District Courts

Federal Bar Update: End-of-year tweaks to federal court rules

December 17, 2014
John Maley
John Maley takes a look at rule changes in federal courts and reminds attorneys that the rule on Statement of the Facts has been deleted.
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Federal judiciary receives budget boost

December 16, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The $1.1 trillion spending bill passed by the U.S. Congress as a government shutdown loomed included some relief for the federal judiciary.
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Judges toss ‘illegible’ federal lawsuits

December 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
Federal judges in Indianapolis last week wasted no time tossing two lawsuits from an abusive serial filer whose hand-scrawled complaints couldn’t be deciphered.
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Court properly allowed evidence identifying precursors used to make meth

December 11, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted an ingredient label and the testimony of a detective relating to the identification of three precursors commonly used to make methamphetamine, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Liquor store owners argue state has Constitutional right to regulate cold beer

December 9, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers Inc., arguing that the state’s interest in regulating alcohol trumps an Equal Protection challenge, has filed an amicus brief in support of Indiana’s law prohibiting convenience stores and gas stations from selling beer cold.
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Feds drop case against former Eli Lilly scientists accused of stealing secrets

December 5, 2014
IBJ Staff, J.K. Wall
Federal prosecutors in Indianapolis dropped all charges against two scientists accused of stealing trade secrets worth $55 million from Eli Lilly and Co., according to a court motion made Friday in federal court in Indianapolis.
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‘Disputed facts’ prevent federal judge from overturning contested abortion restrictions

December 4, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Conflicting opinions from medical experts has stopped a federal judge from issuing a final summary judgment in a challenge to the Indiana statute that requires non-surgical abortion clinics to have the same equipment and adhere to the same requirements as a surgical facility.
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Conour appeal focuses on defense withdrawal, sentencing terms

December 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
Convicted fraudster and ex-attorney William Conour’s appeal of his conviction and 10-year sentence on a federal wire fraud charge argues the court failed to investigate his defense counsel’s withdrawal. His appeal also claims that the court wrongly imposed “suspicionless” searches and other conditions of supervised release following his imprisonment.
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Federal court rules amendments take effect

December 2, 2014
IL Staff
Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure amendments took effect Monday governing the appellate, civil, bankruptcy and evidence rules.
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Southern District amends filing under seal, pro se notice rules

December 1, 2014
IL Staff
Federal court rules for the Southern District of Indiana pertaining to filing documents under seal and providing notice to pro se litigants will be amended effective Jan. 1, 2015, Clerk Laura Briggs announced.
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Federal judge approves settlement in Marion County campaign literature case

November 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge on Monday approved a settlement between the Marion County Election Board and the unslated candidate from whom it confiscated campaign materials in 2012.
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Same-sex couple gets divorce in Indiana

November 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana residents Linda Bruner and Lori Roberts made history Nov. 10 by becoming the first same-sex couple in the state to legally divorce.
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Judge rejects bid for injunction in Indianapolis judicial elections

November 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
A federal judge last week denied a request from Democratic candidates who sued to be placed on Tuesday’s general election ballot for Marion Superior judge.
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Southern District opens comment period on proposed rule changes

November 3, 2014
IL Staff
The federal court for the Southern District of Indiana will accept comments through the end of November on proposed rule changes pertaining to filing under seal and non-electronic filing.
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Southern District accepting applications for new part-time magistrate

October 30, 2014
IL Staff
A part-time magistrate position has become available in the New Albany location of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, thanks to authorization from the Judicial Conference of the United States.
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Bankruptcy cases filed at lowest number since 2007

October 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The total number of bankruptcy cases filed in federal courts for the fiscal year 2014 dropped 13 percent as compared with FY 2013, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts announced Wednesday. This is the lowest number of bankruptcy filings for any 12-month period since 2007.
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Acquitted ex-Ind. trooper sues police, prosecutors

October 27, 2014
 Associated Press
A former Indiana State Police trooper acquitted in the slayings of his wife and two children has sued prosecutors, investigators and others for false imprisonment and other counts.
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Judge questions $75M NCAA concussion settlement

October 23, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal judge overseeing a first-of-its-kind head injury settlement with the NCAA expressed concerns Thursday about some terms and the scope of the $75 million deal that encompasses all athletes going back decades.
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Democrats push to be on Marion County judge ballot

October 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
Marion County Superior judge elections ruled unconstitutional this month should not proceed Nov. 4 as the current ballot is drawn, according to court pleadings from candidates who were left out of the general election.
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Judge must face federal lawsuit over drug court detentions

October 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
Clark Circuit Judge Jerome Jacobi must face a federal lawsuit from drug court participants who allege they were improperly detained or unlawfully arrested as participants in the problem-solving court he oversaw.
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Brother of former NFL player enters plea agreement

October 20, 2014
 Associated Press
The brother of a former NFL player has agreed under a deal with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to two counts of a 44-count indictment against him and receive a 14-year prison sentence.
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Amended bankruptcy rules take effect Oct. 27

October 13, 2014
IL Staff
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana has amended its local rules. The amendments, which take effect Oct. 27, include new rules and changes to existing rules.
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Assistant US attorney chosen as federal magistrate

October 13, 2014
IL Staff
An assistant U.S. attorney in Hammond has been tapped as the newest magistrate judge for the Fort Wayne Division of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
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Judge finds Marion County judicial election system unconstitutional

October 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge in Indianapolis has ruled that the statute outlining how Marion Superior judges are elected is unconstitutional. Because a stay has been issued, the ruling will not impact next month’s election.
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Humvee maker wins $27.9M judgment against supplier

October 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
A supplier of armored doors for Humvees made for the military overcharged the manufacturer, a federal judge ruled Monday, awarding South Bend-based AM General LLC a $27.9 million judgment.
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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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