Government

Former lawmaker, public defender champion dies

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
A former state senator who'd served the legal community as a public defender and lobbyist for the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association has died.Robert Hellmann, D-Terre Haute, died late last week at his home after a yearlong battle with cancer. He was 60.Once minority leader in the Indiana Senate, Hellman had been a part of state government since the early 1980s. He was a member of the House of Representatives for four years before being elected to the Senate in 1986, where...
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International law lecture Monday

January 1, 2007
IL Staff
"Poodles and Bulldogs: the U.S., Britain and the International Rule of Law" is a public lecture by Philippe Sands, Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington's 2007 Addison C. Harris Lecturer, to be presented in the Moot Court Room at noon Sept. 24. A reception will follow.Sands is professor of law at University College London. A practicing barrister, Sands has extensive experience litigating cases before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the International...
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Court clarifies where tax disputes belong

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
General jurisdiction courts don't have the authority to consider cases involving tax law or the Department of Local Government Finance, and the Indiana Court of Appeals says it also doesn't have the authority to remand those cases to the Indiana Tax Court.An appellate panel made its point clear in an opinion on rehearing today in Wayne Township, Marion County, Indiana v. Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, and Martha Womacks, Marion County Auditor, No. 29A05-0611-CV-661. This comes as a clarification and...
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Court reverses COA decision in zoning issue

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed that both the Board of Zoning Appeals of Evansville-Vanderburgh County and trial court were correct in denying the construction of a cellular tower that would be located too close to a residence under a county zoning code.In St. Charles Tower, Inc. v. Board of Zoning Appeals of Evansville-Vanderburgh County, 82S01-0702-CV-69, the state's highest court yesterday overturned the Court of Appeals ruling that found the BZA's decision to deny St. Charles the special-use permit was not supported by...
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Chief Justice on panel to study tax assessing, local government

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard will co-chair a commission designed to find long-term solutions to the state's property tax crisis, the governor announced today.Along with former Gov. Joe Kernan, the chief justice will lead the Commission on Local Government Reform beginning in early August. One of the questions the commission will look at is whether the township form of government should be abolished.Specifically, questions before the commission will be:- What local government offices might be eliminated to achieve efficiencies and...
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Governor names new Lake, Marion judges

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Gov. Mitch Daniels today chose a Gary attorney and legal counsel for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources director for a pair of judicial openings in Lake and Marion counties.Gary attorney Calvin Hawkins will take over as Lake Superior judge in September, replacing Judge Robert A. Pete who died in March. Admitted to the Indiana bar in 1971, Hawkins has concentrated his practice in civil and church litigation, as well as bankruptcy, probate, and family law. He earned his law degree...
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First interviews done for COA opening

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
They came to the capitol building in Indianapolis from across the state, facing a barrage of questions about why they want to be an appellate court judge.Seven will return for a second round next month.The Judicial Nominating Commission conducted its first round of interviews Tuesday for a seat on the state's second highest appeals court, an opening that will be created by Judge John T. Sharpnack's retirement in May 2008. The seven semi-finalists, selected after the daylong session of interviews and...
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Tax Court sets arguments next month

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Tax Court will hear arguments next month on a suit challenging the constitutionality of the state's property tax assessment system.Arguments are set for 1:30 p.m. Oct. 25 in Mel Goldstein, et al. v. Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, et al., 49T10-0709-TA-00045. Indianapolis attorney John Price filed the suit earlier this month on behalf of 11 residents from around the state and seven citizens' organizations pushing for tax reform. The suit includes 14 counts relating directly to Marion County...
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Court rules in favor of municipal utilities

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The state's eminent domain statute allows Indiana municipalities to acquire operations of privately owned water and sewer utilities that serve recently annexed portions of that community, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.The split 3-2 decision came in Utility Center, Inc., d/b/a Aquasource v. City of Fort Wayne, Indiana, 02S04-0706-CV-248.This case from Allen Circuit Judge Thomas Felts involves Fort Wayne's initiation of condemnation proceedings against a company operating a competing public water utility in and around the city, which also owns its...
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Chief public defender resigning

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The chief public defender in Marion County plans to leave his post in February.Chief Public Defender David E. Cook submitted his resignation this week, announcing his intent to stay on until Feb 15. so that a successor can be found.Cook has been the most visible face of the organization since 1995, two years after it was established. He's a former deputy prosecutor and defense attorney, who's now been the agency's chief executive responsible for working with judges and elected officials and...
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Indiana Roll of Attorneys office moving

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The office that keeps track of Hoosier attorneys is changing locations.The Indiana Roll of Attorneys office is moving from the Statehouse and into the Indiana Government Center South to where the Court Clerk ;s Records Division is located.As of April 2, attorneys will need to have that new address – 302 W. Washington St., Room W062 – for mailing in or dropping off registration fees, changes of address, temporary admissions forms, or disciplinary filings. The fax number will also change, but...
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Diversity conference addresses issues

January 1, 2007
IL Staff
The Marion County Bar Association and Indiana Lawyer partnered to raise awareness and provide best practices regarding diversity and inclusion in the legal and business communities during the first Diversity in Practice conference."Diversity in Practice: Building a Culture of Inclusion" was in Indianapolis Sept. 27 and 28 and featured keynote speakers Edward James Olmos, noted actor/director and civic activist, and Roderick Palmore, executive vice president and general counsel for Sara Lee Corp., as well as educational breakout sessions. Also several individuals...
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ND Law hosts "What is war?"

January 1, 2007
IL Staff
"What Is War?" is the name and subject of a conference at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies Auditorium at the University of Notre Dame Sept. 14 and 15. The University of Notre Dame Law School, the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and Mershon Center for International Security Studies at Ohio State University are sponsoring the conference. It is free and open to the public.The discussions will feature Gen. Sir Michael Rose (British Forces, retired), and Gen. William...
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Indiana RV makers being sued over hurricane-issued trailers

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
More than a dozen RV manufacturers that supplied the Federal Emergency Management Agency with trailers following Hurricane Katrina are being sued in federal court in Louisiana, including a handful based in Indiana.A suit filed this week in the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans accuses the manufacturers of using inferior construction materials in a profit-driven rush to build the trailers for the federal government. The 63-page filing includes nearly 50 pages of more than 500 plaintiffs who've lived in the...
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Report includes 3 court-specific ideas

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Three recommendations made today by the Commission on Local Government Reform focus specifically on courts and the state's legal community.Court-specific recommendations impacting all Indiana counties include transferring the local court clerk responsibilities to the courts themselves and transferring trial court system funding - including probation and public defenders - to the state. A third recommendation is focused solely on Marion County, where all township small claims courts duties would be transferred to the county's Superior Courts.Headed by former Gov. Joe Kernan...
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Court: Death sentence stands

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court today upheld the death sentence against a man condemned for murdering a college student, though the authoring justice disagreed and his writing could offer a key for another execution to be tossed out.In Michael Dean Overstreet v. State of Indiana, 41S00-0306-PD-249, the court affirmed the post-conviction judgment of Johnson Superior Judge Cynthia Emkes, who'd first sentenced him to death in 2000. The case involves the September 1997 disappearance, rape, and strangulation of Franklin College freshman Kelly Eckart. Overstreet has...
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Justices to hear 2 cases Thursday

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court will consider two cases Thursday morning. One looks at the line between estate plans and wills, while the other involves a motorist's lawsuit against a county for not removing a tree in the road after a storm.Justices will first hear arguments at 9 a.m. in the case In re Guardianship of E.N., Adult, which comes out of the Washington Circuit Court. The trial court approved an estate plan submitted by a protected person's adult children in their...
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Marion judges choose court administrator

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
    An Indianapolis law firm partner who has led three state agencies is the new administrator for Marion County courts. On Monday, the four-judge executive committee chose Glenn R. Lawrence to fill the spot, which has been vacant since the former administrator Ron Miller resigned in late March. Since then, Senior Judge Richard Good has been filling in as interim administrator. The county's four leading judges offered Lawrence the $93,500-salary job Monday afternoon, according to presiding Superior Judge Gerald Zore. Judges had...
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Commission interviews COA applicants

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Judicial Nominating Commission conducted its first round of interviews today for the Indiana Court of Appeals vacancy that will be created by Judge John T. Sharpnack's retirement in May 2008.Fifteen people from Indiana's legal community applied for the appellate court seat.Nine applicants sat before the commission this morning, including three trial judges, a senator, and the heads of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council and Indiana Gaming Commission. Interviews started at 9 a.m. and ran until mid-afternoon, all conducted in a...
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Circuit judges commend attorney in opinion

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals granted an attorney's motion to withdraw his client's notice of appeal because the attorney couldn't find a non-frivolous basis for an appeal. The court also commended the attorney for how he handled the appeal.In U.S.A. v. Alan R. King, Jr., No. 07-2143, King pleaded guilty to stealing government property, loan fraud, false representation of Social Security numbers, and federal student financial aid fraud. The District Court sentenced him to 105 months imprisonment, five years of supervised...
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Justices rule in favor of county

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Elkhart County is immune from losses resulting from temporary weather-related road conditions in 2001, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.The 4-1 decision came in Marvin Hochstetler v. Elkhart Co. Highway Dept., et al., 20S05-0703-CV-97, a case it heard arguments in May 10. The case involved a motorcycle driver, Hochstetler, who struck a fallen tree on a county road after a storm and sued the county departments and officials for negligence. The Elkhart Superior Court entered summary judgment in favor of the...
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ILS to celebrate 30 years with benefit

January 1, 2007
Rebecca Berfanger
The Indiana Legal Services chapter that provides free legal services for low-income residents in civil cases in Monroe and 13 other counties will celebrate its 30th anniversary Aug. 29 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Tutto bene Wine Cafe, 213 S. Rogers St., Bloomington.ILS typically handles cases that involve issues of domestic violence, housing, consumer law, access to health care, and government benefits. It recently partnered with the Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington to establish an Elder Law Clinic....
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Judge hears evidence in nerve gas suit

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Attorneys are presenting their cases in the U.S. District Court's Southern District in Indianapolis today on whether the Army and Department of Defense are violating federal environmental laws in shipping the potentially deadly VX nerve gas from Indiana to Texas.Chief Judge Larry McKinney began the evidentiary hearing at 1:30 p.m. and has allocated up to three days for the proceeding. Four environmental and activist groups and five citizens, including two Hoosiers, filed a suit in May against the government to permanently...
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Bingham McHale forms economic development affiliate

January 1, 2007
IL Staff
Indianapolis law firm Bingham McHale has created its own independently operated and managed affiliate focused on economic development relating to site-selection analysis, incentive procurement and fulfillment, and community development and planning. The firm announced today the formation of Bingham Economic Development Advisors LLC (BEDA), recruiting five professionals from Carmel consulting firm Ginovus LLC. Leaving Ginovus late last week were Jay Walters, Jenny Massey, Suzanne Davis, Linda Williamson, and Sara McGoun, according to the law firm.The new Bingham McHale practice will be...
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State Supreme Court rules in favor of power company insurers

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court said today that insurance carriers are not required to pay for power companies' costs incurred in a federal lawsuit, nor the installation of new equipment to reduce pollution as ordered in a recent ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States. In Cinergy Corp and Duke Energy v. Associated Electric & Gas Insurance Services, et al., 32S05-0604-CV-151, the state's highest court issued a 17-page unanimous opinion affirming a decision by Hendricks Superior Judge David H. Coleman. The...
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  1. If real money was spent on this study, what a shame. And if some air-head professor tries to use this to advance a career, pity the poor student. I am approaching a time that i (and others around me) should be vigilant. I don't think I'm anywhere near there yet, but seeing the subject I was looking forward to something I might use to look for some benchmarks. When finally finding my way to the hidden questionnaire all I could say to myself was...what a joke. Those are open and obvious signs of any impaired lawyer (or non-lawyer, for that matter), And if one needs a checklist to discern those tell-tale signs of impairment at any age, one shouldn't be practicing law. Another reason I don't regret dropping my ABA membership some number of years ago.

  2. The case should have been spiked. Give the kid a break. He can serve and maybe die for Uncle Sam and can't have a drink? Wow. And they won't even let him defend himself. What a gross lack of prosecutorial oversight and judgment. WOW

  3. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  4. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  5. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

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