Government

Panama lawyers at center of offshore scandal make odd couple

April 5, 2016
 Associated Press
The lawyers at the center of an uproar over the hidden financial dealings of the world's wealthy are an odd pairing of a German-born immigrant and a prize-winning Panamanian novelist whose books sometimes mirror the seedy world of politics he's come across in his work.
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How a spy probe wound up as a child pornography prosecution

April 5, 2016
 Associated Press
At issue in the case is how the government uses evidence derived through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and under what circumstances that information should be made available to defendants, particularly when it winds up repurposed for a routine criminal prosecution that has nothing to do with national security.
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Class-action suit challenges US government's no-fly list

April 5, 2016
 Associated Press
On Tuesday, a Muslim civil rights group filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court in Alexandria on behalf of thousands of Americans who have been placed on the terror watch list. The suit seeks unspecified monetary compensation.
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High school student wants to change Indiana Constitution

April 5, 2016
 Associated Press
As Megan Stoner prepares for high school graduation, she is focused on finding a way to "begin her legacy" by working with legislators to author a bill that would lower the age that people are eligible to run for office from 25 to 21 in the Senate and 21 to 18 in the House of Representatives.
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National group recognizes Indiana for criminal justice reform

April 4, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana is getting a little love on social media Monday for efforts in recent years to reform its criminal justice system. The U.S. Justice Action Network is including the Hoosier state in its national campaign “30 States, 30 Days” to prompt Congress to pass legislation reforming the federal justice system.
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Indiana mandates concussion training for public coaches

April 4, 2016
 Associated Press
New Indiana law requires coaches to complete a course on spotting the symptoms of concussions. Coaches who finish the training will be granted civil immunity from being sued for student injuries.
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Major overhaul to city's zoning code takes effect

April 1, 2016
IBJ Staff
The city’s long-awaited update to its decades-old zoning code, known as Indy Rezone, went into effect on Friday.
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Mississippi governor gets bill allowing denial of service to gays

April 1, 2016
 Associated Press
The Mississippi House is sending Republican Gov. Phil Bryant a bill that would let government employees and private businesses cite religious beliefs to deny services to same-sex couples who want to marry.
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Lawsuit: Fort Wayne cleanups violate rights of the homeless

March 31, 2016
 Associated Press
Indiana's second-largest city faces a federal lawsuit alleging that it is violating homeless residents' constitutional rights by destroying tents, coats, blankets and other property seized during sweeps of homeless camps.
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South Bend council votes in favor of expanded smoking ban

March 30, 2016
 Associated Press
The South Bend Common Council has voted in favor of an expanded smoking ban, which may lead to a lawsuit if signed by the mayor.
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States look to provide lawyers for the poor in civil cases

March 30, 2016
 Associated Press
A flood of poor defendants representing themselves — often ineffectively — in dire cases involving eviction, foreclosure, child custody and involuntary commitment has led to a push in legislatures to expand rights to free lawyers in certain civil proceedings.
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US drops Apple case after getting into terrorist’s iPhone

March 29, 2016
 Bloomberg News
The U.S. said it has gained access to the data on an iPhone used by a terrorist and no longer needs Apple Inc.’s assistance, marking an end to a legal clash that was poised to redraw boundaries between personal privacy and national security in the mobile Internet age.
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Garland holding first meeting with Republican senator

March 29, 2016
 Associated Press
Merrick Garland was set to meet Tuesday with Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, marking the U.S. Supreme Court nominee's first courtesy call on a senator whose party leaders have vowed to hold no hearings or vote until a new president is chosen.
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Report: Prosecutors rarely disciplined for misconduct

March 29, 2016
 Associated Press
Prosecutors are rarely held accountable for misconduct and mistakes that have left innocent people imprisoned for crimes they didn't commit, according to report Tuesday by a nonprofit group that investigates possible wrongful convictions.
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Special prosecutor probes donations by Monarch Beverage affiliate

March 29, 2016
Greg Andrews, IBJ Staff
A special prosecutor is investigating whether the big Indiana beer wholesaler Monarch Beverage and an affiliated company broke state law by making more than $1.47 million in campaign donations since 2002.
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Indiana to resume vanity plate program after court battle

March 28, 2016
 Associated Press
Indiana motorists will have the option of getting a personalized vanity license plate for the first time in nearly three years this week when the Bureau of Motor Vehicles resumes the program.
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Donnelly meets with SCOTUS nominee

March 28, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
As Senate Republicans continue to block President Barack Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court of the United States, Indiana Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly met with the nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, Monday on Capitol Hill.
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State bills to allow fantasy sports could hurt smaller firms

March 28, 2016
Smaller companies in the exploding fantasy sports industry say they could be shut out of doing business in some states by legislation that is actually intended to recognize the games' legality.
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Fired Anderson workers who won lawsuit want city jobs back

March 28, 2016
 Associated Press
Some former Anderson city workers who won a federal lawsuit after they were fired when a new mayor took office want their old jobs back.
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VW buys time to reach agreement in U.S. on diesel cheat fix

March 25, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Volkswagen AG was given four more weeks to reach an agreement with regulators for getting 600,000 diesel vehicles off U.S. roads as it faces hundreds of lawsuits for rigging pollution control systems to cheat emissions tests.
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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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Pence vetoes limited private university police disclosure bill

March 24, 2016
Dave Stafford
A bill that critics said would limit the information private university police departments must make public was vetoed Thursday by Gov. Mike Pence. The bill was passed just before the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in favor of ESPN, which seeks records the University of Notre Dame police refuse to make public.
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Pence vetoes compromise environmental bill

March 24, 2016
Dave Stafford
A bill that originally would have barred the Department of Environmental Management from passing “no more stringent” regulations than federal rules was vetoed Thursday by Gov. Mike Pence, despite a compromise on the bill agreed to by both industry and environmental groups.
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Abortion, med-mal, private university police bills await Pence’s decision

March 24, 2016
 Associated Press, IL Staff
High-profile bills involving restrictions on abortion, increasing the caps on medical malpractice damages and slightly lifting the secrecy of police units at Notre Dame and other private universities are among the unsigned bills remaining on the final day for Gov. Mike Pence to act.
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Pence restarts probate code study committee

March 24, 2016
IL Staff
Gov. Mike Pence on Wednesday signed a bill re-establishing the Probate Code Study Commission that was terminated along with multiple other interim legislative committees in 2014.
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  1. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  2. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  3. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  4. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

  5. And so the therapeutic state is weaonized. How soon until those with ideologies opposing the elite are disarmed in the name of mental health? If it can start anywhere it can start in the hoosiers' slavishly politically correct capital city.

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