Focus

When non-competes don't fly

March 12, 2014
Dave Stafford
Aviation mechanic Joe Guinn lost a job when his former employer sought to enforce a non-compete clause, but he won an appellate ruling that the company may have engaged in tortious interference with his subsequent employer.
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Fort Wayne case may force SCOTUS to define who qualifies as a minister

March 12, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Since the Supreme Court of the United States weighed in on “ministerial exception” in January 2012, cases have been percolating across the country spurred by religious institutions claiming the exception as protection against employee discrimination lawsuits.
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Boulukos: Guiding clients through an executive intervention

March 12, 2014
When an executive’s substance abuse triggers a personal and professional free fall, colleagues may be slow to recognize that the bottom is coming – and fast. At some point, and hopefully before permanent damage has been done, the fact that the leader has become a liability is impossible to ignore.
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'No-more-stringent' measure stirring controversy

February 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A bill winding through the Statehouse would alter Indiana environmental regulatory process by shifting most of the authority to enact new rules from the executive branch to the Legislature.
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Pashos: Is cost-of-service regulation relevant in today's world?

February 26, 2014
Today, public utilities are experiencing significant cost increases, due to issues such as federal environmental and other mandates, and the need to upgrade decades-old infrastructure. These cost pressures, combined with fast-paced technology, market changes and other states’ experimentation with retail deregulation, are causing policymakers and others to ask whether cost-of-service regulation remains relevant or whether deregulation might be a preferable alternative.
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Biomet settles hip-replacement litigation

February 12, 2014
Dave Stafford
The most serious cases from among more than 950 patients around the nation who claim they were harmed by a Warsaw company’s implanted hip-replacement devices will share in a settlement expected to exceed $100 million, according to an attorney involved in the case.
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Proposed rule clears up ambiguities on release of mental health patients' names

February 12, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
What the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services calls a modification to rules protecting patient privacy has sparked similar outcries from groups that might normally find themselves opposing each other. The National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Gun Owners of America both have come out against a proposed rule change to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act that would allow health care entities to release the names of some mental health patients to the national firearm background check system.
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Essley: The land of (health care lien) confusion

February 12, 2014
Eric Essley writes about a few of the health care-related lien statutes often encountered and/or cited by the plaintiff’s bar and their in-house/defense counterparts when trying to settle claims.
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Attorneys finding more link rot online

January 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Just a few days after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in his case, attorney Brian Paul searched for the website the court had cited and discovered not everything on the Internet is permanent.
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Papageorge: Predictive coding gaining support in courts

January 29, 2014
Attorneys now are faced with the monumental task of collecting, reviewing and producing their own client’s electronic documents while also reviewing the opposing side’s electronic documents. This can lead to uncomfortable conversations with clients regarding the significant cost of the process.
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Lawmaker targets burdensome pre-settlement funding by proposing cap on interest rates

January 15, 2014
Dave Stafford
Funding companies woo plaintiffs in need with promises of quick cash for their pending settlements without oversight in Indiana. That soon could change.
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SCOTUS adds IRA dispute in effort to avoid future chaos

January 15, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
In agreeing to hear an appeal on the question of whether retirement funds remain retirement funds after they are inherited, the Supreme Court of the United States seems to be acknowledging that what is today a rare question could arise more often as the population ages and more parents leave money to their children.
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Duncan: Learn these estate planning changes

January 15, 2014
After many years of complete uncertainty with the federal estate tax, there is now a law in place that provides some level of predictability. Further, in 2013, Indiana repealed its inheritance tax. Indiana’s inheritance tax was known as one of the most onerous of all the states and resulted in many snowbirds making Florida their permanent home.
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Untying the knot yourself

January 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Couples forgoing legal counsel in divorce risk creating big messes the courts can’t clean up.
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Can parents sue DCS? Yes, divided justices rule

January 1, 2014
Dave Stafford
A sharply divided Indiana Supreme Court decision that a family may sue the state’s child protection agency for negligence is sure to resonate within the Department of Child Services, attorneys familiar with the case said.
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Kraft wins in food fight with Cracker Barrel

December 4, 2013
Dave Stafford
A federal appeals court ruled recently that savvy consumers might be confused if food branded Cracker Barrel Old Country Store was sold in grocery stores that carry Kraft’s Cracker Barrel brand cheese. Turns out even a law professor who teaches a course on trademarks and unfair competition might be fooled.
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Judge finds Google's book project 'transformative'

December 4, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys differ on whether the recent ruling benefits society or opens the door for infringement.
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'Contraception mandate' goes before SCOTUS

November 20, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Madison family business is at the forefront of a legal challenge the Supreme Court of the United States will conference over Nov. 26 – whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act “contraception mandate” violates the religious liberties of company owners whose faith proscribes birth control.
More

Lawyers want to settle tainted medication suit

November 20, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The product-liability litigation arising from the outbreak of fungal meningitis across the United States that infected nearly 100 Hoosiers has become mixed with a bankruptcy, a possible criminal investigation and a desire by plaintiff attorneys to reach a settlement soon so their clients can get restitution.
More

Gibson: Managing drug and medical device mass-tort litigation

November 20, 2013
A common mistake is the belief that a mass tort and a class action are interchangeable terms. While the paths of class actions and mass torts may cross, they are separate and distinct legal proceedings.
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Technology levels the legal playing field

November 6, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys find hardware and software make them more effective and efficient.
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Program provides lawyers trial run at oral argument

November 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
A novel program offered by the Indianapolis Bar Association and the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, the Indiana Appellate Institute gives lawyers a trial run in which they can practice their arguments before a panel of volunteer lawyers and sometimes former judges and justices.
More

COA finds mechanic's lien statute requires only substantial compliance

October 23, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The homeowner's lawyer seeks rehearing, arguing that differing names between the pre-lien and mechanic's lien makes the lien invalid.
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Marion County, Simon tangle over valuation of Indianapolis malls

October 23, 2013
Dave Stafford
Arguments in two cases before the Indiana Tax Court in recent weeks featured wildly divergent views of the valuation of two Indianapolis shopping malls that have seen better days.
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Incoming ISBA president sets communication at top of agenda

October 9, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Jim Dimos, partner at Frost Brown Todd LLC and the next president of the Indiana State Bar Association, wants to lead by listening and engaging bar association members and non-members from around the state to not only tell them what the organization offers but also to hear what more the association can do.
More
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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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