Government

Forum to focus on energy policy and progress

March 31, 2009
IL Staff
The 2009 Environmental Policy Forum Spring Symposium at Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis will feature professors, members of the Indiana General Assembly and various environmental and energy organizations who will examine Indiana's energy policy and the progress and prospects for legislation.
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Clinic director moves to AG's office

March 26, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
After founding Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic and serving as its executive director since January 1994, Abigail Kuzma is leaving the organization to work in the Consumer Protection Division of the Indiana Attorney General's Office.
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Judge Hamilton nominated for 7th Circuit

March 17, 2009
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis federal judge could be the next to take a spot on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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High court rules on issue preclusion in tax case

March 16, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In an opinion handed down March 6, the Indiana Supreme Court had to decide whether a previous ruling barred the Indiana Department of Revenue from raising new contentions in support of a different method of allocation of income to the state.
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Single order can have more than 1 disposition

March 10, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has clarified juvenile caselaw, telling trial courts they can order a juvenile be committed to the Department of Correction and in the same order also require probation after release.
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2 new members of Public Defender Commission

March 9, 2009
IL Staff
Indiana Speaker of the House Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, has appointed two new members to the Public Defender Commission, the Indiana Supreme Court announced today. Representatives Vernon G. Smith, D-Gary, and Greg Steuerwald, R-Avon, join the 11-member commission.
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COA upholds denial of motion for class action

March 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a motion for a class-action suit because a claimant seeking redress pursuant the Wage Claims Act has to first submit the claim to the Department of Labor before filing a lawsuit and can't bypass the statute if another member of the putative class has already submitted a claim.
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Former White County prosecutor dies

March 3, 2009
IL Staff
A former White County prosecutor and Monticello attorney died March 1.
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Judge: punitive-damage cap unconstitutional

March 3, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A Marion County judge has refused to reduce damages in a priest sex-abuse case, saying the punitive damage caps put in place more than a decade ago are unconstitutional.
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Professor faces Senate Judiciary Committee

February 26, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
Indiana University Maurer School of Law - Bloomington professor Dawn Johnsen faced the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday as part of the nomination process to become the next assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel, the office that advises the president on legal matters.
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Senate passes new COA panel bill

February 24, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Senate has given its OK to add three judges to the state's second highest appellate court.
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AG food drive event is recruiting firms

February 23, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Attorney General's Office is teaming up with the Indiana State Bar Association and Feeding Indiana's Hungry to fight hunger and is looking to attorneys to enlist in the effort.
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Lawmakers vote on COA panel, Lake County fee

February 20, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Both houses of the Indiana General Assembly took action on court-related legislation Thursday.
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Crisis intervention training set, interest grows

February 20, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
Two police officers have already been trained to deal with mentally ill people for the Evansville-based Crisis Intervention Team. Now, the Southwestern Indiana Law Enforcement Academy will train approximately 35 others.
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Confirmation hearing set for professor

February 18, 2009
IL Staff
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a confirmation hearing for 2 p.m. Feb. 25 for Indiana University Maurer School of Law - Bloomington professor Dawn Johnsen.
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Breaking: Election of justices bill debated today

February 17, 2009
IL Staff
House Joint Resolution 9, which calls for the election of Indiana Supreme Court justices, has been reassigned to the Committee on Government and Regulatory Reform and is on the agenda to be debated today before the House comes back at 1 p.m.
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House committee split, justice election bill stuck

February 17, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Legislation aimed at changing how the Indiana Supreme Court justices are chosen hasn't gotten enough support to make it out of committee for now, getting a split vote from lawmakers that means it won't be going to the full House for consideration.
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Bill: Legal aid services can assess indigency

February 13, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Indiana lawmakers want the state's legal aid and pro bono programs to have one less hurdle to navigate through when representing indigent clients, agreeing that there's no need to always tie up court time in establishing indigency.
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House passes St. Joseph judicial election bill

February 13, 2009
Michael Hoskins
In a historically notable vote, the Indiana House of Representatives passed a bill that would elect St. Joseph Superior judges rather than stick with a merit-selection and retention system in place for 35 years.
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Court upholds sentence-reduction denial

February 12, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
Even though a defendant may be eligible for a sentence reduction under new crack cocaine sentencing guidelines, it is up to the District Court's discretion to grant a reduced sentence, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Court: ALJ's ruling had several errors

February 11, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
Finding an administrative law judge's decision to deny a woman's claim for disability benefits contained several significant errors, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the District Court's affirmation of the denial and remanded the case to the Social Security Administration.
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Lake County fee bill moves forward

February 10, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The House Judiciary Committee met this morning to consider five bills that included assessing a $10 fee for Lake County court filings, which would be used to fund a consolidated judicial center.
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Judge named chairman of alcohol commission

February 10, 2009
IL Staff
A longtime Wayne County judge has been appointed the new chairman of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission.
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Courts celebrate Black History Month

February 9, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
The chair of the Department of Africana Studies and associate professor of history at Notre Dame University will speak to children and the general public in a lecture titled "Forging the Children of the Sun: The Human Spirit and Jim Crow," a Black History Month program Feb. 20 at the Federal Courthouse in Indianapolis.
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St. Joseph judicial election bill out of committee

February 5, 2009
IL Staff
The bill requiring the non-partisan election of Superior Court judges in St. Joseph County has made it out of committee.
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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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