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House committee split, justice election bill stuck

February 17, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Legislation aimed at changing how the Indiana Supreme Court justices are chosen hasn't gotten enough support to make it out of committee for now, getting a split vote from lawmakers that means it won't be going to the full House for consideration.
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Judge holds public hearings on foreclosure rule

February 17, 2009
IL Staff
Marion Superior Judge Cynthia Ayers is holding public hearings today and Thursday regarding the proposed local rule, 49-TR85-231, which would require mandatory mediation for mortgage foreclosure cases in Marion County.
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Court rules in favor of town in disannexation suit

February 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a town in a disannexation order because the plaintiffs in the case didn't file their complaint for relief until after the statute of limitations had run out.
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High-profile federal trials slated for early 2009

February 16, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The first half of the year is shaping up to be a time of high-profile trials for Indiana's federal courts.
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Attorney dies following sudden illness

February 16, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An attorney whose family has practiced law in Northwest Indiana since 1916 died Feb. 12 after a brief illness.
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Outside accounting ordered in LLC dissolution

February 16, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a judgment in favor of one of the owners of a dissolved LLC, finding the trial court erred when it entered judgment against the other owner personally without ordering an outside accounting of the company's finances.
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House passes St. Joseph judicial election bill

February 13, 2009
Michael Hoskins
In a historically notable vote, the Indiana House of Representatives passed a bill that would elect St. Joseph Superior judges rather than stick with a merit-selection and retention system in place for 35 years.
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Bill: Legal aid services can assess indigency

February 13, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Indiana lawmakers want the state's legal aid and pro bono programs to have one less hurdle to navigate through when representing indigent clients, agreeing that there's no need to always tie up court time in establishing indigency.
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Opinion examines history of Fireman's Rule

February 13, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
After delving into the history of caselaw involving Indiana's Fireman's Rule, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined a couple's complaint against an Indianapolis strip club is barred by the rule.
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Court upholds sentence-reduction denial

February 12, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
Even though a defendant may be eligible for a sentence reduction under new crack cocaine sentencing guidelines, it is up to the District Court's discretion to grant a reduced sentence, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Dinner to support IU Law - Indy LRAP

February 12, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
To help students and alumni who want to practice public interest law, even with law school loan debt, a group of Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis students will host a fundraiser March 7 for the school's loan repayment assistance program endowment.
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Order that law firm pay attorney fees reversed

February 12, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed today an order awarding attorneys fees based on the actions of an Indianapolis law firm in a dispute involving the dissolution of another firm, finding the record didn't provide any insight into why the trial court granted the award.
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Judges disagree on if remand is necessary

February 11, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a trial court's grant of an ex-wife's petition for additional relief for funds, finding the trial court didn't hear evidence on certain "critical" factors. The judges on appeal didn't agree as to whether the case should be remanded.
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Court: ALJ's ruling had several errors

February 11, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
Finding an administrative law judge's decision to deny a woman's claim for disability benefits contained several significant errors, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the District Court's affirmation of the denial and remanded the case to the Social Security Administration.
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Attorneys leaving Bingham to form new firm

February 11, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Seven attorneys are leaving Indianapolis firm Bingham McHale to form a new insurance litigation firm, a move that one of the departing partners said came as a result of high rates and the large firm's practice group effectively pricing itself out of the market.
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Lake County fee bill moves forward

February 10, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The House Judiciary Committee met this morning to consider five bills that included assessing a $10 fee for Lake County court filings, which would be used to fund a consolidated judicial center.
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Court rules on upward sentence revision

February 10, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
The Indiana Supreme Court held today that appellate courts have the authority to increase a sentence on appeal, but the state can't initiate or cross-appeal review of the sentence and can't ask for a greater sentence if the defendant doesn't initiate an appeal.
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Law school symposium to discuss torture

February 10, 2009
IL Staff
The Valparaiso University School of Law, as part of its annual symposium lecture series, is offering "Torture: Justifiable?" which focuses on whether and under what circumstances torture may be justifiable.
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Judge named chairman of alcohol commission

February 10, 2009
IL Staff
A longtime Wayne County judge has been appointed the new chairman of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission.
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Judge allows class action in hail damage suit

February 9, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
A U.S. District judge is allowing certain State Farm insurance policy holders to proceed in a class action suit against the company as a result of how the insurer handled roof claims following a 2006 hail storm in central Indiana.
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SCOTUS asked to take Indiana wine case

February 9, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States is being asked to consider the constitutionality of Indiana's wine shipping law, which requires in-person contact before any direct delivery is allowed.
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Courts celebrate Black History Month

February 9, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
The chair of the Department of Africana Studies and associate professor of history at Notre Dame University will speak to children and the general public in a lecture titled "Forging the Children of the Sun: The Human Spirit and Jim Crow," a Black History Month program Feb. 20 at the Federal Courthouse in Indianapolis.
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Teen court seeks help

February 9, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
Reach for Youth, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that oversees teen court programs in Marion and Johnson counties and over 250 teen court volunteers, must raise $15,000 by March 1 to keep afloat.
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Law firm forecast sees declining profits

February 6, 2009
Scott Olson
Declining profits could be on the dockets of many law firms again this year.
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Woman didn't prove she should get new trial

February 6, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Finding a defendant didn't meet her burden of proving her newly discovered evidence claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals today upheld the denial of her petition for post-conviction relief.
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  1. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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