of Correction is instituting major changes by providing treatment and mostly eliminating solitary confinement for severally mentally ill prisoners.More.

Suit alleges pattern of illegal detentions in Fort Wayne

Three Fort Wayne residents – and perhaps scores more – were illegally detained by police without warrants, probable cause or even the accusation that they had broken the law, a federal lawsuit alleges.More.


E-filing takes baby steps in Hamilton County

What could be easier than filing court documents from your desktop or tablet with automatic service and immediate filing confirmation? If you can see the courthouse from your office, it may seem easier to do things the old way — dashing to the clerk’s office or having a runner do the same. That seems to be true in some cases, at least for now.More.

Former foes support Indiana lawsuit funding bills

Harsh regulations in other states are inducing the legal financing industry to compromise.More.

Cohen/Mattingly: Learn your ESI rules: It's an ethical imperative (chomp)

It’s been nearly 10 years since the Supreme Court of the United States approved amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to add language addressing electronically stored information, or ESI. Recent FRCP amendments, effective December 2015, clarify ESI obligations. The rules re-introduce traditional concepts of flexibility and proportionality to ESI obligations.More.


In-Box: Commercial courts

Colin Flora writes in response to the recent announcement of the creation of commercial courts in Indiana.More.

Hammerle on ... 'The Hateful Eight,' 'The Revenant'

Bob Hammerle says Quentin Tarantino can bring to the screen a pictorial display of viciousness that leaves you gasping with a feeling of disgusted wonder.More.

Indiana Judges Association: How are we going to replace Justice Brent Dickson?

There is now a great opportunity to pick our next Supreme Court justice. But our problem is that we have to replace the irreplaceable Justice Brent Dickson.More.

BGBC: Who’s responsible for the IOLTA account? You are!

One of the most significant and important fiduciary duties that lawyers must perform is to safeguard all client and third-party property held in trust.More.

Neutral Corner: Reaction to SCOTUS’ recent arbitration decision

Comments following the DirecTVdecision have been consistent: Unless Congress acts or the makeup of the court fundamentally changes, mandatory arbitration of consumer disputes and the corresponding limitations of some remedies (such as class actions) is here to stay.More.

In Brief

Rush to lead new task force on access to electronic court records

It’s time for best practices and policies on Internet access to court records to be developed, the Indiana Supreme Court said Thursday in an order about the creation of an advisory task force on remote access to and privacy of electronic court records.More.

Magistrate Judge Hussmann turns in gavel but plans to keep working

On Jan. 31, Magistrate Judge William Hussmann Jr. raced his administrative assistant, Shelly James, to the office door. After nearly 28 years, the pair retired together from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.More.

Second suit filed in Marion County jail suicides

The second federal lawsuit in two months has been filed against the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, claiming wrongful death and civil rights violations on behalf of an inmate who committed suicide in the Indianapolis jail two years ago.More.

Attorney general sues ex-Gary employee over fraud scheme

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has filed a lawsuit in Lake County against a former city of Gary employee who he says used her former position in the information technology department to defraud the city of nearly $1.4 million.More.

Gay rights bill dies after author withdraws legislation

The Indiana Senate won’t act on a controversial bill meant to extend some civil rights to gay and lesbian Hoosiers, effectively killing the legislation for the session.More.

IU McKinney teams with regional campuses for law scholars program

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law has entered into an agreement with all five of IU’s regional campuses to create the Indiana University Regional Law Scholars program, the school announced Wednesday.More.

Indiana AG sues 3 companies in alleged tax-sale scheme

Indiana is suing three out-of-state companies for allegedly orchestrating a scheme that bilked dozens of state residents out of millions of dollars after their homes were sold in tax sales.More.

Special Sections

Indiana Court Decisions – Jan. 20 to Feb. 2, 2016

Read recent Indiana appellate decisions.More.

On The Move

Lawyers on the Move

Read who's recently joined an Indiana firm, joined a board or honored for their work.More.

Disciplinary Actions

Disciplinary Actions - 2/10/16

Read who's been found in contempt by the Indiana Supreme Court.More.

Bar Associations

DTCI: Indiana Court of Appeals establishes third-party duty of care under CPA

On Dec. 31, 2015, the Indiana Court of Appeals issued a ruling in Collip v. Ratts, 49A05-1501-CT-1, 2015 WL 9589777 (Ind. Ct. App. Dec. 31, 2015). The underlying facts show that on March 30, 2009, one of a nurse practitioner’s patients, Robert Ratts, died as a partial result of mixed drug intoxication.More.

DTCI: 'It ain't whatcha write, it's the way atcha write it'

IndyBar: Involving Your Expert in the Mediation Process: A Trap for the Unwary?

Cases can often involve technical issues. The author has heard of mediations where a party will bring an expert to the mediation to address and respond to the technical issues that are present in the case.More.

Moberly: A New Day for Judicial Selection in Marion County

The verdict will still be out on how we will select judges in Marion County when this article is printed, but for the first time in decades, we know we will have an entirely new system of selection before May 2017. Hopefully it will be in this legislative session but, if not, in the next.More.

IndyBar: Court Rules Pension Survivor Benefits are Marital Assets

The Indiana Court of Appeals in In Re The Marriage of Carr ruled that the survivor benefit that may go to a spouse in a dissolution of marriage is an asset for the purposes of property division and must be included in the marital pot.More.

IndyBar Frontlines - 2/10/16

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.

System delivers injustice

Exonerated face new, old legal hurdles after release.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.

After exoneration

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

Motor vehicle accident: rear-end collision
Dannis R. Thomas and Luisa Thomas v. Phyllis A. Isenhower  More


Americans with Disabilities Act discrimination
 Kristine R. Rednour v. Wayne Township Fire Department and Wayne Township More


Breach of employment contract/intentional tort
Bradley Scott Montgomery v. Danville Community School Corporation More



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Opinions Feb. 10, 2016

Indiana Court of Appeals
Thomas A. Ambrose II v. Dalton Construction, Inc.

Civil collection. Clarifies on rehearing that there is a statutory requirement that modifications to a home improvement contract must be in writing, notwithstanding the language in Sees v. Bank One, Ind., N.A., 839, N.E.2d 154, 161 (Ind. 2005). But this does not change the result of the case and affirms denial of Ambrose’s motion for summary judgment and the entry of final judgment in favor of Dalton Construction on its complaint to foreclose a mechanic’s lien.More.
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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.