District Courts

7th Circuit: Recording of drug deal doesn’t taint conviction

September 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
A taped conversation between a suspected heroin dealer and a confidential informant in which a sentence was admitted into evidence was not fruit of the poison tree dooming a conviction that was supported by plenty of other evidence, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Volokh to argue in Brewington before justices, partake in McKinney moot court

September 9, 2013
Dave Stafford
One of the National Law Journal’s 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America will be before the Indiana Supreme Court this week to argue on behalf of a blogger convicted and sentenced for intimidating a Dearborn County judge who revoked the man’s joint custody of his children.
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7th Circuit cautions bare-bones recitation of Rule 403 insufficient

September 9, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A District Court’s failure to review evidence and provide a considered analysis for admitting that evidence drew an admonishment – but no reversal - from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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7th Circuit reinstates mechanics’ claims of faulty trailer-support design

September 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
Complaints for damages from two mechanics that were injured by a semi trailer they were working on were partially reinstated Friday by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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7th Circuit declines to second guess co-defendant credibility in firearm sentence

September 3, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Contradictory testimony given in two plea agreements presented the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, with the “classic choice” of whom to believe.
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ITLA to give $30,000 Conour donation to restitution fund

September 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
A $30,000 donation that convicted former attorney William Conour made four years ago to the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association will be given to a federal court fund to provide restitution to his fraud victims.
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Southern District Bankruptcy Court amends rules

August 30, 2013
IL Staff
New rules in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana regarding wage assignment orders in Chapter 13 cases and additional requirements for electronic filing will be effective Sept. 23, according to an order posted Thursday.
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Men sentenced for aiding inmate-run meth ring

August 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
Two men found guilty of participating in a drug-trafficking ring directed by Indiana prison inmates were sentenced in federal court on Tuesday.
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New planning report form now in use in Northern District

August 28, 2013
John Maley
Effective Aug. 14, the Northern District of Indiana has a new form for the “Report of Parties’ Planning Meeting” that is required to be submitted after the parties’ Rule 26(f) planning conference. This new form is to be used going forward.
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Appeals court reverses, finds judgment on pleadings for insurer

August 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Orange Circuit Court judge erred when he failed to approve an insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, and the Court of Appeals on Tuesday ordered the case remanded and such a ruling entered.
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Truck owner-operator fee dispute stays in federal court

August 23, 2013
Dave Stafford
A lawsuit claiming that hundreds of tractor-trailer owner-operators may be owed damages of more than $5 million will remain in federal court, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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ACLU alleges IMPD officers infringed panhandlers’ free-speech rights

August 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
The ACLU of Indiana has filed a federal lawsuit claiming the city and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers violated the free speech rights of indigent panhandlers ordered to move from near Circle Center Mall last week.
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Northern District judge tosses challenge to Indiana immigration law

August 15, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging portions of Indiana’s immigration law passed in 2011.
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Judge tosses one of two stent patent suits against Cook Medical

August 7, 2013
Dave Stafford
A federal judge Wednesday dismissed a patent dispute case against Cook Medical Inc. of Bloomington, but a Texas corporation continues to press its claim that the device maker infringed its patents on blood vessel stents and grafts.
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Judge clears IU to donate $450,000 for Conour victim restitution

August 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
A judge last week approved an order clearing the way for Indiana University to transfer $450,000 to a federal court restitution fund for victims of former personal-injury and wrongful-death attorney William Conour.
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Liquor store chain seeks to impose strict regulations on convenience stores selling alcohol

August 1, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A chain of 19 liquor stores in Indianapolis wants the drug, grocery and convenience stores that sell alcohol to be subject to the same strict regulations that govern package liquor stores.
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Conour seeks pre-sentence release

August 1, 2013
Dave Stafford
Former attorney William Conour has asked a federal judge who ordered him jailed last month in his wire fraud case to free him ahead of his Oct. 17 sentencing.
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7th Circuit: New indemnity provision does not release employer from liability

July 30, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
An employer will have to pay $4.23 million after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was unconvinced by the employer’s argument that language in a later contract superseded that of an earlier contract.
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Judge: Continuing current sequestration cuts would be ‘devastating’ to justice system

July 24, 2013
IL Staff
A federal judge implored a Senate panel Tuesday to provide sufficient funding for U.S. courts, warning that the general public will lose the access to justice that has been a hallmark of this country.
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ACLU files suit over denial of prisoner’s request to pray in group

July 23, 2013
IL Staff
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana announced Monday that it has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a prisoner who practices the African Hebrew Israelite religion because the Pendleton Correctional Facility won’t allow the religious group to congregate for prayer unless a volunteer is present.
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Indiana University will donate former attorney’s gift to victims

July 17, 2013
Dave Stafford
Now that former high-profile personal-injury attorney William Conour has pleaded guilty to accusations that he defrauded dozens of clients of more than $4.5 million, his victims hope for some measure of restitution. At least a fraction of the loss will be covered by the law school to which Conour gave $450,000.
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Judge accepts Conour plea; IU will use funds donated by ex-lawyer to help victims

July 15, 2013
Dave Stafford
Now that former high-profile personal-injury attorney William Conour has pleaded guilty to accusations that he defrauded dozens of clients of more than $4.5 million, his victims hope for some measure of restitution. At least a fraction of the loss will be covered by the law school to which Conour gave $450,000.
More

7th Circuit won’t excuse IMPD officer from wrongful arrest, excessive force suit

July 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man’s federal lawsuit against two Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers and the city will go forward after a federal judge rejected one officer’s interlocutory appeal.
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Judge finds Apple conspired to raise e-book prices

July 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled Wednesday that Apple Inc. colluded with major U.S. publishers to artificially raise the retail prices of e-books.
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Judge sets Conour guilty plea hearing

July 9, 2013
Dave Stafford
Former leading personal-injury attorney William Conour is scheduled to appear in court to plead guilty to a federal wire fraud charge next week.
More
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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