District Courts

Court rules in transgender discrimination case

January 6, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
A District Court judge today granted summary judgment in favor of a convenience store company that was being sued by a transgender employee for sex discrimination after she was fired.
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Judge: Attorney can't sue using pseudonym

December 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A Northern District magistrate judge has again denied an attorney's motion to proceed with a lawsuit under a pseudonym, finding the type of injury the attorney may suffer as a result of suit doesn't rise to the level to justify anonymity.
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Federal court dismisses suit against judge

October 30, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit against an Allen Circuit judge because the judge was entitled to judicial immunity in a suit filed by a pro se plaintiff disgruntled about a small claims ruling.
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Court offers free CLE on judicial restraint

October 30, 2008
IL Staff
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana will conduct a free CLE event next week in New Albany regarding judicial restraint.
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Event to discuss court history

October 24, 2008
IL Staff
A new annual event has been created by the Historical Society of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana to focus on past and present legal issues, part of the group's shift from project-focused events to membership focused efforts.
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Judge declines to interfere with voter ID law

October 22, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge in Indianapolis won't interfere with the state law requiring voters to show photo identification at the election polls.
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Attorney faces charges of mail, wire fraud

October 22, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A federal grand jury in Hammond has indicted a Schererville attorney with two counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud after being accused of stealing money from two clients.
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Bird settles French Lick lawsuit

October 8, 2008
IBJ Staff
Larry Bird has settled a lawsuit against a bed-and-breakfast that operates from his boyhood home in the southern Indiana town of French Lick.
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Agency sues DOC over mentally ill prisoners

October 2, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A state agency created in response to a federal mandate is suing the Indiana Department of Correction for what it claims is poor treatment of mentally ill prisoners.
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Northern District amends magistrate local rule

October 1, 2008
IL Staff
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana has amended its Local Rule 72.1 - Authority of United States Magistrate Judges.
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Judge allows transgender suit to proceed

September 26, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A transgender former high school student who was barred from his senior prom in Gary because he was wearing a pink dress for the occasion will have his day in court.
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Federal death penalty trial still possible

September 25, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The first-ever federal death penalty trial in the Southern District of Indiana may still happen, even though the defendant has signed a plea agreement in connection with a violent killing spree almost three years ago.
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President signs new Federal Rule of Evidence

September 25, 2008
IL Staff
The Federal Rules of Evidence have been amended in hopes of lessening the skyrocketing costs of discovery.
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Plainfield political sign ordinance challenged

September 16, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a federal lawsuit challenging a Plainfield ordinance restricting political lawn signs.
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District judge's robing ceremony Friday

September 11, 2008
IL Staff
Hon. William T. Lawrence, the newest judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, will be formally sworn in tomorrow at the federal courthouse in Indianapolis.
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Judge clears way for $4.5 million settlement

September 5, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A U.S. District magistrate judge granted a joint motion Sept. 2 to vacate a jury verdict in favor of a man wrongfully imprisoned for rape, allowing a settlement reached between the man and the city of Hammond to be approved.
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Federal court names new chief probation officer

September 4, 2008
IL Staff
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has appointed - effective immediately - a new chief probation officer, who also is the first African-American to serve in that capacity in the district.
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President nominates federal judge for 7th Circuit

August 29, 2008
Michael Hoskins
President George W. Bush has nominated U.S. District Judge Philip P. Simon to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.
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Former Schererville judge sentenced

July 23, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A former judge in Lake County received a 15-month federal prison sentence on Thursday, four years after being indicted for extortion and fraud, and two years after she pleaded guilty to getting kickbacks from more than 1,000 defendants that she'd sentenced to driving school and counseling classes she secretly owned and personally profited from.
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Wanted: new federal magistrate

May 29, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Attorneys who want to be a magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana can now apply.
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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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