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IMPD lawyer to be deposed in councilor’s wrongful arrest case

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Lawyers for Indianapolis City-County Councilman Joseph Simpson may depose a city attorney about legal advice she gave in another case regarding a state statute at the heart of Simpson’s wrongful arrest case, a federal judge ruled Friday

Magistrate Judge Tim Baker of the District Court for the Southern District of Indiana denied the city’s motion to quash a subpoena seeking to depose Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department attorney Melissa Kramer on her interpretation of a criminal statute under which Simpson was charged.

“Ordinarily, such advice would be shielded on grounds of privilege. However, Office of Corporation Counsel, which represents Defendants, has put Defendants in a bind,” Baker wrote in Joseph Simpson v. City of Indianapolis and Andrew McKalips, 1:13-cv-791.

Because a transcribed copy of Kramer’s legal opinion was inadvertently produced to attorneys in prior litigation and the city never asked for its return and allowed a witness to be questioned about it in another case, “the unmistakable conclusion is that Defendants have waived any privilege associated with Kramer’s opinion,” Baker wrote.

“The Court rejects Defendants’ suggestion that Kramer’s deposition would be superfluous. Kramer must be produced for a deposition, and Defendants must produce documents as outlined,” Baker ruled.

Simpson was arrested by Officer Andrew McKalips about two years ago after the councilman allegedly refused to leave a neighbor’s house where the officer was investigating a possible burglary. Simpson was charged with refusing to leave the scene of an emergency incident area under the Interference with a Firefighter chapter of I.C. 35-44-1-4-5, and resisting law enforcement, according to the order. The charges later were dismissed.

Simpson sued the city  in May 2013, claiming false arrest and malicious prosecution. The suit alleges Simpson suffered “physical discomfort, loss of liberty, embarrassment and humiliation, emotional distress, and damage to his good name and reputation,” and it seeks damages as well as attorney fees and costs.

At issue is Kramer’s interpretation of whether the interference with a firefighter statute pertained to police emergency scenes. Kramer had provided an opinion in a prior case that also involved Simpson’s lawyer, Indianapolis civil-rights attorney Richard Waples.    

Simpson, a Democrat, represents District 9.




 

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  1. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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