Recent Blog Posts

Loans and the public sector

August 18, 2008
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President Bush signed the Higher Education Opportunity Act , H.R. 4137, into law last week, which provides loan forgiveness for students entering public services jobs, including public defenders, prosecutors, and legal aid attorneys. In exchange for committing to work for at...
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A blog about blogging

August 18, 2008
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I attended BlogIndiana this weekend - a conference about blogging as the name would suggest - to learn how to make sure Indiana Lawyer is putting out the best blog we can. While many of the sessions were geared toward personal...
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Accident breaks firm’s windows

August 14, 2008
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An accident in downtown Indianapolis this afternoon involving three men installing a sign on the M&I Building damaged two windows at law firm Bose McKinney and Evans. One window each on the 27th and 23rd floors were damaged when a cable on...
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Appellate court delays, blame

August 14, 2008
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From  IL reporter Michael Hoskins, who attended today's arguments:  The Indiana Supreme Court is delving into interesting issues that hit on speedy criminal trials and how appellate court delays have a role in that process. Of course, a comment made during...
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Budget cuts, slower courts?

August 13, 2008
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It’s budget season in Indiana, and counties across the state are preparing their 2009 budgets. The tough economic times are leading counties to ask departments to find even more ways to cut spending. The courts, too, are being asked to find...
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Buying booze on Sunday

August 11, 2008
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One organization in Indiana is looking to end one of our state’s last remaining “blue laws” – buying alcohol from a store on Sundays. As an adult of legal drinking age, I am all for changing this state law. I know...
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A jet-set chief justice

August 7, 2008
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From IL reporter Michael Hoskins:  Every so often, you’ll see an Indiana Supreme Court order signed by an acting chief justice. Some recent court orders have Justice Brent Dickson filling in for Chief Justice Randall Shepard. Nothing out of the ordinary,...
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NAACP to prep voters

August 7, 2008
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The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund is sending attorneys to 10 states before the fall election to address voting barriers, according to the National Law Journal. Surprise, surprise, Indiana is one of those 10 states. I’d wager the NAACP’s interest...
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ACLU always controversial

August 5, 2008
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In an obituary for Indianapolis attorney Alan Nolan, I learned that he was one of the founders of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, now the ACLU of Indiana. According to law firm Ice Miller’s Web site, Nolan and attorney Merle Miller,...
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What’s the difference?

August 4, 2008
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This post comes from IL  reporter Michael Hoskins:  On one hand, the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana argues against blanket, government-imposed rules restricting where sex offenders can live and places those registered individuals can visit. But when a private homeowners...
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Does duty stop at door?

August 1, 2008
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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer yesterday to a case that will have implications on a hospital’s duty to protect its patients from suspected abusers. Indiana Lawyer Daily wrote about the case in March when the majority of the Indiana Court...
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Jurisdiction not camera shy

July 31, 2008
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Indianapolis documentary filmmaker Karen Grau’s request to film juvenile court proceedings in Lake County has been granted by the Indiana Supreme Court. Grau is no stranger to Indiana’s juvenile courts, as she has already worked on several documentaries with Lake Juvenile...
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Court holds up settlement

July 30, 2008
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Even though the parties involved in litigation of a wrongful imprisonment suit want to settle after a jury already announced its award, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request to throw out the jury award to clear the way...
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The legal system and media

July 29, 2008
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From Indiana Lawyer reporter Michael Hoskins, who is in Reno attending a conference at the National Judicial College: Courts and media can sometimes collide, but there’s a plethora of reasons for both to get along. This is the topic of...
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Courthouse attorney lounge

July 28, 2008
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After a decade-long absence, attorneys visiting the Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Indianapolis have a quiet place to prepare for court. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, announced today it has opened...
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AG saves taxpayer money

July 25, 2008
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For the second time in a month, the Indiana Attorney General’s office has decided not to appeal court decisions that didn’t come out in its favor regarding new laws. Earlier this month, the office announced it wouldn’t appeal U.S. District Judge...
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Letters from jail

July 24, 2008
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If there’s ample evidence you wrote threatening letters to the president of the United States and chief justice of Canada, and you happened to include a white, powdery substance that could be mistaken for anthrax, then don’t try to appeal your...
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Need for non-violent orders?

July 23, 2008
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On Tuesday, tragedy struck in Indianapolis when a man allegedly murdered two people – his ex-wife and her boyfriend – and then reportedly turned the gun on himself. The man had a history of violence, according to police and news reports,...
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Another judge in trouble

July 22, 2008
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Allen Circuit Court Judge Thomas Felts was arrested for suspicion of drunk driving while in Indianapolis last Friday. Judge Felts told Indiana Lawyer he regrets what’s happened. Judges getting arrested and breaking the law isn’t anything new. Judges are human, just...
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Journalistic shielding

July 18, 2008
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Both of Indiana’s senators are pushing for passage of a federal shield law. Sen. Dick Lugar, a Republican, talked this week about making that happen soon and as recently as last week Senate leadership noted this may come up yet in...
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End the death penalty?

July 17, 2008
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More than a year ago, a team of law professors, scholars, lawyers, and judges let loose a report recommending a halt to the death penalty in Indiana. That assessment came on behalf of the American Bar Association and was one of...
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Too much pressure?

July 16, 2008
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We see them as the authority behind the bench, applying the law and dispensing justice on a daily basis. But what happens when a judge crosses the line – criminal conduct or not – and allows work or personal pressure to...
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Stalking interpretations

July 15, 2008
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Is standing on a public street, staring at someone’s house considered taboo and possibly enough for a felony stalking charge? Does the answer change if it happens more than once, say four times, and that the person being watched feels...
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What of Indiana\'s reputation?

July 15, 2008
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It seems Indiana’s legal community has a good reputation out there. Studies appear to come out regularly assessing some aspect of Indiana’s legal system: Our litigation climate, ethics of the judiciary and legal community, and so on. But off-the-cuff, what are...
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Legal help from Oprah

July 14, 2008
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Oprah Winfrey wants to offer you legal help. The catch: Your case will be documented in her magazine for the world to see. I came across a link on CNN.com that leads to a promotional page from Winfrey’s magazine, “O, The...
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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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