Indiana Lawyer Staff

Appellate Clerk's Office no longer sending rulings via the Postal Service.

February 3, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Appellate attorneys no longer receive a mailed hard copy of any order issued by Indiana's highest courts. Instead, those lawyers are now receiving documents in an e-mail.
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How to survive this recession

February 3, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
An economy gone sour and law firms not hiring summer associates are familiar concerns for law students now, but these issues also affected lawyers who faced a recession when they graduated from law school in the early 1990s.
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Praising new judicial selections

February 3, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Hoosier legal community is publicly praising the newest nominees for the state's federal bench as good choices, particularly for those interested in seeing a more diverse judiciary.
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Little court guidance on repressed memory litigation results in trial court split

February 3, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Reaching into a person's mind to revive repressed memories is an issue that's settled law in one sense, but what remains unsettled is how such memories are used during litigation and whether a lawsuit should be tossed or allowed to proceed to trial.
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5 attorneys have ties to Haiti relief efforts

February 3, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Attorneys around Indiana with connections to Haiti are helping with that country's relief efforts following a Jan. 12 earthquake that registered as magnitude 7 and destroyed countless buildings and injured and killed still-unknown numbers of people in an already impoverished country.
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Talk to a Lawyer event a success

February 3, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The statewide Talk to a Lawyer Today event that annually takes place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been hailed as the best yet by organizers. All 14 pro bono districts had at least one walk-in and/or call-in site for lawyers to answer questions from members of their communities for free.
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Litigation, regulatory issues occupy Atlas general counsel

February 3, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Working at a shipping company wasn't exactly what a lawyer in Evansville saw herself doing when she graduated from law school at the University of Missouri - Kansas City in 1978.
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7th Circuit affirms permanent injunction

January 28, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an injunction preventing the application of Indiana's Uniform Consumer Credit Code to an Illinois company because it violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.
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Indiana attorney set for SCOTUS Wednesday

January 27, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Terre Haute attorney is making his sixth argument before the nation's highest court Wednesday, but his first before the newest justice. This time he's there on a case that could ultimately change campaign-finance disclosure rules nationally.
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7th Circuit affirms writ of habeas corpus

January 27, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
On remand from the Supreme Court of the United States, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's conditional grant of the petition for a writ of habeas corpus for a man facing the death penalty.
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'Quality of care' at stake in DCS rate-cut case

January 27, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The federal judge who granted a preliminary injunction in the combined suits against the Department of Child Services for cutting reimbursement rates for adoptive and foster parents and child care agencies found the quality of care for children would suffer if the rate cuts stood.
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What the ISBA is watching this session

January 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana State Bar Association is watching several bills introduced in this 2010 session, including probate and family law matters.
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7th Circuit addresses digital media searches

January 21, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Despite being troubled by some aspects of a police officer's search of computers of a man charged with voyeurism - during which the officer discovered child pornography - the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found the search didn't exceed the scope of the original warrant.
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4 Indiana nominations sent to Senate

January 21, 2010
IL Staff
President Barack Obama's list of 40 nominees included four Indiana nominations.
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Editorial: SCOTUS order in Proposition 8 trial chills

January 20, 2010
Editorial Indiana Lawyer
It sounded too good be true, so we weren't surprised when we found out it was not to be.
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Prosecutor denies alleged misconduct

January 20, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi denies that he violated any professional conduct rules in his handling of two high-profile murder cases, specifically in his written or spoken statements made when describing the crimes to the public.
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Provision in new bill would withhold 'big' wins from deadbeat parents

January 20, 2010
Michael Hoskins
State lawmakers want to crack down on child support collections and make it tougher for deadbeat parents to not pay what's owed.
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Suspended LaPorte judge acquitted at trial

January 20, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A suspended LaPorte Superior judge has been acquitted of any criminal charges involving an accidental shooting where her head was grazed by a bullet and led to accusations that she tried to cover up details about what happened.
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Appellate case 'purgatory' exists in Indiana's government center basement

January 20, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Outside of courtrooms, conference rooms, and law firm offices, there's a place that most lawyers don't often see but is an essential step in the process cases go through at the Indiana appellate level.
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ACLU director discusses goals

January 20, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Heading the organization charged with defending the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights is no easy feat.
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Summit spurs school-focused bill

January 20, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
A juvenile justice summit by the Indiana State Bar Association in August has led to the introduction of a bill that would change how students are treated in schools and hopefully decrease the number of school suspensions while increasing statewide graduation rates.
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Johnsen to be reconsidered for controversial national position

January 20, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
After her nomination to head the Office of Legal Counsel was returned to the president at the end of 2009, an Indiana University Maurer School of Law - Bloomington professor is expected to be renominated by President Barack Obama.
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Nominations would fill 3 U.S. District judicial posts.

January 20, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A federal magistrate, a trial court judge, and a banking attorney who's served as a federal and county prosecutor are in line to be the newest additions to Indiana's federal bench.
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Former attorney inspires new movie

January 20, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Before his life became a movie script and Hollywood heavyweights took an interest in his story, John Crowley started as a rising star in Indiana's legal community.
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Volunteers still needed for Talk to a Lawyer

January 13, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A few pro bono districts participating in the Talk to a Lawyer Today program have openings available for attorneys looking to donate a few hours of their time Monday to help the underserved in their communities.
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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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