Legal News

ND improves but IU law schools fall in annual rankings

March 10, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Only one Indiana law school received good news with Tuesday’s release of the annual law school rankings.
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Indiana regulators revoke coal-gasification plant's permit

March 10, 2015
 Associated Press
State regulators have revoked an air permit for a proposed $2.8 billion coal-gasification plant in southwestern Indiana at the request of the plant's developer.
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Indiana high court won't review conviction in parent deaths

March 10, 2015
 Associated Press
The state Supreme Court won't consider an eastern Indiana man's appeal of his double-murder conviction in his parents' killings.
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Utah couple digitizing Vigo County probate records

March 10, 2015
 Associated Press
Vigo County is benefiting from a project that will digitize probate records dating back to 1818, the year the county was founded.
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Judge rejects diocese's bid to set aside in vitro verdict

March 10, 2015
 Associated Press
A jury was correct in finding that a Roman Catholic diocese discriminated against a former teacher by firing her for undergoing fertilization treatment, a federal judge has ruled.
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Appeals panel affirms East Chicago library board must repay insurance premiums

March 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court properly ruled for the state when it ordered East Chicago Library Board members to repay more than $136,000 in health, dental, vision and life insurance premiums since state law says those members serve without compensation, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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More lawsuits filed in December Megabus crash in Indiana

March 9, 2015
 Associated Press
More lawsuits have been filed by Megabus passengers injured when a double-decker bus rolled onto its side in southern Indiana in December.
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SCOTUS to 7th Circuit: Review Notre Dame birth control case

March 9, 2015
 Associated Press, IL Staff
The Supreme Court is ordering the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to take another look at the University of Notre Dame’s lawsuit concerning the overhaul of federal health care rules on paying for contraceptives.
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Indiana judge admonishes abducted teens' sister at hearing

March 9, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indianapolis judge admonished the sister of two Indianapolis teenagers kidnapped and held for ransom after she allegedly stole from her ex-boyfriend.
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COA upholds $10,000 fine for failure to cooperate with discovery

March 9, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court that slapped a transportation company with a $10,000 sanction and ordered its president jailed if the fine was not paid did not commit an error, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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ISBA fund awards $100,000 to Conour victims

March 9, 2015
IL Staff
The Indiana State Bar Association Clients’ Financial Assistance Fund Committee has given $100,000 to victims who suffered losses due to the dishonest acts of ex-attorney William Conour, the ISBA announced Monday. The money was divided among 24 victims.
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Federal judge fines abusive filer $1,200, bars future suits

March 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who’s filed nearly four dozen lawsuits against defendants from “Bobby” to President Barack Obama lost his federal court privileges this week.
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Failure to conduct indigency hearing results in remand

March 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court that imposed a $340 probation fee on a defendant sentenced on misdemeanor convictions must be revisited because the court failed to conduct a hearing on the defendant’s ability to pay.
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20-year sentence for $60 drug deal reduced as excessive

March 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
The 20-year executed sentence a Kokomo man received after pleading guilty to selling an undercover police officer 10 hydrocodone pills for $6 each was excessive, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Lawsuit over Covanta recycling center plan set for hearing

March 6, 2015
Indianapolis Business Journal, Kathleen McLaughlin
A lawsuit prompted by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s controversial recycling-plant deal is set for hearing March 10.
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State appeals ruling blocking fenced hunting preserve rules

March 6, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana attorney general's office is appealing a court ruling that state wildlife officials overstepped their authority in trying to shut down Indiana’s high-fenced deer-hunting preserves.
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Indianapolis man gets 37 years in Henry County killing

March 6, 2015
 Associated Press
A 35-year-old Indianapolis man has been sentenced to 37 years in prison for using a shotgun to kill another Indianapolis man in Henry County.
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Court affirms $100,000 in attorney fees to bank for defending groundless claim

March 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who claimed a bank acting as trustee breached its fiduciary duties by selling stock of JP Morgan Chase over the course of several years is still on the hook for more than $100,000 in attorney fees and costs to the trustee, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday. The COA agreed Susan Moeder brought a groundless claim against Salin Bank and Trust Co. after it sought to resign as trustee.
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Providing temptation to commit crime is not inducement, majority rules

March 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a man’s conviction of patronizing a prostitute, with the majority ruling the state rebutted his defense of entrapment by showing there was no police inducement.
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No new trial for Indiana woman convicted in deadly crash

March 5, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indianapolis woman convicted of killing six children and a man in a wrong-way, head-on collision along a state highway will not get a new trial, a judge has ruled.
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Class-action suit against Indiana BMV to go to mediation

March 5, 2015
 Associated Press
A class-action lawsuit that says the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles overcharged customers by millions of dollars is set to go to mediation.
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Courts closed in southern Indiana due to weather

March 5, 2015
IL Staff
Severe weather and emergency travel restrictions have closed several federal courts in southern Indiana. The Evansville and New Albany offices of the U.S. District and Bankruptcy courts for the Southern District of Indiana are closed Thursday. The Clark County Government Building, which houses the Circuit courts, is also closed.
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Patients sue Lilly, claim Cymbalta withdrawal hazards

March 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
Two federal lawsuits filed in Indianapolis allege Eli Lilly’s top-selling antidepressant Cymbalta caused almost immediate dangerous withdrawal symptoms when patients attempted to stop using the medication.
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Indy Land Bank trial could turn on government wiretaps

March 4, 2015
Cory Schouten
Reginald T. Walton is guilty of "very poor judgment" and "ethics violations," and also "did a pretty good job concealing" his involvement in private real estate partnerships during his tenure leading the Indy Land Bank, but he's not guilty of any crime, his attorney argued in federal court Wednesday.
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SCOTUS sharply divided over Obamacare subsidies

March 4, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States was sharply divided Wednesday in the latest challenge to President Barack Obama's health overhaul, this time over the tax subsidies that make insurance affordable for millions of Americans.
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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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