Legal News

Planned Parenthood challenging new Indiana abortion parental consent law

May 18, 2017
IL Staff
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky has filed a lawsuit challenging portions of Senate Enrolled Act 404, which in part requires unemancipated minors to obtain consent from a parent or legal guardian before being allowed to have an abortion.
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Verdict slip in meningitis outbreak trial creates confusion

May 18, 2017
 Associated Press
People who lost loved ones in a fungal meningitis outbreak traced to tainted steroids were stunned when a pharmacy executive was acquitted of murder charges in 25 deaths, and some legal experts are questioning whether the vote by the jury was unanimous, as required in federal criminal trials.
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Ruling for doctor reversed in inmate’s gluten-free diet suit

May 17, 2017
IL Staff
A doctor made “misleading, inaccurate, and perhaps even false statements” in an inmate’s lawsuit that alleges the doctor intentionally failed to provide a medically prescribed gluten-free diet, a northern Indiana federal judge has ruled.
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Whitestown suing wastewater utility for $2.5 million

May 17, 2017
Lindsey Erdody, Indianapolis Business Journal
A Boone County community is claiming the wastewater division of Citizens Energy Group owes it more than $2.5 million.
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Public defender accused of harassing ex-girlfriend suspended

May 17, 2017
Olivia Covington
A northern Indiana public defender accused of repeatedly harassing his ex-girlfriend has been suspended from the practice of law in Indiana for at least one year.
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Duke Energy plans to close coal ash ponds in Indiana

May 17, 2017
 Associated Press
Duke Energy is planning to close coal ash ponds in Indiana because of new federal environmental regulations.
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Indiana officer plans insanity defense in hit-and-run crash

May 17, 2017
 Associated Press
Court records show a suspended Lake County, Indiana, sheriff's officer charged in a hit-and-run crash after last year's Gary Air Show plans an insanity defense.
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Rucker retires after 26 years on appellate bench

May 17, 2017
Olivia Covington
Ask a member of the Indiana judiciary to describe former Indiana Supreme Court Justice Robert Rucker, and you’ll get answers such as “empathetic” or “compassionate.” And those who sat on either side of Rucker during his nearly 18 years on the state’s highest bench say the now-retired justice never let his sense of humanity outweigh the rule of law.
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Indiana women trial lawyers preparing for Congressional push

May 17, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
A contingent of Indiana female trial lawyers will head to Washington, D.C., this month to participate in the 20th anniversary of the American Association for Justice Women Trial Lawyers Caucus lobby day.
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Kagan: Supreme Court did ‘pretty darn well’ with just 8 justices

May 17, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
During the 419 days the Supreme Court operated with an even number on the bench, the eight justices worked to find common ground so the court could issue majority opinions. Justice Elena Kagan said she and her colleagues learned to keep talking, listening and persuading as well as being open to persuasion.
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Character better predictor of lawyering success, panel says

May 17, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Although Rebecca Love Kourlis sees more collaboration than in the past, she said the gap between the skills the legal profession needs in today’s market and the attorneys law schools are producing is not only widening but will be difficult for legal education to overcome.
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Law firms increasing emphasis on business development

May 17, 2017
Olivia Covington
In today’s legal market, it’s not enough for attorneys to be knowledgeable of the law — they must also be knowledgeable in the world of sales.
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Courier deliveries diminishing with e-filing

May 17, 2017
Dave Stafford
Courier services, once vital for law firms, are adapting to e-filing by offering different services.
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Judgment by algorithm

May 17, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Risk assessment tools are raising concerns about accuracy and constitutional violations.
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COA affirms 65-year sentence for man who killed officer

May 16, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Dearborn Circuit Court did not err in imposing a 65-year sentence on a man convicted of felony murder after he shot and killed a deputy sheriff in the line of duty, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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COA orders landowner to comply with local ordinances

May 16, 2017
Olivia Covington
In the third appellate iteration of a case stemming from violations of Indianapolis environmental ordinances, the Indiana Court of Appeals has found a property owner allowed its tenant to violate the ordinances and ordered the owner to bring the property into compliance.
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Car dealer Dreyer & Reinbold facing discrimination suit

May 16, 2017
Indianapolis Business Journal
Luxury automobile dealership Dreyer & Reinbold Inc. is facing a federal trial after being sued for discrimination by a former employee who says she was fired because she suffered a stroke.
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Judge: Alabama may keep execution records secret

May 16, 2017
 Associated Press
Alabama can keep secret its records from recent lethal injections, including documents about an inmate who coughed for the first 13 minutes of the procedure, a judge has ruled.
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Justice Department: School bullying persists, sex assaults up

May 16, 2017
 Associated Press
One in every 5 middle and high school students has complained of being bullied at school and the number of reports of sexual assault on college campuses has more than tripled over the past decade, according to a federal study released Tuesday.
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Conan jokes may have killed, but he stands accused of theft

May 16, 2017
 Associated Press
What do Caitlyn Jenner, Tom Brady and the Washington Monument have in common? They’re all subjects of punchlines Conan O’Brien is accused of ripping off — and that’s no joke. O’Brien lost an effort to toss out a federal copyright infringement lawsuit in San Diego last week, potentially setting up a novel trial over comic creativity and the value of laughter.
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Supreme Court order unlikely to deter voting restrictions

May 16, 2017
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to breathe new life into North Carolina’s sweeping voter identification law might be just a temporary victory for civil rights groups.
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Jury acquits Indianapolis doctor charged in patients' deaths

May 16, 2017
 Associated Press, IL Staff
A former Indianapolis doctor has been found not guilty of all charges in the deaths of three people whom prosecutors said overdosed on painkillers that he prescribed.
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Travel ban judges scrutinize Trump's Muslim statements

May 15, 2017
 Associated Press
Federal judges on Monday peppered a lawyer for President Donald Trump with questions about whether the administration's travel ban discriminates against Muslims and zeroed in on the president's campaign statements, the second time in a week the rhetoric has faced judicial scrutiny.
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Prisoner’s suit after Chanukah observation denial may proceed

May 15, 2017
IL Staff
A pro se Indiana inmate may proceed with his federal lawsuit claiming his First Amendment rights were violated when prison staff denied his requests to observe Chanukah with a menorah and use of the chapel at Westville Correctional Facility.
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IU McKinney to host ‘Salute to Justice Rucker’

May 15, 2017
IL Staff
The Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law will celebrate now-retired Indiana Supreme Court Justice Robert Rucker’s legacy in the Indiana judiciary during a special program at the law school next week.
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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  4. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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