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IL Daily News - 9/11/13

IL Staff
September 11, 2013
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The IL Daily delivers legal news to your email inbox. In case you missed it, following is a recap of some of the stories reported online since the last issue of Indiana Lawyer. To subscribe to the IL Daily, visit www.theindianalawyer.com.

Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County awarded grant

The Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County has been awarded a two-year grant to support its work with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

The U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women presented the grant to the FJC Protective Order Project. The funds will enable the Family Justice Center to add another attorney and advocate to the project team.

In its sixth year, the Protective Order Project offers help, including social services and legal assistance, in one location to individuals seeking protection for themselves or their minor children. An effort is then made to follow each person who receives help, and assistance is given to individuals who have their protective orders violated.

A clerk of the courts is on-site so victims can file their protective order petitions conveniently and in a secure space. Access to project partners, such as Indiana Legal Services and the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit, is provided as well.

The FJC Protective Order Project has charted a dramatic increase in the number of victims needing assistance. In 2010, the project helped 225 victims with filing protective order petitions. That number rose to 386 in 2011 and to 420 in 2012.

Survey: Midlevel associate satisfaction hits new high

Associates in their third, fourth and fifth years at large law firms report the highest overall level of job satisfaction seen in the 10-year history of a survey on the topic.

The Midlevel Associates Survey published in the September edition of The American Lawyer gathered responses from 5,683 associates at 134 firms. Overall, on a scale of 1 to 5, the job satisfaction average rose from 3.98 in 2012 to 4.04 in this year’s survey. Morale rose from 3.38 to 3.46, continuing a rise since bottoming out at 2.66 in 2009.

The survey also revealed a gender gap. Men ranked the importance of making partner higher than their female colleagues and also were likelier to report an expectation of making equity partner in five years.

View more information about the survey at www.almlegalintel.com/Surveys/Midlevel.

ACLU sues for Winamac girl who wants to play football

A northern Indiana girl who was denied the opportunity to try out for her middle school’s football team has filed a gender-equality lawsuit in federal court.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana sued on behalf of the 12-year-old Winamac Community Middle School student, claiming that no boy who wants to play is turned away, but that the girl, C.B., was told to try out for volleyball or cross country instead.

C.B.’s father, Joseph Button, asked the school’s principal and athletic director if C.B. could try out and was told girls weren’t allowed to join the team, according to a statement from ACLU. Denying C.B. an opportunity to try out for football solely based on her gender violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, ACLU argues.

“Numerous courts have recognized that gender is not a valid excuse for keeping young women out of previously all-male sports. Equal protection demands equality of treatment,” ACLU-Indiana legal director Ken Falk said in a statement.

The case is C.B. v. Eastern Pulaski Community School Corporation, 3-13-cv-901-TLS.

ACLU suit targets Evansville schools’ service-dog restrictions

Evansville public schools’ restrictive policy on service dogs is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the ACLU of Indiana contends in a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of two high-schoolers whose medical conditions require the animals.

M.T. and R.J are sophomores at Reitz and Harrison high schools respectively. They claim in the suit they and their families were unaware when school started of policies passed over the summer that require significant documentation regarding the animals two weeks before the animals may accompany students to school.

According to ACLU, M.T. has severe diabetes that can cause life-threatening changes in blood sugar, and her dog Layla alerts when the changes are occurring. R.J. has a rare mitochondrial disorder that causes seizures that prevent her from supporting her own weight without pain and discomfort, and her dog Diesel supports her mobility and balance and keeps her safe in the event of a seizure.

The suit aims to halt the policies it contends place unreasonable demands on disabled students and their families.

The complaint, M.T., et al. v. Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, 3:13-cv-00171-RLY-WGH, is in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division.

Southern District Bankruptcy Court amends rules

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.

The order  signed by Chief Judge James Coachys includes the revisions: amended rules for electronic filing by attorneys, requirements of wage assignment orders, and proof of identification for pro se litigants.

Notice of the proposed amendments was provided July 9 and there were no substantive comments from the bar or public, according to the order.

ITLA to give $30,000 Conour donation to restitution fund

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.

Conour in July pleaded guilty to a count of wire fraud in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. He admitted to information alleging he defrauded more than two dozen clients of at least $4.5 million. He faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Years before he was charged, Conour donated $30,000 in May 2009 to a general fundraising campaign for ITLA. “The ITLA has requested a court order authorizing them to deposit $30,000 with the Clerk of the U.S. District Court to be used for funding the payment of restitution to the victims in this case,” according to an Aug. 15 order signed by Southern District Chief Judge Richard Young.

ITLA executive director Micki Wilson said the organization’s executive committee unanimously agreed to take the action. “It was the right thing to do,” she said.

Innovative programs get funding support from Supreme Court

The Indiana Supreme Court has awarded more than $450,000 in court reform grants for the 2013-2014 grant cycle.

Courts across the state were given funds to help launch innovative programs or streamline operations to eliminate redundancies. A total of 37 courts – a higher number than usual – applied for funding this year, with 15 being awarded a grant.

Projects receiving grants included these focused on the implementation of the Odyssey Case Management System in Hancock and St. Joseph counties; establishing a Veterans Treatment Court in LaPorte County and a Domestic Violence Problem-Solving Court in Lawrence County; and doing a study on the rehabilitation of D felons in Starke Circuit Court.

Both Owen and Fountain counties were awarded funds to purchase equipment to remotely conduct hearings so the local courts can reduce the costs associated with transporting incarcerated defendants to the courthouse.

This year, the Supreme Court awarded $486,196 in court reform grants. Money for the grant program comes from Title IV-D reimbursements the court receives for expenses incurred in obtaining overdue child support payments.

Fort Wayne law firms merge, growing Carson Boxberger

The Fort Wayne law firms of Carson Boxberger LLP and Federoff Kuchmay LLP have merged, growing Carson Boxberger from a staff of 24 to 27 attorneys. The merger was effective Sept. 1.

Joining Carson Boxberger are Jim Federoff, Scott Federoff and Jason Kuchmay, who serve businesses, nonprofits and individuals in northern Indiana and statewide, the firm said in a news release announcing the merger.

Carson Boxberger, a business, government, litigation, intellectual property and personal services firm founded in 1945, moved in February to The Harrison mixed-use development in Fort Wayne overlooking Parkview Field downtown. The firm also has a Bloomington office.•

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  1. Am I the only one who sees that the City is essentially giving away the MSA site AND giving millions to build new buildings on the site when this site would be the perfect place for the Justice Complex? Across from City-County, check; keeping it centrally located, check, etc. It's my understanding that the GM site must be purchased by the City from Motors Liquidation Company. STOP WASTING WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE AND OUR TAX DOLLARS! The Ballard Administration has not been known for it's common sense...never voted for him and never will!

  2. This guy sounds like the classic molester/manipulator.

  3. Louis D. Brandeis was born in 1856. At 9 years of age it would have been 1865. The Brandeis family did not own slaves. My source Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, by Melvin L. Urofsky.

  4. My name is Matthew Lucas Major, I recently went through a jury trial in Bloomington , In. It was the week of Feb 19-21. Although I have been incarcerated since August 5, 2014. The reason I 'am writing to you sir is on the 21 of February the jury came in with a very excessive and wrongful verdict of guilty on 6 child molesting charges against my daughter who was 9 at the time I was accused. I also had 2 other Felonies one of Intimidation and 1 of Sexual Vicarious Gratification. Judge Marc Kellam on the second day of trial gave me a not guilty on those 2 felonies. The jury was sent out during that time and when brought back Judge Kellam told them to not concern themselves with the 2 Felonies that he ruled on them. They were told to not let evidence they had already heard influence there verdicts. I never in my life touched any child sexually and definitely not with my own daughter. When I was arrested Detective Shawn Karr told me I would be convicted guilty just on my daughters word even without evidence. That's just what happened. my public defender did me so wrong he never once proved to the court and jury all the lies the child told, and Jeremy Noel my public defender could of proven the lies easily. The stories in Serenity's depositions and Forensic interview changed and were not consistent as Prosecutor Darcie Fawcett claimed they were. Yet my attorney never mentioned that. The facts that the child accused me of full penetration in her vagina and rectum was proven lies. Doctor Roberta Hibbard of Riley hospital in Indianapolis confirmed Serenity's hymen intact, no scars, no tearing, no signs of rape to her. Yet my attorney didn't use that knowledge . the DNA was all in my favor. I tell you I will spend my entire life in prison going through rape and beatings etc. even Judge Kellam abused his authority by telling the jurors to listen and believe what the prosecutors side in evidence like my daughters testimony. In one interview with the detectives my daughter got flustered with her mom and said on camera " I'm saying what you told me to mom"!! Yet Mr. Noel said nor did anything to even resemble a defense attorney. Judge Kellam allowed edited version of a taped conversation between the child and her mother. Also Judge Kellam allowed the Prosecutor too bring in to my case a knife found under my seat, the knife wasn't part of my case. She was allowed by my attorney and the judge to put a huge picture of it on the screen and huge picture of my naked privates in a full courtroom and open court. Ms. Fawcett says to jury see how easy Mr. Major could reach the knife and cut his Childs throat. Even though I had no weapons charge against these cases. This gave the jurors prejudice thought against me thinking I threatened her with that knife and how scared she would of been knowing i could get it and kill her. On my sentencing court March 19, 2014 my public defender told Judge Kellam he wish to resign from being my attorney and wished for the court to give me outside council to file a error to trial or appeal. We were denied. Now after openly knowing my public defender don't want to represent me he has to. Well when as parents we make our kids clean a room when they really don't wish to, well the child will but don't mean she will do a good job, that's where I'm at with Mr. Noel. please dont ignore mine and my families pleas for your help . we have all the legal proof you could need to prove Im innocent. Please dont make my spend years in prison innocent when you can fix this wrong. Im not saying Im a perfect man or that I was a perfect dad to my 2 children none of us are. Ive made some bad choices in life and I paid for them. But I didnt ever touch or rape my daughter . I love my children with all my heart. And now through needing attention and a ex-wife who told my granny several times she wish she could put me in prison to get me out of their lives. Well my ex finally accomplished her goal. Sad part is she is destroying our daughter with all this horrific lies and things she taught my daughter to say. My daughter will need therapist to ever hope for a chance of a normal life after what she had done to her by her mom and their side of the family. My daughter told everyone even on stand she had a dream months before i supposedly molested her in this dream I was molesting her and when I finally did it matched her dream perfectly. She admitted to watching movies about little girls being molested and watching U-Tube videos about child molesting all before it happened supposedly to her. Doesn't that sound very unusual that a non molested 9 yr old would need to know so much about being molested? The only reason I could think a 9 year old would need so much information is to be prepared to know what to say and be able to say how it felt what took place etc.. So when questioned by authorities she would be prepared. And there again sir if a parent is pre grooming a 9 year old child she would need intimate details . Like telling her daughter about a couple moles on my private area. The child admitted to sneaking my cell and looking many many times at nudes of me and my girlfriend even one where my penis was entering my girlfriends vagina. In that picture my moles are obvious. Yet when prosecutor showed everyone in court my privates and pictures of the moles she said the only way the child would know about them is if she saw them for herself. My attorney once again said nothing about the pictures my child saw. Or could a ex-wife be able to describe my moles to help her case against getting rid of me? I beg you help me. This is my very existence. Ive lost everything , a good job, a wonderful girlfriend, my freedom, but worse thing Ive lost is my children. They were my reason to get up every morning and strive to be better. The wonderful bond I had with my Serenity is gone. After this I would be afraid to even hug her for fear of what next can they do to me. I'm not afraid to tell you I sit here in this cell and try to hold back my tears. Everyone knows you cant show weakness in prison. My life has already been threatened here at Wabash Valley Prison. After only 3 days of arrival. I was tricked into signing a waiver now Im in G Block General Population with 6 child molesting felony charges. Mrs. Hart as a 18 year old I almost died hooked to machines in hospital almost 1 month and now I know that fear was childish compared to this . I cant help but put emotions in this, after all Mrs. Hart Im human and God help Me I never been more afraid in my life. I didnt hurt my little girl I didnt touch her sexually. As much as it shreds me and fills my mind what Im facing I worry more about my mom and granny because of their great love for me mam they are suffering so deeply. I aint done this things but my loved ones suffering right along beside me and If you take my case you will be in essence freeing them also. I sent momma this letter and asked her to email it to you. I'm scared I have been done so unjustly by our legal system and I need you to fix this and give me freedom. I ask you please don't just ignore my pleas. Here in America its nice to be able to trust our legal justice system, well they destroyed my and my loved ones trust in our justice system . And I'm trusting in You !!! My entire family is suffering this nightmare with me. My 77 year old granny had a stroke and isn't doing so well. My single mother that raised 3 kids alone is dying from Lupus and since my arrest has stayed so sick and weary. Our lives torn to peices by a government I was taught I could trust in. my momma has tried so many innocent project and wrongfully accused and cant get anywhere. please please help me. A quote from the late Nelson Mandela: To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, But to live in a way that respects and enhances The Freedom Of Others. I have Faith in you and your clinic to cast my chains off and give me freedom I do deserve as a wrongfully accused Man, son, brother, father, friend. Matthew Major DOC# 246179 Cause # : 53c02-1308-FA-000779 God Bless you. Please contact me with your decision so I know you made a life changing decision for me , just please at least write me so I know you care enough about your citizens to respond to cries for your help. You can speak openly with my mother Charlotte Spain (828) 476-0406: 71 Lakeview Dr. Canton, NC 28716 Thank You Matthew Major I know yall get thousands of request and inmates claiming innocence, and each person who are innocent deserve to have organizations like yours willing to fight for them and I give yall so much Thanks and I thank God everyday yall are out there caring enough to help free the innocents. Since discovering firsthand how easily lives and families can be destroyed by Poor Defense attorneys not doing their job . And Prosecutors allowed to do as they please in court

  5. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

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