District Courts

Courts celebrate Black History Month

February 9, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
The chair of the Department of Africana Studies and associate professor of history at Notre Dame University will speak to children and the general public in a lecture titled "Forging the Children of the Sun: The Human Spirit and Jim Crow," a Black History Month program Feb. 20 at the Federal Courthouse in Indianapolis.
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Court: Church program at school should end

February 4, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A church-owned religious education program held on school grounds in Huntington County should be terminated because it violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, a federal magistrate has ruled.
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Letter not covered by attorney-client privilege

February 4, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A Southern District magistrate judge has decided a letter between the city of Madison's mayor and city attorney isn't protected by attorney-client privilege in a civil action seeking damages over strip searches of three women.
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Snow closes some federal, county courts

January 28, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The foot or more of snow dumped on the southern two-thirds of Indiana hasn't stopped some attorneys from making it to their offices today, but it has closed some courts around the state.
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Court sanctions school corporation a third time

January 26, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A Northern District magistrate judge has issued sanctions for the third time against Gary Community School Corp. for its lack of cooperation in a suit involving a transgender student.
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Lilly must produce files from noose incident

January 21, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Eli Lilly & Co. must produce documents related to the handling of a noose being found in an area its employees frequent for discovery in a separate suit alleging discrimination in the company.
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Court dismisses photograph suit

January 21, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A man's pro se prisoner suit against the public information officer of a correctional facility and a reporter that he claimed are responsible for his shooting injury was dismissed Tuesday by a U.S. District Court judge.
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Judge: No attorney discipline needed

January 13, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge in Indianapolis has decided disciplinary actions aren't needed against a handful of attorneys relating to their conduct in a clean air trial last year, though he hasn't changed his mind about setting aside the jury verdict and holding a new trial as a result of the behavior of in-house counsel.
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Comment sought on magistrate reappointment

January 13, 2009
IL Staff
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is seeking comments from bar members and the public as to whether Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker should be reappointed to a new eight-year term.
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Magistrate denies any pre-bench wrongdoing

January 9, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A newly appointed federal magistrate in Indianapolis denies any misconduct or knowledge of wrongdoing that a judge says happened during a clean air trial last spring prior to her taking the bench.
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Court certifies exotic dancer suit as class action

January 8, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Anyone who danced in the past three years at one Indianapolis strip club embroiled in a lawsuit over minimum wage may be able to collect on unpaid wages, ruled a District Court judge Wednesday.
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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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  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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