Government

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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Justice Alito headlines conference

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Relations between courts and Congress have been strained lately, and a contingent of both are meeting in Indianapolis today to explore the reasons, examine how judicial independence fits in, and try to lay groundwork for improving relations.The Indiana State Bar Association is sponsoring the "Relations Between Congress and the Federal Courts" conference at the Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis, which began at 8:30 a.m. and features U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. as a key speaker.More than...
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Statehouse security means changes to after-hours filing

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
New security measures starting in two weeks at the Indiana Statehouse means the legal community will have to change their routines for after-hours filing.Beginning June 4, north doors of the building will be locked at 5:30 p.m. and the Capitol Police desk at that entrance will not be staffed as it currently is. The Clerk of the Courts and Department of Administration is installing a drop box for filings to be placed, according to according to Supreme Court Administrator and Clerk...
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Don't forget: Rotunda filing, security changes start today

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The process for after-hours legal filing changes today as a result of new security being implemented at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis.North doors of the building will be locked at 5:30 p.m., and the Capitol Police desk at that entrance will not be staffed. The Clerk of the Courts and Department of Administration installed a drop box for filings to be placed, according to according to Supreme Court Administrator and Clerk of the Appellate Courts Kevin Smith.Security measures for the entire...
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Court rules on privatization, public bidding

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today that state officials violated the law by not adhering to the public bidding process when privatizing a Fort Wayne development center two years ago.In Anita Stuller, et al. v. Mitchell Daniels Jr., et al., 02A05-0601-CV-22, the court unanimously reversed and remanded the case to Allen Superior Judge Nancy Boyer with instructions to hold a hearing to determine if a preliminary injunction should be granted.The 27-page opinion points out that Judge Boyer misinterpreted a state...
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Court tosses property assessment suit

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Tax Court has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state's property tax assessment system because the petitioning taxpayers didn't exhaust their administrative options.Indiana Tax Judge Thomas G. Fisher ruled Nov. 9 in Mel Goldstein, et al. v. Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, et al., No. 49T10-0709-TA-45, which was brought by 14 taxpayers and 10 citizen groups from across the state.Indianapolis attorney John Price filed the suit in September on behalf taxpayers statewide pushing for tax reform,...
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ISBA adds 3 new memberships

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana State Bar Association has approved three new membership categories, describing the recent additions as a way to have the entire legal community represented within its membership ranks.On June 30, the Board of Governors added the categories of law librarians, legal administrators, and court administrators as affiliate members. They join the paralegal class in that ranking, meaning the four professional groups can serve on committees or join sections, but they cannot vote on issues or hold office."This is a natural...
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  1. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  2. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  3. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

  4. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  5. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

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