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In Brief - 7/31/13

IL Staff
July 31, 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.

Judges formalize reaffirmation of City-County Building firearms ban

Marion County judges on July 19 formally reaffirmed a 2007 policy banning firearms from the City-County Building. Law-enforcement personnel and judicial officers are exempt from the prohibition.The reaffirmation came in response to concerns about the impact of a 2011 law that widely voided local gun regulations. The law allows courthouses to continue to ban weapons. However, Indiana Code 35-47-11-1.4(5) makes an exception for common areas of courthouses or parts used by residential tenants or private businesses.Marion Circuit Judge Louis Rosenberg in May told the Marion Superior Court Executive Committee that allowing guns in common areas of the building would be impractical.“Due to the configuration of courtrooms, penal facilities … and court offices throughout the building, (it) cannot be rendered safe except by the prohibition of weapons in the entire building, including common areas,” reads the reaffirmation the committee officially approved.

2 new magistrates appointedin Hendricks County

The Hendricks Superior Court is welcoming two new judges to the bench.Attorneys Tammy Somers and Michael “Joe” Manning have been appointed as magistrates for the Superior Court. Somers accepted the position effective July 1, 2013. Manning accepted the position effective Aug. 5, 2013.A duel robbing ceremony for both new appointees will be held at noon Aug. 2 in Superior Court 1 in the Hendricks County Courthouse, 51 W. Main St., Danville. All Hendricks County Bar Association members are invited to attend.Somers previously served in the Office of the Indiana Attorney General as deputy attorney general. Prior to joining the attorney general’s office, she served as magistrate for the Lake County Superior Court and deputy prosecutor for the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office.A graduate of Valparaiso University Law School, Somers also recently completed the Indiana State Bar Association’s Leadership Development Academy.Manning previously operated the Manning Law Office, in Danville, where he focused primarily on criminal defense. He also served as deputy prosecutor for both the Hendricks County Prosecutor’s Office and Marion County Prosecutor’s Office before entering private practice.Manning is a graduate of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

ACLU of Indiana to look at civic literacy at August event

The August edition of the ACLU’s First Wednesdays program will ask if democracy can survive given the current state of civic literacy in the United States.Attorney Mickey Maurer, who is chairman of IBJ Media Corp., which publishes Indiana Lawyer, will moderate the panel discussion that features We the People coach Michael Gordon; Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek); and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis professor Sheila Suess Kennedy.The panel will look at the consequences of poor civic education and Indiana’s civic literacy report card. The inaugural Indiana Civic Health Index found the state’s voter turnout and registration are among the lowest in the country.The panel discussion begins at noon Aug. 7 in the WFYI Reuben Community Room, 1630 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis. The First Wednesdays program is free, and attendees are encouraged to bring their lunch. The ACLU of Indiana will provide drinks.

Grants available for family and child permanency projects

The Indiana Court Improvement Program is accepting applications for projects that are designed to improve the safety and permanency of children and families involved in children in need of services and/or termination of parental rights proceedings.Applicants could receive funding from three areas – basic court improvement grant funds; data collection and analysis grant funds; or training and education grant funds. Applicants should demonstrate their efforts as sustaining project operations through identification of goals, outcomes and additional funding resources.More information is available on the court’s website, http://www.in.gov/judiciary/cip/index.htm.  Applications are due July 26 to the Indiana Judicial Center.

ACLU files suit over denial of prisoner’s request to pray in group

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana announced July 22 that it has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a prisoner who practices the African Hebrew Israelite religion because the Pendleton Correctional Facility won’t allow the religious group to congregate for prayer unless a volunteer is present.“The DOC does not have the right to deny prisoners an intrinsic element of their religious beliefs,” said ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk. “Federal law protects people from substantial burdens on their religious free exercise, and the equal protection clause guarantees that laws will be applied equally.”The lawsuit, Paul Veal v. Commissioner, Indiana Department of Correction, et al., 1:13-CV-1167, alleges that the facility, run by the Department of Correction, is in violation of the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.The ACLU of Indiana says the facility doesn’t require volunteers to be present for other religious groups to congregate. The suit was filed in the Indianapolis Division of the U.S. District Court’s Southern District of Indiana.

Lilly, Simon lawyers makebest-paid general counsel list

Attorneys for two Indianapolis-based Fortune 500 companies are among the 50 best-paid general counsel, according to a list published July 22 by Corporate Counsel Magazine.  Retired Eli Lilly and Co. general counsel Robert A. Armitage and Simon Property Group general counsel James Barkley respectively ranked 32nd and 41st on the 2013 General Counsel Compensation Survey.Armitage inched up from 34th on the 2012 rankings that were based on 2011 earnings. The survey said his compensation for 2012 totaled $7,505,514 – about $1.8 million in salary and bonus compensation plus about $5.7 million in stock option earnings. Armitage retired at the beginning of this year and was succeeded by Michael J. Harrington.Barkley didn’t make the Top 100 in the 2012 survey. According to the 2013 list, he earned $2,472,046 in 2012. That included salary and bonus pay of a little more than $1.5 million and stock option income of more than $900,000.

Judge: Continuing current sequestration cuts would be ‘devastating’

A federal judge implored a Senate panel July 23 to provide sufficient funding for U.S. courts, warning that the general public will lose the access to justice that has been a hallmark of this country.Judge Julia S. Gibbons, chair of the Budget Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States, testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Bankruptcy and the Courts.“Our workload does not go away because of budget shortfalls,” Gibbons said. “Deep cuts mean that the judiciary cannot perform adequately its constitutional and statutory responsibilities.”Under sequestration, federal courts will receive 5 percent less funding in the current fiscal year than in fiscal year 2012.The current staffing level of the clerks of court, probation and pretrial services personnel is the lowest since 1999, yet the workload is higher now than 14 years ago.The budget cut $52 million from the federal defender program. Gibbons pointed out that nearly 90 percent of federal criminal defendants require court-appointed counsel. The federal defender offices have downsized about 6 percent since October, and it’s anticipated that staff will be furloughed an average of 15 days for the rest of this year.Gibbons also testified that funding for courthouse security has dropped 30 percent, leading to increased risks in public safety.The judiciary is concerned that continuing at current sequestration levels into fiscal year 2014 would result in the loss of additional court and defender jobs, as well as cuts in services.

Judge issues gag order in Bei Bei Shuai case

The judge in the case of a woman charged with murder and attempted feticide in the death of her newborn daughter on July 25 ordered prosecutors, defense attorneys and others involved in the case not to speak about it outside court.

Marion Superior Criminal Division 3 Judge Sheila Carlisle issued the order during a status hearing ahead of the trial scheduled to begin Sept. 3.

Carlisle’s order cites Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct 3.6(a) and 3.6(d)(1)-(5). The order bars lawyers from making “any judicial statement that a reasonable person would expect to be disseminated by means of public communication if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know, that it will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing a trial in this cause.”

Prosecutors and defense attorneys also are ordered to exercise reasonable care to prevent potential witnesses, law enforcement, investigators or others involved in the case from making statements that attorneys otherwise would be prohibited from making.

Prosecutors said the trial could last three weeks. Carlisle estimated as many as 150 to 200 potential jurors may be called to fill out questionnaires and be considered for a jury she said would consist of 12 jurors and likely six alternates.•

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  1. Indianapolis employers harassment among minorities AFRICAN Americans needs to be discussed the metro Indianapolis area is horrible when it comes to harassing African American employees especially in the local healthcare facilities. Racially profiling in the workplace is an major issue. Please make it better because I'm many civil rights leaders would come here and justify that Indiana is a state the WORKS only applies to Caucasian Americans especially in Hamilton county. Indiana targets African Americans in the workplace so when governor pence is trying to convince people to vote for him this would be awesome publicity for the Presidency Elections.

  2. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  3. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  4. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  5. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

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