Government

Senate votes to raise judicial retirement age

January 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
Indiana appellate judges could serve until age 80 under a bill that cleared the Indiana Senate Thursday.
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Attorney General nominee moves closer to confirmation

January 29, 2015
 Associated Press
Senators weigh Loretta Lynch's nomination for attorney general for a second day at a hearing certain to pile criticism on President Barack Obama and Eric Holder, the current occupant of the job.
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COA rules teachers may negotiate for ancillary duty compensation

January 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A dispute between a school corporation and teachers association that made its way before the Indiana Court of Appeals led to the court concluding the teachers may qualify for overtime for performing school-related duties outside of their normal teaching hours.
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Changes being considered for medical malpractice claims

January 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
More medical malpractice cases could be filed directly in state trial courts without first having to go through the exhaustive and mandatory medical review process under legislation pending in the Indiana Senate. A proposal in the Indiana House of Representatives aims to raise the caps on damages and insurer liability.
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Bill to open adoption records moves forward

January 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
Indiana has nothing to fear from abandoning long-established practice and following the lead of numerous states in order to allow some 350,000 adopted Hoosiers access to their birth records, a leading national advocate said.
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Trust proposal in Legislature would shield assets from creditors, permit perpetuity

January 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
Assets could be shielded from creditors and passed down to numerous generations under a legacy trust proposal being considered by the Indiana General Assembly. The proposed estate-planning device would be exempt from the rule against perpetuities.
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House panel backs new rules after nursing home scandal

January 27, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana House committee has endorsed tighter rules on the conduct of lawmakers in the wake of an ethics investigation of a top Republican who fought privately to defeat legislation that would have hurt his family's business.
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Panel backs religion-based hiring by Indiana contractors

January 27, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana legislative panel has endorsed a bill allowing religious institutions that receive state and local government contracts to make hiring decisions based upon religion.
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Kokomo sues state over proposed downtown baseball park

January 27, 2015
 Associated Press
The city of Kokomo is suing the state over its opposition to a proposed downtown baseball stadium.
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State union membership counters national trend

January 27, 2015
 Associated Press, IBJ Staff
Indiana bucked a national trend in 2014 by experiencing an increase in labor union membership, new statistics released by the U. S. Labor Department show.
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Indiana Senate backs death penalty for beheading crimes

January 23, 2015
 Associated Press
A bill making intentionally decapitating someone a crime eligible for the death penalty has been approved by the Indiana Senate.
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Legislation increasing the service of process fee moves to the House

January 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Senate Thursday endorsed an increase in the fees sheriffs collect to serve court papers. The fee will nearly double from $13 to $25 under legislation sent to the House of Representatives.
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Bill opening birth records passes Senate

January 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Senate Thursday approved a bill that would open birth records to some 350,000 Hoosiers adopted between 1941 and 1993.
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Committee advances bill raising non-panel limit in medical malpractice claims

January 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
Medical malpractice claims of up to $50,000 would go directly to court under a proposal that cleared an Indiana Senate committee Wednesday.
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Renovation bids open for Vanderburgh County courthouse

January 21, 2015
 Associated Press
Vanderburgh County officials have begun reviewing bids for the renovation of the third floor at the 126-year-old courthouse in downtown Evansville.
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House committee to hear magistrate bills

January 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Bills that would provide magistrates for three circuit courts in Southern Indiana are scheduled to be considered Jan. 21 by the Indiana House of Representatives Courts and Criminal Code Committee.
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Woman loses claim for additional retroactive retirement benefits

January 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A retired teacher is not entitled to an additional six months of retroactive retirement benefits from the Indiana Public Retirement System, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday. Indiana law limits an INPRS member to only six months of retroactive retirement benefits.
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Meijer tax ruling may reverberate statewide

January 20, 2015
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
Big-box retailers could see their Indiana property-tax bills slashed in half because of a recent court decision that favored Meijer over Marion County.
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Pence's $51M prison expansion proposal met by skepticism

January 19, 2015
 Associated Press
Gov. Mike Pence's proposal for expanding two state prisons is drawing skepticism from some legislative leaders as it comes just months after Indiana's criminal sentencing laws changed in part to reduce the need for more prison space.
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Service of process fees increase under proposal in Senate

January 19, 2015
Dave Stafford
Fees sheriffs collect to serve parties in civil lawsuits would nearly double under a bill that cleared a Senate panel last week.
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Lawmakers: Longer sentences, more police will deter crime

January 15, 2015
 Associated Press
Harsher sentences and an increased police presence can help fight crime in Indiana, Republican state senators said Wednesday.
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Senate panel advances bill to open adoption records

January 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
Advocates of opening Indiana’s adoption records won an emotional first round Wednesday as a Senate panel advanced legislation that for the first time would open birth records of hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers.
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Pence troubled by report Guard mishandled domestic case

January 14, 2015
 Associated Press
Gov. Mike Pence is troubled by allegations that the Indiana National Guard mishandled a domestic violence case and will review a Pentagon report on the matter, his spokeswoman said.
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Innovative networking tool connects lawyers across practices

January 14, 2015
Holly Wheeler
Some are good at networking, others not so good. With the development of the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Indy Attorneys Network Section, lawyers old and new, those skilled at networking and those not as adept, have found there are always opportunities to meet and connect with colleagues and that doing so builds camaraderie and strengthens the local legal community.
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Senate panel passes bill for harsher beheading penalties

January 13, 2015
 Associated Press
Decapitation soon could be punishable by death in Indiana. The state Senate Criminal Law Committee unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that would allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty for beheadings.
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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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