Opinion

Smith: What to do when the EPA sends an Information Request

October 8, 2014
Even the best companies occasionally attract the attention of regulators. Recently, the United States Environmental Protection Agency announced that it will be focusing on addressing noncompliance issues and vigorous enforcement. EPA commonly investigates compliance and potential enforcement with an “Information Request.”
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Hammerle on ... 'The Skeleton Twins,' 'The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them'

October 8, 2014
Robert Hammerle
Bob Hammerle says "The Skeleton Twins," which stars two people know for their comedy work, derives its strength not from comedy but the emotional connection of disturbed twins.
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Making Rain: I'm pretty sure my clients love me

October 8, 2014
Dona Stohler
Most small to mid-sized companies use on average three to five law firms. Larger companies use even more. So, each and every day you are being compared to your competitors. Knowing how you compare to them in terms of your service and client satisfaction is good to know. You can get this information in a variety of ways and use it to bring in even more business from the client.
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Dean's Desk: Distance learning comes of age at NDLS

September 10, 2014
Nell Jessup Netwon
Thanks to distance-learning technology, professors as well as students have much more flexibility than previous generations did. Today a professor might teach in Chicago one week and in South Bend the next.
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Alerding/Latterell: A 2014 view of portability

September 10, 2014
Gift and estate tax planning has gotten easier for married couples thanks in part to a relatively new concept: porting of the federal gift and estate tax exemption to a surviving spouse.
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Thomas: When drafting a will, be as specific as possible

September 10, 2014
To ensure that your client’s property will go to the beneficiaries of his or her choosing, as opposed to the beneficiaries that the state chooses, it is imperative that the last will and testament be very specific and provide for as many contingencies as possible.
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Start Page: Microsoft Outlook distribution lists reduce email frustration

September 10, 2014
Seth Wilson
Have you ever used the “reply all” option on an email that has multiple recipients, only to get a return email notifying you that one (or more) of the email addresses was typed incorrectly by the original sender? Or, do you frequently email the same group of people by typing one email address at a time, only to realize that you forgot to include someone (usually right after you hit send)? The solution? Use distribution lists in Microsoft Outlook.
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Sidebars: Noblesville eatery’s Buffalo chicken sandwich is tasty surprise

September 10, 2014
Jennifer Lukemeyer, Fred Vaiana
We give Copper Still Kitchen & Bar 3 gavels!
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Quick: Use the tools available to market today’s law firms

September 10, 2014
Lawyers are trying new and different ways to advertise with more focus on websites and digital media. But even today, problems remain.
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Hammerle On… 'Land Ho!' 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,' 'The Trip to Italy'

September 10, 2014
Robert Hammerle
Bob Hammerle says the stars of "The Trip to Italy" have no shame when they get together.
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Deveau: RCRA threatens validity of brownfield redevelopment

August 27, 2014
During the past 12 months a troubling trend has developed in the area of brownfield redevelopment. In several routine property transactions, buyers, sellers and lawyers have had the unpleasant experience of having their deals scuttled by a questionable application of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
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Inside the Criminal Case: Can your lyrics be used against you in court?

August 27, 2014
James Bell, K. Michael Gaerte
It is common knowledge that what you say can and will be used against you. But what about what you sing or intend to sing?
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Editor's Perspective: Another crack in the glass ceiling

August 27, 2014
Kelly Lucas
I’d like to make a suggestion to Indiana lawmakers when they return for the 2015 legislative session. I am not telling you how to do your jobs, but this suggestion falls under the guise of editing, so I feel I’m within my bounds.
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Federal Bar Update: Proposed rule changes, redacting documents

August 27, 2014
John Maley
The Judicial Conference Advisory Committees on Civil Rules has published proposed amendments to several rules and is seeking public comment.
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Hammerle On…'Guardians of the Galaxy,' 'Boyhood'

August 27, 2014
Robert Hammerle
Bob Hammerle says there isn't a mother who won't shed a tear watching "Boyhood."
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Column: ENDA would protect sexual orientation, gender identity

August 13, 2014
With same-sex marriage gaining momentum in Indiana and across the nation, it is no surprise that protection from discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity is most likely on the horizon.
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Gruber: NLRB announcement shakes up joint-employer standard

August 13, 2014
It is ironic that the week after Burger King’s new CEO is heralded for a profitability plan designed around the increase of franchises and the reduction of company-owned locations, the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board directed officials to treat McDonald’s USA as a “joint employer” with its franchisees for purposes of the National Labor Relations Act.
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Making Rain: When a room full of strangers freaks you out

August 13, 2014
Dona Stohler
As most good rainmakers know, it is all about networking, and sometimes this means talking to people who are total strangers. It can be daunting to attend an event that your firm is sponsoring or a conference that your target market attends and be expected to “go out there and make new friends.”
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Book review: Divorce case allows glimpse into amusing law firm matters

August 13, 2014
It begins with a ten year old’s Happy New Year greeting to her grandpa, including the sentence, “Mommy and Daddy are cranky.” It ends with a brief reminder on a lawyer’s personal legal stationary. In between these handwritten notes, “The Divorce Papers” tells a story about a divorce through legal documents, emails, court filings, news articles, a psychiatric report, statutes, judicial opinions, billable hour reports, invitations, and, of course, offers and counter-offers.
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Remembering former Indiana Justice Dixon W. Prentice

August 13, 2014
A former law clerk of Justice Dixon Prentice reflects on his time working with the justice.
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Hammerle On … 'Wish I Was Here,' 'Life Itself'

August 13, 2014
Robert Hammerle
Bob Hammerle says "Wish I Was Here" is one of those overlooked films that answers the question, "Is there anything worth a damn playing in the theater?"
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Inbox - 7/30/14

July 30, 2014
A reader responds to a recent article about employment after graduating law school.
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Bell/Gaerte: 3 things to know about ethical advocacy in closing argument

July 30, 2014
James Bell, K. Michael Gaerte
Recently, several published decisions have found attorneys to have engaged in improper advocacy. Here are three things to know about ethical advocacy in closing argument.
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Hammerle On … 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,' 'Begin Again'

July 30, 2014
Robert Hammerle
Bob Hammerle says if you loved "Once," then you should see "Begin Again."
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Whaley: Adventures in e-discovery and social media

July 30, 2014
With the amount of social media people use, it is not surprising that social media can have a significant impact on litigation and discovery. Occasionally something dramatic provides a cautionary tale, like the confidential settlement in a Florida employment discrimination case that the defendant private school voided when the plaintiff’s daughter bragged about it on her Facebook account. But there are many aspects of social media which, while not flashy, present interesting e-discovery challenges.
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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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