District Courts

3 judges dissent on rehearing denial in stun belt case

January 14, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has decided to not rehear an Indiana case about a convicted murder’s ineffective assistance of trial counsel claims relating to a stun belt used in court, though three judges disagreed and felt the northern Indiana federal judge’s decision should be upheld.
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COA panel divided on trial court involvement with subpoena

January 12, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split today on whether an Indiana trial court had the authority to order a company to comply with a subpoena issued by arbitrators in New York.
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BLE suit moves forward

January 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Even as the Indiana Board of Law Examiners searches for a new leader, a federal lawsuit remains pending against the state agency’s questions to prospective lawyers about their mental and emotional health.
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Bankruptcy delays collection effort

January 5, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Former East Chicago Mayor Robert Pastrick has filed for bankruptcy, putting on hold the state’s attempt to seize his property to help pay off the $108 million he owes from a civil racketeering default judgment against him.
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7th Circuit first to decide on resentencing, procedural rule issue

January 4, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled on an issue that hasn’t been addressed by any of its counterparts nationwide, finding that sentencing guidelines revised three years ago still only give District judges one chance to modify penalties based on a federal criminal rule of procedure.
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Circuit Court reverses insurance case

December 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment for an insurer on the issue of whether the commercial general policy covered faulty subcontractor work, citing a similar case recently ruled on by the Indiana Supreme Court. The Circuit Court also dealt with an issue surrounding umbrella policies for the first time.
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Dinsmore sworn in as U.S. magistrate

December 22, 2010
IL Staff
U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Dinsmore took his oath and was sworn in on Dec. 17.
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Southern District rules amended

December 21, 2010
IL Staff
Several Local Rules of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana have been amended. The changes are effective Jan. 1.
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Dinsmore sworn in as magistrate

December 17, 2010
IL Staff
Mark J. Dinsmore took the oath today to become the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana’s newest magistrate judge. Magistrate Judge Dinsmore was sworn in by Chief Judge Richard L. Young at the Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Indianapolis.
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7th Circuit order changes wording in public-records opinion

December 9, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
In an order dated Wednesday and posted on the website for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today, a Nov. 29 opinion from that court was amended following a motion filed by the defendants on Dec. 2 to delete a reference to the defendants as “silly” and “unprofessional.”
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Settlement reached on foster care rates

December 8, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Department of Child Services has agreed not to cut subsidies for foster and adoptive parents and other caregivers as part of a class-action settlement in federal court.
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Circuit Court reverses stay on producing public records

November 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A northern Indiana District Court was wrong in granting a Wisconsin city’s motion for a stay, which allowed the city to withhold public records from the bank suing it for violating securities law, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded today. The issue was whether the order issued by a state court for the city to produce the documents could be stayed by federal law because the request constituted discovery proceedings.
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Lawyer sentenced on child porn case

November 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Anderson attorney Samuel Hasler, who pled guilty to a pair of child pornography charges, has received a 151-month sentence, meaning he’ll spend more than 12 years behind bars and then face a lifetime of supervised release.
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New federal judge sworn in, robed

November 10, 2010
IL Staff
U.S. Judge Jon DeGuilio took his oath and was officially sworn in Oct. 29 as the newest member of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, where he’ll preside in the South Bend division.
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SCOTUS reverses 7th Circuit a second time on capital case

November 8, 2010
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana case has prompted the nation’s highest court to reiterate that federal courts can’t issue any writ of habeas corpus to state prisoners whose confinements do not violate U.S. law.
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DOC violated religious rights in denying kosher meals

November 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge has found the Indiana Department of Correction was wrong to stop serving kosher meals to those whose religious practices required them to eat the specially prepared meals.
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Indiana attorney is still battling merit-selection in courts

November 4, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Terre Haute attorney has been dealt another blow in his national effort to challenge judicial merit-selection systems in favor of popular elections.
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Dozens apply for new federal magistrate spot

November 4, 2010
Michael Hoskins
More than 40 attorneys have applied for a new magistrate spot in the Southern District of Indiana, the first new position since the 1980s.
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High court takes certified questions in NCAA case

November 4, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted three certified questions proposed by a federal appeals court that arose in a case involving the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s ticket-distribution system for championship tournaments.
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Southern District seeks comment on rule changes

November 4, 2010
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has proposed several amendments to its Local Rules involving discovery disputes, class action suits, appearances, and sentencing.
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Proposed settlement may net $25 million for environmental cleanup

October 20, 2010
IL Staff
The proposed settlement filed today in the bankruptcy case involving former General Motors sites could provide nearly $25 million for cleanup of eight Indiana sites with ties to the automaker.
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Judge DeGuilio to be officially sworn in Oct. 29

October 18, 2010
IL Staff
The state’s newest judge in the Northern District of Indiana will be formally sworn in Oct. 29 at the Robert A. Grant Federal Building and Courthouse in South Bend.
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States' lawsuit challenging federal health-care law can proceed

October 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The lawsuit filed by 20 states, including Indiana, challenging the constitutionality of the new federal health-care law can go forward on two counts, a Florida federal judge ruled Thursday.
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Judge Pratt makes history

October 13, 2010
IL Staff
Judge Tanya Walton Pratt becomes the first African-American federal jurist in Indiana.
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Applications for new magistrate accepted

October 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is accepting applications for a new magistrate position recently approved by the Judicial Conference.
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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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