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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. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. 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)

  4. "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.

  5. 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.

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