Government

Death records law causing headache for genealogists

December 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the Indiana Supreme Court recently confirmed that death certificates listing the cause of death are public records, the state is continuing to grapple with questions over privacy and online access to the documents.
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Frustrations with patent trolls spark push for pest control

December 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Three years after passing the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act which overhauled the U.S. patent system, Congress and state legislatures have been introducing bills that primarily seek to reform the process by clamping down on so-called patent trolls.
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Ohio girl hurt at fair challenges Indiana damages cap

December 16, 2014
 Associated Press
Attorneys for a 13-year-old Ohio girl hurt when a stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fair argued Monday that the state's cap on liability damages is unconstitutional and should be thrown out by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Indianapolis police testing body cameras

December 16, 2014
 Associated Press
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has begun a 60-day test of body cameras worn by officers.
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Senate president says funding for We the People will continue

December 15, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Praising the We the People curriculum for instilling a sense of civic responsibility in the next generation, Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long pledged that state funding for the program would continue.
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Hamilton County seeks an out to avoid referendum for renovation

December 15, 2014
Andrea Muirragui Davis, IBJ Staff
Hamilton County leaders are asking state legislators for relief from a 2008 law that requires all capital projects costing more than $12 million be put to a vote.
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Federal bill gives equal treatment to IOLTA funds held at credit unions

December 12, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
After months in limbo, a bill passed by the U.S. Senate Thursday will extend insurance coverage for IOLTA accounts.
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IBM, state enter mediation over failed welfare contract

December 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
IBM Corp. and the state have agreed to mediation as a lawsuit between the parties over the failed billion-dollar contract to privatize welfare services awaits a ruling from the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Court hears ex-Indiana elections chief's appeal

December 10, 2014
 Associated Press
An attorney for former Secretary of State Charlie White faced tough questioning Tuesday from Indiana's three-judge appeals court during White's latest bid to overturn the voter fraud convictions that forced him from office.
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Prosecutor to seek death penalty for mutilator

December 10, 2014
 Associated Press
A prosecutor intends to seek the death penalty for a southern Indiana man who has confessed to fatally stabbing his girlfriend and mutilating her body, including cooking and eating some of her organs.
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State declines to appeal Overstreet competency ruling

December 9, 2014
IL Staff
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General announced Tuesday it will not appeal a special judge’s ruling that a man on death row is not competent and therefore cannot be executed.
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Appeal hearing set for ex-Indiana elections chief

December 9, 2014
 Associated Press
The Indiana appeals court is set to take up former Secretary of State Charlie White's fight to overturn the voter fraud conviction that forced him from office.
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Ex-prosecutor helps Ball State avert future fraud

December 8, 2014
 Associated Press
A former federal prosecutor and a CPA firm are evaluating Ball State University's internal financial controls and investment portfolio as they create a plan to prevent a repeat of two investment scams that cost the university more than $13 million.
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Indiana gets nearly $78,000 in Sirius XM settlement

December 5, 2014
IL Staff
Some Indiana residents who have subscribed to Sirius XM Radio Inc. may be entitled to a refund following the satellite radio company’s multi-state settlement regarding claims of misleading advertising and billing practices.
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Court erred in affirming decision new seawall must be removed

December 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the portion of a trial court’s order that affirmed the decision by a board of zoning appeals denying a company’s request for a variance which allowed its newly completed seawall to remain intact. The judges found Caddyshack Looper LLC demonstrated that strict application of the setback requirement will result in practical difficulties.
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Indiana joins lawsuit over Obama’s immigration executive order

December 4, 2014
 Associated Press, Jennifer Nelson
Indiana has joined a lawsuit filed by 17 states challenging executive actions taken by President Barrack Obama on immigration last month.
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Bennett probe called for prosecution

December 3, 2014
 Associated Press
A months-long investigation into former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett's use of state staff and resources during his 2012 re-election campaign found ample evidence to support federal wire fraud charges, according to a copy of the 95-page report viewed by The Associated Press.
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Judicial officers in demand

December 3, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Seven counties are asking the Legislature for 11 magistrates to handle increasing caseloads.
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ISBA seeks malpractice time-limit legislation

December 3, 2014
A proposal adopted by the Indiana State Bar Association's House of Delegates in October has yet to be formalized, but it recommends legislation that would limit malpractice liability for attorneys to two years after discovery of an error or not more than three years after the conclusion of representation.
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Walgreen privacy judgment a 'game-changer'

December 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
A $1.4 million judgment against Walgreen for a pharmacist’s unauthorized breach of private prescription data should raise red flags for any health care provider whose employees handle private medical information, lawyers and legal experts say.
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Fewer young attorneys enter graying profession, instead find alternative uses for JDs

December 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
Recent Indiana law school graduates are broadening their horizons, with many taking nontraditional post-graduate paths in the business world as the legal profession is increasingly graying.
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Indiana prison sued for allegedly banning journal

December 2, 2014
 Associated Press
A journal that reports on the rights of inmates is suing an Indiana correctional facility for denying its prisoners access to the publication, attorneys announced Monday.
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Eagle Creek deer hunt goes forward

November 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A city-sponsored deer hunt at Indianapolis’ Eagle Creek Park will proceed this weekend after a judge refused to block the first such hunt in the park’s history.
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$1.75B justice center could stretch budgets

November 24, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
Mayor Greg Ballard's office has said the city intends to pay no more than about $50 million a year over 35 years for a proposed criminal justice facility, bringing the cost to about $1.75 billion.
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Indiana ethics chief seeks changes after scandals

November 21, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana Inspector General David Thomas has published a series of ethics reforms, asking for improved disclosure and new rules for state officials after a trio of Statehouse scandals.
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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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