District Courts

Death penalty foe Foster pumps up federal defenders

October 10, 2012
Dave Stafford
Taking charge at Indiana Federal Community Defenders Inc. in the Southern District, Monica Foster's seeking, and getting, bigger caseloads.
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Weinberger seeks sentence of time served

October 8, 2012
Dave Stafford
Former Merrillville ear, nose and throat doctor Mark Weinberger on Monday asked a federal court to sentence him to time served for the 22 counts of health care fraud to which he pleaded guilty.
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Northwest Indiana officials indicted on federal charges

October 5, 2012
IL Staff
Six people in northwest Indiana, including three council members, were indicted Thursday on federal charges resulting from an investigation by the Northern District of Indiana’s Public Corruption Task Force.
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Death row inmate’s habeas petition denied

October 4, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge in South Bend has denied a death row inmate’s request for habeas corpus, rejecting the man’s claims that he is mentally retarded and, therefore, cannot be sentenced to death.
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Conour drops attorneys, gets $15k from shrinking trust

September 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
Ex-attorney William Conour and his defense lawyers officially parted ways on Thursday. A federal judge afterward granted Conour’s request that he receive $15,000 from a $100,000 trust fund set up for compensating client victims he is accused of defrauding.
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Federal judge dismisses whistleblower suit against Rolls-Royce

September 27, 2012
Scott Olson
A federal judge in Indianapolis has dismissed a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former Rolls-Royce Corp. engineer who accused the company of selling faulty aircraft engine parts to the government.
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Durham to be sentenced Nov. 30

September 27, 2012
IL Staff
Tim Durham and the two other men convicted of running a Ponzi scheme and taking money from investors in Ohio-based Fair Finance Co. will be sentenced Nov. 30.
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Major changes coming in bankruptcy court Oct. 1

September 26, 2012
IL Staff
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana is reminding practitioners that some amendments to local rules taking effect next month “may significantly impact” bankruptcy attorney practices.
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Zoeller, senators at odds over immigration law

September 26, 2012
Dave Stafford
Indiana lawmakers seek to intervene with aid of Kansas official Kris Kobach.
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Attorney facing fraud charges dropping lawyers

September 24, 2012
Scott Olson
Lawyers for a high-profile Indianapolis attorney accused of misappropriating $4.5 million in client funds are requesting to withdraw as his defense counsel just a month before his trial date.
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Conour's colleagues questioned behavior

September 12, 2012
Dave Stafford
William Conour, until recently, was one of Indiana’s most respected and powerful personal injury attorneys, his name prominent enough to grace a law school atrium. Now he faces a federal charge that could send him to prison for much of the rest of his life.
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Pharmacy owner pleads guilty to $3.5M in Medicaid fraud

August 31, 2012
IL Staff
A West Lafayette pharmacy owner was sentenced to four years and 9 months in federal prison for defrauding the state’s Medicaid program. He was also ordered to repay Medicaid and pay taxes owed.
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7th Circuit vacates habeas petition, orders further proceedings

August 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Although a District Court’s grant of the habeas petition of a man claiming he didn’t have an impartial jury was reversed by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the case was sent back to the lower court for the state to show that the jury was not prejudiced.
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Bad BP gas distributed widely in Indy, as far south as Corydon

August 29, 2012
Dave Stafford
Tainted BP gasoline that is the subject of two federal lawsuits in northern Indiana was delivered to and likely sold in at least 28 Indianapolis gas stations and as far south as Corydon and Lawrenceburg, according to information the company provided.
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Same court, new experience

August 29, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Hoover Hull LLP partner Alice Morical joins a Southern District pro bono program and faces a jury for the first time.
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Updated instructions aim to prevent social media use during trial

August 24, 2012
IL Staff
Federal judges have new guidelines for keeping Twitter and Facebook out of the jury box.
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Steak ’n Shake loses appeal over franchisee’s independent pricing

August 24, 2012
Dave Stafford
A longtime Steak ’n Shake franchisee who sued the chain after it insisted on setting prices for menu items prevailed again Friday as the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an Illinois federal court’s ruling in the franchisee’s favor.
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Man had no constitutional right to counsel

August 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claims in support of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, finding his motion to correct sentence wasn’t a motion pursuant to Indiana Code, but was a collateral attack on his sentence.
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AT&T technicians file lawsuit over lunch policy

August 17, 2012
Chris O'Malley
Eleven AT&T technicians have filed a federal lawsuit seeking class-action status to collect unpaid wages and overtime, alleging the company compels them to work during unpaid lunch breaks.
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Federal Rules website revamped, accepting comment on rule changes

August 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The United States Courts’ Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Appellate, Bankruptcy, Criminal, and Evidence Rules announced Friday that it is seeking comment on several proposed changes to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, as well as changes made to its website. Officials hope the revamped website will be more user-friendly.
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Rehearings - 8/17/12

August 15, 2012
Dave Stafford
Updates on Indiana's immigration law and the former Merrillville doctor facing hundreds of malpractice suits and other charges.
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Bankruptcy filings down across country, Indiana

August 3, 2012
IL Staff
Bankruptcy filings are down 14 percent across the country for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2012, as compared to the year ending June 30, 2011, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts reported Friday. Filings are down by at least 13 percent in Indiana courts.
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Federal Bar Update: No changes to federal rules this year

August 1, 2012
John Maley
Federal rule amendments take affect Dec. 1 of each year after a lengthy, time-consuming process of transmittal from the Judicial Conference to the Supreme Court and then to Congress. This coming December, for the first time in many years, there are no amendments on the horizon for the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, or Federal Rules of Evidence.
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Zoeller: Parts of immigration law can't stand

July 31, 2012
Dave Stafford
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said Tuesday a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down most of a tough Arizona law will impact a similar immigration law signed by Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2011.
More

New suit alleges NCAA monopoly, seeks class action

July 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
A new federal lawsuit has been filed alleging that the Indianapolis-based NCAA constitutes an illegal college sports monopoly.
More
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  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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