Federal agencies

Indiana first in region to complete child welfare improvement plan

November 11, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Department of Child Services announced Thursday it has received word from Region V of the Administration of Child and Families, an affiliate of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that it has satisfactorily finalized its Program Improvement Plan.
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OSHA postpones enforcement

November 9, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration previously announced it would begin enforcing fall protection plans for residential contractors as of Oct. 1 this year. However, on Sept. 29, Jeffry Carter, deputy commissioner of labor for Indiana OSHA, issued a memo that said federal OSHA administrators decided to push back enforcement to March 15, 2012.
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AG wants federal government added to lawsuit

October 12, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed motions in federal court Tuesday asking that the federal government be joined as a necessary party to the state’s immigration lawsuit.
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Fall protection mandatory for residential jobs

September 14, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
On Oct. 1, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration will begin enforcing fall protection plans for residential contractors. The regulations have long applied to commercial construction, but this year marks the first that OSHA will begin requiring residential contractors to exercise the same level of caution when employees are working more than six feet above the ground.
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7th Circuit tackles 'novel' U visa review request

September 1, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled it does not have jurisdiction to review immigration orders denying a specialized visa to a non-citizen trying to stay in the country after assisting in an investigation or prosecution.
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DOJ: No charges against cops involved in arrest of Indianapolis teen

July 28, 2011
IL Staff
The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday that it’s closed its investigation into whether federal criminal civil rights charges should be filed against the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers involved in the arrest of Indianapolis teenager Brandon Johnson. Johnson claimed officers used excessive force while trying to arrest him.
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Justices accept 5 cases

July 25, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to five cases, including a first impression issue dealing with Social Security income and restitution.
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Ruling against local planning, zoning officials has statewide implications

July 20, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Deciding where the planes fly in or out of an airport and how land and buildings are used on airport grounds became the pivotal issue in a recent lawsuit in Marion Superior Court.
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I-9 audits present legal concerns for businesses

July 6, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Indiana’s chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business issued a press release June 23, urging Indiana businesses to prepare for I-9 audits. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has stepped up its audits of businesses nationwide in an effort to crack down on the employment of unauthorized immigrant workers.
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Federal anti-streaming bill has broad implications

July 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Putting a video on YouTube and embedding that video onto another site could be all it takes to commit a felony under a statutory amendment before the U.S. Senate.
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7th Circuit rules in favor of bank in lien dispute

May 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals had to decide whether the relevant property in a dispute between a bank and the Internal Revenue Service was the real estate the bank owned or if it was the rentals of that property. Whether the IRS’ tax lien could take priority over the bank’s lien hinged on the answer.
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Green construction poses legal risks

April 27, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Standard contracts aren't adequate for this budding industry.
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US Attorney fined for speeding

April 11, 2011
IL Staff
Joseph Hogsett, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, received a ticket for speeding in Owen County. Hogsett was driving 10 miles over the posted speed limit on State Road 46 when he was stopped and cited for speeding.
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OSHA withdraws workplace noise rule interpretation after opposition

March 30, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When it comes to workplace injury, one often overlooked and potentially devastating injury is hearing loss resulting from high noise levels in a workplace.
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2 U.S. attorneys retiring, replacements named

March 16, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Joseph H. Hogsett, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, has announced replacements for the two members of the office’s management team who are retiring next month.
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Insider's look at FBI

March 16, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
To continue to improve community relations, the Indianapolis office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation has expanded its Citizens’ Academy programs. Sessions around the state offer individuals the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the federal law enforcement agency.
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IU Indy to host environment, energy event

March 10, 2011
IL Staff
The forum, “National Energy Security: Challenges and Opportunities for the Midwest” at Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis March 25 brings together state leaders, entrepreneurs, and experts to discuss energy security. The event is open to the public and also offers CLE credit.
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Would bill make immigrants feel unwelcome?

March 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
As a contentious immigration law that went into effect in Arizona last summer continues to be challenged and further changes are being considered by Arizona lawmakers, similar bills at the state and local level, including one in the Indiana Statehouse, have been gaining traction.
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Hogsett takes his oath as U.S. attorney

March 2, 2011
IL Staff
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Joseph H. Hogsett took his official oath of office on Feb. 18 before a crowd of more than 200 members of the state’s legal community as well as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The investiture ceremony was held at the Indiana Repertory Theatre in Indianapolis.
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Financing new energy creators

February 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When attorney John Kirkwood sees a garbage dump, his mind not only starts wandering toward the renewable energy that could be produced at that site but also an expanding field of law that’s drawing more lawyers into the environmental fold.
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Hospitals seek Medicare reimbursement

January 20, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Several Indiana hospitals are suing the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services over a Medicare reimbursement dispute.
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FBI shares hate crime statistics

January 5, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
In late September 2010, as part of the FBI Citizen’s Academy in Indianapolis, agents passed around photos from a cross burning that took place four years earlier in Muncie.
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6 counties get federal grant for drug courts

December 21, 2010
IL Staff
Drug courts in Delaware, Marion, Monroe, Spencer, Vanderburgh, and Vigo counties will share $1 million from a Bureau of Justice Assistance Drug Court Discretionary Grant, the Indiana Supreme Court announced today. The award will help courts increase graduation rates and lower recidivism.
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ALJ didn't inform vocational expert on the totality of claimant's limitations

November 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a District Court’s upholding of the Social Security Administration’s denial of a woman’s application for benefits because the Administrative Law Judge erred by not including her moderate limitation on concentration, persistence, and pace in the hypothetical he posed to a vocational expert.
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Johnsen speaks publicly for first time in 2 years

November 24, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Two years ago this month, an Indiana University Maurer School of Law professor was named to the transition team of President Barack Obama, not quite knowing where that experience would lead.
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  1. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  2. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  3. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

  5. I am the father of a sweet little one-year-old named girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. To anyone who reads this who may be considering the decision to terminate, please know that your child will absolutely light up your life as my daughter has the lives of everyone around her. There is no part of me that condones abortion of a child on the basis that he/she has or might have Down Syndrome. From an intellectual standpoint, however, I question the enforceability of this potential law. As it stands now, the bill reads in relevant part as follows: "A person may not intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion . . . if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome." It includes similarly worded provisions abortion on "any other disability" or based on sex selection. It goes so far as to make the medical provider at least potentially liable for wrongful death. First, how does a medical provider "know" that "the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion SOLELY" because of anything? What if the woman says she just doesn't want the baby - not because of the diagnosis - she just doesn't want him/her? Further, how can the doctor be liable for wrongful death, when a Child Wrongful Death claim belongs to the parents? Is there any circumstance in which the mother's comparative fault will not exceed the doctor's alleged comparative fault, thereby barring the claim? If the State wants to discourage women from aborting their children because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I'm all for that. Purporting to ban it with an unenforceable law, however, is not the way to effectuate this policy.

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