District Courts

Lady Justice gets 'green' makeover

October 10, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The greening – literally – of the rooftop of the Indianapolis federal courthouse is part of a $66.8 million upgrade of the building with funds coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Work on the roof along with additional upgrades to increase the energy efficiency of the facility as well as to improve the public safety system began in December 2009 and was substantially complete on Aug. 27, 2012, according to the U.S. General Services Administration.
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Death penalty foe Foster pumps up federal defenders

October 10, 2012
Dave Stafford
Taking charge at Indiana Federal Community Defenders Inc. in the Southern District, Monica Foster's seeking, and getting, bigger caseloads.
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Weinberger seeks sentence of time served

October 8, 2012
Dave Stafford
Former Merrillville ear, nose and throat doctor Mark Weinberger on Monday asked a federal court to sentence him to time served for the 22 counts of health care fraud to which he pleaded guilty.
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Northwest Indiana officials indicted on federal charges

October 5, 2012
IL Staff
Six people in northwest Indiana, including three council members, were indicted Thursday on federal charges resulting from an investigation by the Northern District of Indiana’s Public Corruption Task Force.
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Death row inmate’s habeas petition denied

October 4, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge in South Bend has denied a death row inmate’s request for habeas corpus, rejecting the man’s claims that he is mentally retarded and, therefore, cannot be sentenced to death.
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Conour drops attorneys, gets $15k from shrinking trust

September 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
Ex-attorney William Conour and his defense lawyers officially parted ways on Thursday. A federal judge afterward granted Conour’s request that he receive $15,000 from a $100,000 trust fund set up for compensating client victims he is accused of defrauding.
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Federal judge dismisses whistleblower suit against Rolls-Royce

September 27, 2012
Scott Olson
A federal judge in Indianapolis has dismissed a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former Rolls-Royce Corp. engineer who accused the company of selling faulty aircraft engine parts to the government.
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Durham to be sentenced Nov. 30

September 27, 2012
IL Staff
Tim Durham and the two other men convicted of running a Ponzi scheme and taking money from investors in Ohio-based Fair Finance Co. will be sentenced Nov. 30.
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Major changes coming in bankruptcy court Oct. 1

September 26, 2012
IL Staff
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana is reminding practitioners that some amendments to local rules taking effect next month “may significantly impact” bankruptcy attorney practices.
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Zoeller, senators at odds over immigration law

September 26, 2012
Dave Stafford
Indiana lawmakers seek to intervene with aid of Kansas official Kris Kobach.
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Attorney facing fraud charges dropping lawyers

September 24, 2012
Scott Olson
Lawyers for a high-profile Indianapolis attorney accused of misappropriating $4.5 million in client funds are requesting to withdraw as his defense counsel just a month before his trial date.
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Conour's colleagues questioned behavior

September 12, 2012
Dave Stafford
William Conour, until recently, was one of Indiana’s most respected and powerful personal injury attorneys, his name prominent enough to grace a law school atrium. Now he faces a federal charge that could send him to prison for much of the rest of his life.
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Pharmacy owner pleads guilty to $3.5M in Medicaid fraud

August 31, 2012
IL Staff
A West Lafayette pharmacy owner was sentenced to four years and 9 months in federal prison for defrauding the state’s Medicaid program. He was also ordered to repay Medicaid and pay taxes owed.
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7th Circuit vacates habeas petition, orders further proceedings

August 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Although a District Court’s grant of the habeas petition of a man claiming he didn’t have an impartial jury was reversed by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the case was sent back to the lower court for the state to show that the jury was not prejudiced.
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Bad BP gas distributed widely in Indy, as far south as Corydon

August 29, 2012
Dave Stafford
Tainted BP gasoline that is the subject of two federal lawsuits in northern Indiana was delivered to and likely sold in at least 28 Indianapolis gas stations and as far south as Corydon and Lawrenceburg, according to information the company provided.
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Same court, new experience

August 29, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Hoover Hull LLP partner Alice Morical joins a Southern District pro bono program and faces a jury for the first time.
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Updated instructions aim to prevent social media use during trial

August 24, 2012
IL Staff
Federal judges have new guidelines for keeping Twitter and Facebook out of the jury box.
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Steak ’n Shake loses appeal over franchisee’s independent pricing

August 24, 2012
Dave Stafford
A longtime Steak ’n Shake franchisee who sued the chain after it insisted on setting prices for menu items prevailed again Friday as the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an Illinois federal court’s ruling in the franchisee’s favor.
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Man had no constitutional right to counsel

August 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claims in support of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, finding his motion to correct sentence wasn’t a motion pursuant to Indiana Code, but was a collateral attack on his sentence.
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AT&T technicians file lawsuit over lunch policy

August 17, 2012
Chris O'Malley
Eleven AT&T technicians have filed a federal lawsuit seeking class-action status to collect unpaid wages and overtime, alleging the company compels them to work during unpaid lunch breaks.
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Federal Rules website revamped, accepting comment on rule changes

August 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The United States Courts’ Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Appellate, Bankruptcy, Criminal, and Evidence Rules announced Friday that it is seeking comment on several proposed changes to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, as well as changes made to its website. Officials hope the revamped website will be more user-friendly.
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Rehearings - 8/17/12

August 15, 2012
Dave Stafford
Updates on Indiana's immigration law and the former Merrillville doctor facing hundreds of malpractice suits and other charges.
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Bankruptcy filings down across country, Indiana

August 3, 2012
IL Staff
Bankruptcy filings are down 14 percent across the country for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2012, as compared to the year ending June 30, 2011, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts reported Friday. Filings are down by at least 13 percent in Indiana courts.
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Federal Bar Update: No changes to federal rules this year

August 1, 2012
John Maley
Federal rule amendments take affect Dec. 1 of each year after a lengthy, time-consuming process of transmittal from the Judicial Conference to the Supreme Court and then to Congress. This coming December, for the first time in many years, there are no amendments on the horizon for the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, or Federal Rules of Evidence.
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Zoeller: Parts of immigration law can't stand

July 31, 2012
Dave Stafford
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said Tuesday a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down most of a tough Arizona law will impact a similar immigration law signed by Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2011.
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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

  2. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  4. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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