Indiana Lawyer Staff

Attorney called to serve

March 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
As an attorney who was being deployed by the U.S. Navy Reserve to serve his country, there was no question that he would go. The support received from his firm for the year he was away made the experience manageable.
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Chief public defender retiring after 30 years

March 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
If there had been more job prospects for English literature graduates in the early 1970s, Susan Carpenter may not have ever become Indiana’s state public defender.
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Would bill make immigrants feel unwelcome?

March 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
As a contentious immigration law that went into effect in Arizona last summer continues to be challenged and further changes are being considered by Arizona lawmakers, similar bills at the state and local level, including one in the Indiana Statehouse, have been gaining traction.
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Indianapolis bottle cap company creates global legal work

March 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A soda or water bottle on the desk at work or a jug of juice in the refrigerator at home might be merely a refreshing drink for most people. But it’s a day at the office for Stephanie Blackman, a corporate attorney in the business of bottle caps or, as they are known in the food and beverage industry, closure systems.
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Hogsett takes his oath as U.S. attorney

March 2, 2011
IL Staff
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Joseph H. Hogsett took his official oath of office on Feb. 18 before a crowd of more than 200 members of the state’s legal community as well as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The investiture ceremony was held at the Indiana Repertory Theatre in Indianapolis.
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Dinsmore sworn in as magistrate

March 2, 2011
IL Staff
U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore received his robe and took the official oath of office on Feb. 25 at an investiture ceremony in the Birch Bayh Federal Building in Indianapolis.
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Judicial panel promotes civic education

March 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court hosted a panel discussion recently to discuss the broad topic of judicial independence, taking a lesson about how the courts operate to an Indianapolis college campus.
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Process outlined for BLE search

March 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A month after applications were submitted for the state Board of Law Examiner’s executive director position, the Indiana Supreme Court has announced its plan to review those applications and narrow the field.
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COA adopts common-sense rule on providing insurance policies

March 1, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has adopted a common-sense rule many other courts throughout the country have implemented, in requiring insurers to provide copies of their insurance policies to the insured if they ask for one following a loss.
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7th Circuit seeks comment on e-filing rule changes

March 1, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is revising its rules to require initial electronic filing of all documents, and the federal appellate court is taking public comment for the next three weeks.
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First impression case tackles wetlands issue

February 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a landowner who raises the subterranean water table on his land and creates a federally regulated wetland may not invoke the common enemy doctrine of water diversion and be shielded from liability to adjoining landowners whose properties as a result become federally regulated wetlands.
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High court takes 4 cases

February 28, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court accepted four cases on transfer last week, including a case in which they released an opinion on the day they granted transfer.
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Governor appoints 3 judges

February 28, 2011
IL Staff
Gov. Mitch Daniels made three judicial appointments, filling vacancies in Howard, Jay, and Wells county courts.
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First Wednesdays return with immigration discussion

February 28, 2011
IL Staff
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana’s First Wednesday discussion series has returned. It kicks off March 2 with the panel discussion “Immigration: The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly.”
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Walkout creates uncertainty in House

February 25, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
It’s been a controversial week at the Indiana General Assembly with the walkout by many Democrats in the House of Representatives killing several bills in their current forms as legislative deadlines hit.
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High court seeks comment on foreclosure practices

February 25, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court is accepting comments from the public on the proposed “Mortgage Foreclosure Best Practices” guidelines.
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Barnes & Thornburg opens Los Angeles office

February 25, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Indianapolis-based Barnes & Thornburg has expanded again, this time to the West Coast. A Los Angeles, Calif., office opened today with six attorneys from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.
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Court divided on purchase agreement termination

February 24, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals were split in deciding whether the seller of a condominium should have to refund a deposit to purchase after the buyers discovered electrical problems that turned out to be minor issues.
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COA: Summons should notify of risk of default judgment

February 24, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Due process requires that a respondent in a dissolution proceeding be notified of the risk of default for not appearing or otherwise responding, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday. The judges reversed a couple’s decree of dissolution, ruling it was void because the summons served on the wife was insufficient.
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Judges analyze 'use' of body armor for first time

February 24, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals interpreted the elements of unlawful use of body armor for the first time in a defendant’s appeal of his convictions following his attempt to flee from police.
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Justices accept certified question on misdemeanor voting

February 24, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has taken a question proposed by a federal court in a suit challenging the law that prevents voting by people with misdemeanor convictions.
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Race for LACE to benefit Kenya legal aid clinic

February 23, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Following the success of last year’s Race for LACE to support the Legal Aid Centre of Eldoret, Kenya, organizers are seeking participants for this year’s event that coincides with the 5K race held with the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on May 7.
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COA divided on noncompete agreement, injunction

February 23, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Even though Indiana courts strongly disfavor noncompete clauses in employment contracts as restraints of trade, the majority of Indiana Court of Appeals judges affirmed the grant of a preliminary injunction against a Porter County man. They found the company had a legitimately protectable interest in the man’s knowledge of its customers and market.
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New magistrate judge’s investiture Friday

February 23, 2011
IL Staff
Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana will be formally sworn-in Friday at the federal courthouse in Indianapolis.
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COA discusses vouching testimony in child molesting trials

February 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals addressed vouching testimony by witnesses called during child molesting trials in two opinions Tuesday. In one case, an appellate judge was troubled by the possible effect of the cumulative vouching testimony on the jury.
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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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