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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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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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