Economy

Indiana Supreme Court offices on the move

June 14, 2017
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s restructured Office of Judicial Administration will get new digs at a lower cost later this year, officials said.
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Student loans cause confusion, affect career choices for new lawyers

May 31, 2017
Olivia Covington
It was shortly after his 2012 graduation from George Washington University Law School when the realization hit Michael Lux hard: He had a ton of student loan debt to begin paying back to the federal government.
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Indiana mayors push Congress to keep funding block grants

May 24, 2017
IL Staff
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson is scheduled to speak to congressional members this afternoon in support of continued funding for Community Development Block Grants.
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Trump budget hits legal aid and public service sectors

May 24, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The American Bar Association is speaking out against key provisions in the Trump administration’s budget blueprint that would hit legal aid particularly hard.
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Lateral hiring up

February 8, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The pace of attorneys jumping from one firm to another is expected to continue this year.
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Airbnb’s San Francisco showdown may set rules for gig economy

October 6, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Airbnb Inc. has a message for cities that try to enforce rules that crimp its couch-surfing style: See you in court.
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Finding funds to support Indiana legal aid

September 7, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Legal aid groups seek private donors as the Indiana Supreme Court requests $500,000 more for indigent representation from the Legislature.
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Mixed jobs report for the Class of 2015

August 22, 2016
IL Staff
Although the Class of 2015 law school graduates posted an employment rate of 86.7 percent, the size of the class — the smallest since before the start of the Great Recession — is masking the decline in the legal market which created fewer actual jobs for the newest attorneys, according to a new study by the National Association for Law Placement.
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Associate pay raises also raise eyebrows

July 27, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Key to bringing on new clients and keeping existing ones is talent attorneys. Firms across the country, including in Indiana, are raising associate pay to attract those attorneys.
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Law firm mergers on pace for potential record year

July 6, 2016
IL Staff
It’s shaping up to be another record year for law firm mergers and acquisitions.
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Valparaiso Law School reduces faculty, class size to prepare for a different future

June 29, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Valparaiso Law School is hardly the first to feel the pain of falling student applications, but as the subject of a recent profile in the New York Times, its troubles may be the most well-known.
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Employers struggle with complicated immigration system

June 29, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
At the third meeting of the Senate Select Committee on Immigration Issues, business professionals and attorneys told committee members the measures Indiana has adopted in recent years have actually hurt the state’s economy and public safety.
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Legal Service Corp.’s Levi putting spotlight on crisis in legal aid

June 20, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Emphasizing that legal aid is having to turn away half of those who ask for assistance, Legal Service Corp. board chair John Levi is pushing to raise public awareness and ultimately get more resources flowing to legal services for low-income individuals.
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New overtime rules force hard choices for employers

June 6, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, Indianapolis Business Journal
For Purdue University—the state’s eighth-largest employer—new overtime rules could mean an $8 million or so hit to the school’s already-stretched budget.
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DOC to close southern Indiana prison this month

June 2, 2016
 Associated Press
The state Department of Correction will close its minimum-security Henryville Correctional Facility in southern Indiana by July 1 in a cost-saving move, the agency announced Wednesday.
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Senate report: Illegal immigration costs state $131M

May 25, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, Indianapolis Business Journal
Indiana lawmakers studying the issue of illegal immigration in the state will view a report Wednesday that finds undocumented people will cost the state’s taxpayers $130.7 million this year.
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Deregulation touted for growth, innovation in legal profession

May 18, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
To revitalize the legal profession, an economist and Yale law student are calling for an end to the rules and regulations that require bar exam passage, prevent nonlawyers from practicing and prohibit anyone who does not hold a J.D. degree from owning law firms.
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New OT rules force hard choices on small businesses

May 18, 2016
 Associated Press
The regulations being issued by the Labor Department today would double to $913 a week from $455 the threshold under which salaried workers must be paid overtime. In terms of annual pay, the threshold rises to $47,476 from $23,660. The rules take effect Dec. 1.
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Wal-Mart sues Visa over chip-enabled debit cards

May 11, 2016
 Associated Press
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has sued Visa Inc., charging that the payment network is not allowing the retail giant to let customers verify chip-enabled debit card transactions with what it believes is a more secure method: personal identification numbers.
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Legal-oriented groups pick Indianapolis for annual conventions

April 20, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
As part of its effort to attract a variety of events and conventions, Indianapolis has put a focus on attracting professional conferences. Having three legal-oriented groups come within two years indicates the city’s strategy is working.
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Companies reconsidering North Carolina over LGBT rights

April 1, 2016
 Associated Press
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory met with gay-rights advocates bearing a letter signed by more than 100 corporate executives urging him to repeal the nation’s first state law limiting the bathroom options for transgender people. The law also excludes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from anti-discrimination protections and blocks municipalities from adopting their own anti-discrimination and living wage rules.
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Pence signs med-mal cap increase on final day

March 25, 2016
 Associated Press, IL Staff
Medical malpractice victims will be eligible for more compensation after Gov. Mike Pence signed into law a bill increasing the payment cap for the first time since the 1990s. The cap would increase from the current $1.25 million limit to $1.65 million next year and then to $1.8 million in 2019.
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Staples judge slams FTC on Amazon testimony in merger case

March 25, 2016
 Bloomberg News
A federal judge criticized the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for attempting to elicit false information from an Amazon.com Inc. executive to support its lawsuit to block Staples Inc.’s takeover of rival Office Depot Inc.
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Disputes increase over who’s an employee and who’s an independent contractor

March 23, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Independent contractors have long been a part of the workforce. However, with the rise of on-demand service providers who run their businesses almost solely with independent contractors, closer scrutiny is being paid to what, exactly, these workers are in the new “gig economy.”
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Second round of settlement money coming to IOLTA

March 16, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana’s IOLTA program is preparing to receive a multi-million dollar boost. The money is coming from a second round of funding released as part of the settlement agreement with the Bank of America as a penalty for financial fraud during the mortgage foreclosure crisis.
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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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