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.

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.

'Dead Man Walking' author calls for judicial reform

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Special Sections

Indiana Court Decisions - Jan. 7 to 20, 2015

Read recent Indiana appellate decisions.

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.

Disciplinary Actions

Disciplinary Actions - 1/28/15

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

Bar Associations

Abrams: Reminiscing

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

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.

IndyBar: Avoiding ‘Time Outs’ Through Lessons in Civility

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

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.

IndyBar Frontlines - 1/28/15

Read news from around the IndyBar!
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  1. I need an experienced attorney to handle a breach of contract matter. Kindly respond for more details. Graham Young

  2. I thought the slurs were the least grave aspects of her misconduct, since they had nothing to do with her being on the bench. Why then do I suspect they were the focus? I find this a troubling trend. At least she was allowed to keep her law license.

  3. Section 6 of Article I of the Indiana Constitution is pretty clear and unequivocal: "Section 6. No money shall be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of any religious or theological institution."

  4. Video pen? Nice work, "JW"! Let this be a lesson and a caution to all disgruntled ex-spouses (or soon-to-be ex-spouses) . . . you may think that altercation is going to get you some satisfaction . . . it will not.

  5. First comment on this thread is a fitting final comment on this thread, as that the MCBA never answered Duncan's fine question, and now even Eric Holder agrees that the MCBA was in material error as to the facts: "I don't get it" from Duncan December 1, 2014 5:10 PM "The Grand Jury met for 25 days and heard 70 hours of testimony according to this article and they made a decision that no crime occurred. On what basis does the MCBA conclude that their decision was "unjust"? What special knowledge or evidence does the MCBA have that the Grand Jury hearing this matter was unaware of? The system that we as lawyers are sworn to uphold made a decision that there was insufficient proof that officer committed a crime. How can any of us say we know better what was right than the jury that actually heard all of the the evidence in this case."