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Rejecting the traditional legal career path

December 19, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Statistics may not provide a complete picture of female attorneys’ career aspirations.
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Attorneys find fulfillment helping orphans

December 19, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Nelson Vogel, partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP in South Bend, and Scott Weathers, attorney in Indianapolis, have never met, never crossed paths in a courtroom. Yet, both lawyers readily give their time and attention to youngsters who live in impoverished countries and mostly want just to talk and play with someone.
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State drops charges against mom whose murder, arson convictions were overturned

December 18, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The state has dropped charges against Kristine Bunch, the Decatur County woman who claimed she was wrongfully convicted of killing her son in a fire in 1995. Bunch was convicted in 1996 of murder and arson, but the Court of Appeals ordered a new trial this year.
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Attempted ‘hybrid’ defense delay didn’t violate speedy trial rule

December 18, 2012
Dave Stafford
A criminal defendant who filed motions on his own behalf and who also had consented to appointment of a special public defender was not denied a speedy trial when a delay of more than 70 days occurred, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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AG’s office sues 2 foreclosure consultants

December 18, 2012
IL Staff
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General has filed lawsuits against two foreclosure consultant companies that took more than $2,600 from Indiana homeowners without providing services or refunds.
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The Star asks Supreme Court to review order to name online commenter

December 18, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indianapolis Star has asked the Indiana Supreme Court to hear its appeal of an order that it identify an anonymous commenter who posted messages on its website that became part of a defamation suit.
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Justices order modification of sentence of convicted child caseworker to comply with plea agreement

December 17, 2012
Dave Stafford
A former child protective services caseworker convicted of sex crimes in Hamilton and Elkhart counties should have his sentence modified to comport with his plea agreement, the Indiana Supreme Court ordered.
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Justices take 6 cases, reject 26

December 17, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer in six of 32 cases reviewed in the week ending Dec. 14, according to the transfer disposition list posted Monday on the court website.
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Boosters of civic education honored by Indiana Bar Foundation

December 17, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
During this week’s We The People state finals, the Indiana Bar Foundation will be honoring three individuals and one organization for their service to civic education and the competition.
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ATM fee notice change likely

December 17, 2012
IL Staff
A requirement that automated teller machines post notices on or near the machine will be repealed under a bill Congress has sent to President Barack Obama.
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Durham files to appeal federal conviction

December 17, 2012
IBJ Staff
Tim Durham officially has filed to appeal his conviction on fraud charges after being sentenced to 50 years in prison in late November.
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Woman who invited abusive spouse did not violate no-contact protective order

December 14, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the Indiana General Assembly was deliberate when it did not criminalize the violation of a protective order by the protected person.
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Star seeks rehearing on order to identify online commenter

December 14, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indianapolis Star is asking the Court of Appeals to reconsider its order issued Dec.7 that required the newspaper to release the name of an online commenter Friday to a plaintiff who claims the remarks defamed him.
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Split court upholds $3.9 million workplace injury judgment

December 14, 2012
Dave Stafford
Whether a general liability carrier could intervene in a workplace injury lawsuit that awarded a plaintiff $3.9 million is a question that divided the Indiana Court of Appeals, which affirmed the lower court ruling.
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COA reminds ex-spouse that turnips cannot bleed

December 14, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Calling her interpretation of Indiana law incorrect, the Court of Appeals rejected a woman’s argument against the decrease in her spousal support and reminded her that “one cannot bleed a turnip.”  
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Divided appeals court affirms denial of incapacity maintenance

December 14, 2012
Dave Stafford
A woman with longstanding disabilities denied incapacity maintenance in her divorce judgment convinced one appellate judge that the trial court abused its discretion, but the majority affirmed the lower court’s decision.
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Judges uphold workers’ comp claim for nurse

December 14, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board’s ruling in favor of a home health care registered nurse on her claim for workers' compensation. The judges rejected the company’s argument that the board’s decision was based on the defunct “positional risk doctrine.”
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Hoosiers want legislators to focus on job creation

December 13, 2012
IL Staff
A survey released Thursday by the Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University shows that 81 percent of residents want job creation to be the main priority for the Indiana General Assembly in 2013. This is the third straight year that Hoosiers said jobs are the No. 1 priority.
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Justices issue 4 opinions tackling prejudgment interest

December 13, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In four opinions dealing with the award of prejudgment interest under the Tort Prejudgment Interest Statute, the Indiana Supreme Court found Wednesday, among other things, that the TPIS applies to an action by an insured against an insurer to recover benefits under the insured’s underinsured motorist policy.
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Judges rule legal malpractice claim untimely

December 13, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A family who sued an Allen County attorney after finding out he did not properly obtain ownership of a railroad right-of-way in 1995 lost its appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals because the family’s lawsuit is barred by the statute of limitations.
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7th Circuit affirms ruling for officers on excessive force claims

December 13, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found no reason to disturb a judgment in favor of several officers involved in a standoff and shooting death of a Fort Wayne man in 2005. Rudy Escobedo’s estate challenged the jury verdict and summary judgment for the defendants on excessive force claims.
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Builder allowed to foreclose on lien

December 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a Lake Superior judge erred in denying a construction company’s request to foreclose on a mechanic’s lien after the client withheld a final payment, claiming faulty work.
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Workers settle employment lawsuit against local hotels

December 12, 2012
Kathleen McLaughlin
Sixteen current and former Indianapolis hotel workers have settled their union-backed lawsuit that alleged employment violations by nine area hotels and Atlanta-based Hospitality Staffing Solutions, a subcontractor that employs many hotel workers.
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Indiana GAL/CASA program gets national grant

December 12, 2012
IL Staff
Indiana’s State Office of the GAL/CASA has been awarded a $40,000 grant from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association. The money will be used to support local programs that provide volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children in Indiana.
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Settlement ends bitter battle over Mel Simon estate

December 12, 2012
Cory Schouten
A bitter battle over the $2 billion estate of the late shopping mall tycoon Melvin Simon has ended with a confidential settlement.
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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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