Northern Indiana

Suspended attorney pleads guilty to theft

April 13, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A suspended attorney has pleaded guilty to stealing $283,000 from his clients during dozens of transactions.
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COA: Attorney entitled to lien on former client's file

April 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An attorney doesn’t have to produce documentation of the amount of money a former client owes in order to have a valid retaining lien, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Attorneys discuss pros and cons of practicing in 2 states

April 13, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger, Jenny Montgomery
Attorneys in Indiana know that they must meet certain ongoing requirements to maintain their law licenses: CLE hours, and staying abreast of procedural changes. Why, then, would anyone want to be licensed in two states?
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Valpo law students help New Orleans defenders

April 13, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Students from Valparaiso University School of Law worked with public defenders in New Orleans during their spring break.
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Bankruptcy doesn't eliminate judgment

April 13, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana attorney general’s office doesn’t think the former East Chicago mayor hit with a $108 million racketeering judgment stemming from public corruption should be able to avoid paying back that amount by declaring bankruptcy.
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Case asks whether school board members can run for political office

April 1, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A Lake Superior judge may not be breaking any new legal ground with an election-related ruling this week, but he’s set the stage for an appeal that could clear up confusion about whether nonpartisan school board members must give up their right to run for a public office that requires the candidate to declare their political party affiliation.
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Court: 'ingress' and 'egress' doesn't include parking

March 30, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a trial judge on a land use dispute between two sets of neighbors, finding that the clear meanings of “ingress" and "egress” do not include parking as two of the Porter County residents had argued based on past caselaw.
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Valparaiso University to dedicate Heritage Hall

March 30, 2011
IL Staff
Following a two-year reconstruction, Valparaiso University School of Law’s oldest building – Heritage Hall – has become the newest learning space for law students.
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Appellate court affirms arbitration on claims against college

March 29, 2011
Michael Hoskins
With one judge frustrated that Indiana residents and students may have been “hornswoggled” by a college’s advertisements about being accredited, the Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld an order compelling arbitration on a claim that three students were fraudulently induced to enroll because of misrepresentation about that accreditation.
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AG files criminal UPL, tax evasion charges against ‘notario publico’

March 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Adding to what it has already done in targeting two “notario publicos” for illegally offering immigration services, the Indiana Attorney General’s Office has now filed a criminal Unauthorized Practice of Law charge and several tax evasion counts against one of those non-lawyers who was operating in Indianapolis.
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Court of Appeals to hear arguments in Valparaiso

March 24, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals travels to Valparaiso University Monday to hear oral arguments in a criminal case.
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Misdemeanant challenges voting lockoutRestricted Content

March 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When a former town council member in northern Indiana was sentenced to county jail for two months on a misdemeanor battery conviction, he didn’t realize that experience would take away his right to vote.
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President shares MCBA goalsRestricted Content

March 16, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Minority bar associations continue to benefit the Indiana legal community by offering diverse perspectives. Members benefit from networking opportunities, and the bars help to maintain a positive professional presence in the communities they serve.
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Attorney general files 'notario publico' civil suits

March 10, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Attorney General’s Office filed a pair of civil consumer deception lawsuits Wednesday against two non-attorneys for offering immigration services that constitute the unauthorized practice of law.
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Trustee: Pastrick's bankruptcy not an abuse

March 8, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Reversing her decision from a month ago, a federal trustee has determined that former East Chicago Mayor Robert Pastrick’s income is not too high to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and his filing should not be considered to be an abuse of the process.
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First impression case tackles wetlands issue

February 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a landowner who raises the subterranean water table on his land and creates a federally regulated wetland may not invoke the common enemy doctrine of water diversion and be shielded from liability to adjoining landowners whose properties as a result become federally regulated wetlands.
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Governor appoints 3 judges

February 28, 2011
IL Staff
Gov. Mitch Daniels made three judicial appointments, filling vacancies in Howard, Jay, and Wells county courts.
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Justices accept certified question on misdemeanor voting

February 24, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has taken a question proposed by a federal court in a suit challenging the law that prevents voting by people with misdemeanor convictions.
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Justices adopt COA adoption holding, invite attorney fee motions

February 17, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer on a St. Joseph County adoption case and fully adopted a holding by the state’s intermediate appellate court. In doing so, the state justices invited the prevailing biological mother to request attorney fees because of what it found to be possible frivolous or bad faith efforts.
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Justices order man to be re-sentenced

February 3, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A man who received 50 years for murder should be re-sentenced because of conflicting amendments involving the penalty for murder at the time the judge handed down the sentence, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.
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Unified courts, judicial nomination bills move

February 3, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Several bills of impact on the courts saw action this week before the Indiana General Assembly shut down for two days after a winter storm hit the state.
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Hammond District court closed Thursday

February 3, 2011
IL Staff
The Clerk’s Office and Hammond District Court in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana remain closed Thursday due to weather conditions.
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Many courts shut down due to weather

February 2, 2011
IL Staff
Several courts around the state are closed today after heavy snow and ice hit Indiana this week. The weather has even caused the Indiana General Assembly to postpone hearings for a second day.
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7th Circuit extends search, detainment precedent

February 1, 2011
Michael Hoskins
More than two decades ago, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said that a higher precedent allowed not only residents of a home being searched to be detained, but also that visitors to that location could be detained.
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Law firm files class-action lawsuit for estate planning UPL

January 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A Logansport law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit against an Indianapolis company that the state’s highest court last year determined engaged in the Unauthorized Practice of Law, suing on behalf of thousands of residents for what attorneys estimate could be $10 million to $20 million in damages.
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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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