Practice areas

Switching sides: defenders become plaintiffs' attorneysRestricted Content

June 8, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Bloomington attorney Mike Phelps was a successful defender for insurance companies for nine years.  But a personal injury case that he won on behalf of the defendant caused him to question whether he was ready for a change.
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Groups file suits against new law

June 8, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The National Immigration Law Center, American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, and the national ACLU Foundation Immigrants’ Rights Project filed a class action lawsuit May 25 challenging the wording of a new Indiana law designed to curb illegal immigration.
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ISBA president opens new firm

June 8, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
After nearly 10 years working for a nationally known law firm in Terre Haute, Jeffry Lind, president of the Indiana State Bar Association, has opened his own practice.
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Officials weigh-in on ACLU immigration lawsuit

May 26, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The governor has no comment on a class-action lawsuit filed Wednesday regarding Senate Enrolled Act 590, said Jane Jankowski, spokeswoman for Gov. Mitch Daniels. The suit – filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana – aims to prevent two components of the immigration legislation from becoming law on July 1.
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Panel orders lower court to enforce protective order

May 24, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Highlighting a bias in state statute relating to protective orders, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held that an accuser’s request for a civil contempt hearing against someone alleged to have violated a protective order can’t be tied to any other criminal or civil proceedings under way or available in the future.
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COA rules in favor of mother in contentious custody battle

May 24, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court’s decision awarding a mother primary custody of her child, after a joint custody arrangement between the mother and father deteriorated.
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Immigration bill could bring Indiana into the national spotlight

May 11, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
On May 9, Indiana was still awaiting word about whether Gov. Mitch Daniels would sign Senate Enrolled Act 590. After a protracted volley between the House and Senate, the bill designed to crack down on illegal immigration passed on April 29, its language considerably altered from the introduced version.
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Justices take felony murder, child support cases

May 9, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to two cases - a convicted murder’s appeal and a case involving child support nonpayment.
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Judges order modification of dissolution decree

May 5, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a trial court abused its discretion when it didn’t consider a $160,000 change in value of a property when calculating marital assets and distributing marital property.
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Committees propose new rules for parenting coordination

April 26, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Domestic Relations Committee and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the Judicial Conference of Indiana have developed proposed parenting coordination rules and commentary. Parenting coordinators are used to help resolve disputes between parents regarding children. Currently, there are no existing Indiana Supreme Court rules covering the area.
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Open house Thursday for court agency office

April 20, 2011
IL Staff
The Domestic Relations Counseling Bureau is holding an open house Thursday for its new offices in the City-County Building in downtown Indianapolis. The 40-year-old court agency provides recommendations to the court for custody and visitation.
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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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Judges divided on calculation of damages after negligence

April 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was split in deciding whether an estate received the correct amount of damages from the Indiana Patients’ Compensation Fund. One judge believed the trial court used an incorrect approach for calculating damages because the deceased man had at least a 50 percent chance of survival before the medical negligence.
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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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Judges split on child support modification

March 25, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented from his colleagues, finding their decision regarding child support promotes “formalism over fairness and legalism over common sense.”
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Oxford scholar to lecture at Indiana University Maurer School of Law

March 25, 2011
IL Staff
A renowned intellectual property scholar will present a lecture at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law next month. Graeme Dinwoodie, director of the Oxford University Intellectual Property Research Centre, will lecture on “Global Marks in Local Markets: Territoriality in EU and U.S. Trademark Law,” at noon April 6 in the law school’s Moot Court Room.
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Law school dean on NFL Network as legal analyst

March 16, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
If you watch the NFL Network, you may have recognized a familiar name among the commentators. Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis Dean Gary R. Roberts has been serving as an on-air legal analyst for the network discussing the current labor dispute between NFL owners and players.
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Encouraging diversity in CASA programs

March 16, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Having volunteers and staff who can relate to families that interact with Court Appointed Special Advocates programs has proven invaluable to a number of county-level CASA programs in Indiana. Indianapolis-based Child Advocates Inc. received the National CASA Inclusion Award for its inclusion and diversity plan March 20 at the National CASA conference in Chicago.
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New Southern District magistrate named

March 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis employment law attorney has been chosen as the newest U.S. magistrate judge for the Southern District of Indiana.
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IU Indy to host environment, energy event

March 10, 2011
IL Staff
The forum, “National Energy Security: Challenges and Opportunities for the Midwest” at Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis March 25 brings together state leaders, entrepreneurs, and experts to discuss energy security. The event is open to the public and also offers CLE credit.
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Bankruptcy filings ease slightly in Indiana

March 1, 2011
Scott Olson
Total bankruptcy filings in the Southern District of Indiana ticked down last year. Business bankruptcies in Indiana dropped 3.2 percent.
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First Wednesdays return with immigration discussion

February 28, 2011
IL Staff
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana’s First Wednesday discussion series has returned. It kicks off March 2 with the panel discussion “Immigration: The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly.”
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Court divided on purchase agreement termination

February 24, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals were split in deciding whether the seller of a condominium should have to refund a deposit to purchase after the buyers discovered electrical problems that turned out to be minor issues.
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COA: Summons should notify of risk of default judgment

February 24, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Due process requires that a respondent in a dissolution proceeding be notified of the risk of default for not appearing or otherwise responding, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday. The judges reversed a couple’s decree of dissolution, ruling it was void because the summons served on the wife was insufficient.
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COA divided on noncompete agreement, injunction

February 23, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Even though Indiana courts strongly disfavor noncompete clauses in employment contracts as restraints of trade, the majority of Indiana Court of Appeals judges affirmed the grant of a preliminary injunction against a Porter County man. They found the company had a legitimately protectable interest in the man’s knowledge of its customers and market.
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  1. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  2. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  3. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

  4. Well, I agree with you that the people need to wake up and see what our judges and politicians have done to our rights and freedoms. This DNA loophole in the statute of limitations is clearly unconstitutional. Why should dna evidence be treated different than video tape evidence for example. So if you commit a crime and they catch you on tape or if you confess or leave prints behind: they only have five years to bring their case. However, if dna identifies someone they can still bring a case even fifty-years later. where is the common sense and reason. Members of congress are corrupt fools. They should all be kicked out of office and replaced by people who respect the constitution.

  5. If the AG could pick and choose which state statutes he defended from Constitutional challenge, wouldn't that make him more powerful than the Guv and General Assembly? In other words, the AG should have no choice in defending laws. He should defend all of them. If its a bad law, blame the General Assembly who presumably passed it with a majority (not the government lawyer). Also, why has there been no write up on the actual legislators who passed the law defining marriage? For all the fuss Democrats have made, it would be interesting to know if some Democrats voted in favor of it (or if some Republican's voted against it). Have a nice day.

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