Focus

Indiana joins other states challenging EPA regulatory authority

August 27, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana has joined 11 other states in filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, taking the unusual tactic of challenging the federal government’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases rather than challenging the rule itself.
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Deveau: RCRA threatens validity of brownfield redevelopment

August 27, 2014
During the past 12 months a troubling trend has developed in the area of brownfield redevelopment. In several routine property transactions, buyers, sellers and lawyers have had the unpleasant experience of having their deals scuttled by a questionable application of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
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Workplace threat injunction deemed invalid

August 13, 2014
Dave Stafford
An employee’s reported threat to blow his boss’s head off resulted in an injunction barring him from the workplace, but the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed recently in a case that highlighted conflicting statutes aimed at preventing violence on the job.
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Metrics create benchmarks for 'granular' evaluations of lawyer performance

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
Metrics measuring attorney and law firm performance have exploded in recent years, and trend watchers say the implications for the industry are only beginning to be felt.
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Video depositions can be a compelling trial tool

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The ability to catch the nonverbal messages and vocal inflections made by witnesses and experts is the biggest benefits to videotaping depositions, attorneys say.
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Whaley: Adventures in e-discovery and social media

July 30, 2014
With the amount of social media people use, it is not surprising that social media can have a significant impact on litigation and discovery. Occasionally something dramatic provides a cautionary tale, like the confidential settlement in a Florida employment discrimination case that the defendant private school voided when the plaintiff’s daughter bragged about it on her Facebook account. But there are many aspects of social media which, while not flashy, present interesting e-discovery challenges.
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Advocates: Suit over unpaid subsidies emblematic of DCS' shortcomings

July 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
Adoptive families who’ve sued the state and likened the Department of Child Services to deadbeat parents for failing to pay promised subsidies to people who adopt foster children aren’t alone in feeling slighted, child and adoption advocates say.
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Mastering the law without a J.D.

July 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The move by two Indiana law schools to follow a national trend and offer master’s degrees to non-lawyers has many practicing lawyers asking where the graduates of these programs will fit into the legal profession.
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Early education efforts expose youth to various careers in law

July 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
Harrison Ndife and his peers gathered at the end of a long week to kick back, talk shop and do a little networking. A rising sophomore at Terre Haute South High School, Ndife had just completed the Summer Legal Institute along with 39 other eighth-graders and high-schoolers. They learned what it will take for them to become lawyers and where their place in the profession might be.
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Guarding against undue influence

June 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
Changes in a person’s will and estate plan that vary from equal distribution of assets among heirs, as favored by law, should raise red flags, elder law attorneys say.
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Longtime private practitioner Steve Langer leads ITLA

June 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Valparaiso attorney Steven Langer brings to bear more than 30 years of experience as the new president of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association. He answers a few questions from Indiana Lawyer about the organization, the practice of law, and his family. And he had a pet black bear in his youth.
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ITLA Institute hits a big milestone

June 4, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The 50th annual conference will give attorneys a chance to recharge, connect with others, and learn tips from a comedian.
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Establishing Miller Trusts

May 21, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys offer their pro bono services to help nursing home residents keep their Medicaid benefits.
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PERF benefit to decline amid fund shortfall

May 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
Effective Oct. 1, the Indiana Public Retirement System will reduce the guaranteed interest rate for workers who choose to annuitize investments in their annuity savings accounts.
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Law firms should be concerned about cybersecurity

May 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The real dollars are paid on the black market for inside details about possible mergers and acquisitions, new public policy, and information about cutting-edge technology. In short, the kind of private, confidential information that many law firms hold in their client files.
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ABA warns against 'liking' potential jurors

May 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Lawyers and judges say the opinion on the use of social media is needed.
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Noyes: A short phone call can change the dynamic of a case

May 7, 2014
Jon Noyes encourages attorneys to network in order to gain insight and litigation strategies.
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Foos: Microsoft Surface Pro for the mobile attorney

May 7, 2014
Robert Foos Jr. writes about how the Microsoft Surface Pro caught his eye as an alternative to the Apple iPad.
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Mediation by monitor

April 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
The rise of online dispute resolution is seen as both a challenge and an opportunity for alternative dispute resolution.
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Reaching an agreement at the round table

April 23, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys find collaborative law allows families to craft their own future.
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Attorney sues hundreds over use of city skyline picture

April 9, 2014
Dave Stafford
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Attorney Richard Bell says his picture of the Indianapolis skyline is worth $1,500 or so if you’ve posted it on your website without first paying him to license it.
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Call IP attorney Donald Knebel the ‘master of the facts’

April 9, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Ironically, the eight years that veteran attorney Donald Knebel spent avoiding intellectual property law gave him the experience he needed when he finally turned his attention to patent litigation.
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Court of Appeals changes from minority to majority approach in construction contract dispute

March 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A fire during a renovation project that devastated a southern Indiana courthouse ignited a dispute between the county and the contractor that persuaded the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse course and adopt a new approach to interpreting construction contracts.
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Statehouse says yes to meth house database

March 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The methamphetamine bill that passed during the 2014 session turns attention away from the ingredients and to the contamination left behind by active meth labs. House Enrolled Act 1141 establishes an online database where potential homebuyers and renters will be able to see if their property was the site of a lab.
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Adams: Is Indy Rezone long overdue or cutting edge?

March 26, 2014
David Adams writes that unless you are a land use lawyer, you may not know that there are some very interesting things happening with Indianapolis’ city zoning ordinance and associated development regulations.
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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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