Recent Blog Posts

First round interviews begin

September 27, 2010
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The first three applicants explain why they would like to be the next Indiana Tax Court judge.
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Blogging the Tax Court interviews

September 24, 2010
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Michael Hoskins will be at it again: blogging from the Indiana Tax Court interviews Monday.
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Poll shows what Americans think of U.S. Supreme Court

September 23, 2010
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Americans approve of the nation’s highest court, but many don’t know much about its confirmation process.
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Discipline inconsistencies

September 21, 2010
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Is Indiana too lenient on substance-abusing attorneys?
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Students, judges, lawyers, and reporters participate in Constitution Day

September 20, 2010
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If you were asked to find in the U.S. and Indiana constitutions where our rights are specifically outlined, such as freedom of religion, right to keep and bear arms, right to vote, freedom of speech, right to a trial by jury, and education, could you do it? Find out in today’s blog about the recent Constitution Day event at the Statehouse.
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A boys' club?

September 17, 2010
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Indiana still remains one of two states – the other being Idaho – that has no women justices. None.
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Judge's focus 'odd,' 'inappropriate' for Circuit's taste

September 14, 2010
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Sometimes a case makes the news not because of the merits, but for some other reason. Such a case came from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Monday. Writing for the panel, Judge Diane P. Wood noted there was “little out of the ordinary” in Jose Figueroa’s trial and conviction.
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Survey: Law schools receive negative letters

September 13, 2010
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A recent survey found a majority of law school and medical school admissions offices had received negative recommendation letters. Why would someone ask for a letter that might not be positive – and why would someone agree, only to write a negative letter?
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'The most litigious man in history'

September 10, 2010
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You might hear the name Gordon Gekko and think of the movie “Wall Street” and the character played by Michael Douglas. But that name has special meaning for Indiana’s federal courts, where a prisoner pro se litigant uses that as one of his many aliases to file lawsuit after lawsuit.
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Call sheds light on civics staff cuts

September 8, 2010
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During a conference call with teachers, Indiana Bar Foundation staff members explained the need to restructure the program, and answered questions.
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More legal jobs, barely

September 7, 2010
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Legal jobs saw a modest increase in employment for August.

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Planning for the unexpected

August 30, 2010
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Does your firm’s disaster plan include what to do regarding random acts of violence?
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Counseling programs for homebuyers discussed at event

August 25, 2010
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The CEO and president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago discussed foreclosures and the housing market, comparing counseling programs in Indianapolis and Chicago that help people buying homes avoid making bad choices, as part of a breakfast on Tuesday.
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19th Amendment turns 90

August 23, 2010
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This week and last week mark significant anniversaries when it comes to women winning the right to vote in the United States after fighting for that right for decades. An exhibit about the women’s suffrage movement and an event featuring historic interpreters are two ways to commemorate the occasion.
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Creative advertising

August 19, 2010
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If you find yourself in need of a DUI attorney, look at the pint glass you're holding.
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Defense lawyers aren't responsible?

August 16, 2010
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An insurance company’s video about two defense attorneys raises some questions.
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Unique situation for Gov. Daniels

August 12, 2010
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Gov. Mitch Daniels will get to do what only one other governor has done with regards to Indiana’s appellate courts.

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Counterfeit at the fair?

August 11, 2010
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Rides, food, and fake handbags at the Indiana State Fair.
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Pressure on the governor

August 9, 2010
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Could the female finalist for justice have an edge because of her gender?

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Firm, IBA support pro bono mediation day

August 3, 2010
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Today’s mediation day at law firm offers a different type of pro bono project.

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Finalists all have IU-Indy law degrees

August 2, 2010
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Justices with law degrees from Indiana University will be the majority on the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Interviews over, now wait begins

July 30, 2010
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Commission members are now deliberating. A decision could come any time.

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The interviews continue

July 30, 2010
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Reporter Michael Hoskins breaks down the next three interviews for Indiana Supreme Court justice.
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Justice interviews begin

July 30, 2010
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Interview highlights from the first three semi-finalists for Indiana Supreme Court justice.
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Blogging the interviews

July 29, 2010
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We’ll be blogging about the justice interviews Friday throughout the day.

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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  4. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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