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Chief public defender retiring after 30 years

March 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
If there had been more job prospects for English literature graduates in the early 1970s, Susan Carpenter may not have ever become Indiana’s state public defender.
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Would bill make immigrants feel unwelcome?

March 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
As a contentious immigration law that went into effect in Arizona last summer continues to be challenged and further changes are being considered by Arizona lawmakers, similar bills at the state and local level, including one in the Indiana Statehouse, have been gaining traction.
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Indianapolis bottle cap company creates global legal work

March 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A soda or water bottle on the desk at work or a jug of juice in the refrigerator at home might be merely a refreshing drink for most people. But it’s a day at the office for Stephanie Blackman, a corporate attorney in the business of bottle caps or, as they are known in the food and beverage industry, closure systems.
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Hogsett takes his oath as U.S. attorney

March 2, 2011
IL Staff
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Joseph H. Hogsett took his official oath of office on Feb. 18 before a crowd of more than 200 members of the state’s legal community as well as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The investiture ceremony was held at the Indiana Repertory Theatre in Indianapolis.
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Dinsmore sworn in as magistrate

March 2, 2011
IL Staff
U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore received his robe and took the official oath of office on Feb. 25 at an investiture ceremony in the Birch Bayh Federal Building in Indianapolis.
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Judicial panel promotes civic education

March 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court hosted a panel discussion recently to discuss the broad topic of judicial independence, taking a lesson about how the courts operate to an Indianapolis college campus.
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Process outlined for BLE search

March 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A month after applications were submitted for the state Board of Law Examiner’s executive director position, the Indiana Supreme Court has announced its plan to review those applications and narrow the field.
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State’s chief public defender retiring after 30 years

February 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Indiana Public Defender Susan K. Carpenter is retiring in May after almost 30 years in that position, the state’s highest court announced today.
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Appeals court will hear challenge in Simon case

February 16, 2011
Cory Schouten
The Indiana Court of Appeals has agreed to hear an appeal from the widow of the late Melvin Simon, putting on hold a legal dispute over the mall magnate's more than $2 billion estate.
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Longtime state public defender retiring

February 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Indiana Public Defender Susan K. Carpenter is retiring in May after almost 30 years in that position, the state’s highest court announced this morning.
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Marion County prosecutor discusses his first days in office

February 16, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
To lead any large law firm, a managing partner needs a diverse set of skills. He needs to understand budgets, crisis management, personnel issues, and how to interact with the media. It’s essentially the same for the prosecutor of Indiana’s largest county.
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Distribution of judicial decisions still evolving

February 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Nestled on a top shelf in the Indiana Supreme Court’s law library, the book doesn’t stand out, and one might not look at it any differently than the others nearby.
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Lawyer couples

February 16, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
While some couples prefer to keep their work and personal lives separate, it’s not unheard of for lawyers to pair up. Four couples shared their stories with Indiana Lawyer.
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Editorial: All who serve as judges should be lawyers

February 16, 2011
Judges Mark Stoner and Terry Shewmaker explain why a proposed bill would protect Hoosiers' rights by making sure that law-trained judges preside over all cases in Indiana.
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Financing new energy creators

February 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When attorney John Kirkwood sees a garbage dump, his mind not only starts wandering toward the renewable energy that could be produced at that site but also an expanding field of law that’s drawing more lawyers into the environmental fold.
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Traffic judge's suspension begins Feb. 22

February 14, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A 30-day suspension without pay begins next week for Marion Superior Traffic Judge William Young.
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Attorney helps senior citizens stay in their homes

February 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Orville Copsey Jr. works for Indianapolis Legal Aid Society as a liaison between the elderly with housing issues and the Marion County Health Department’s attorneys and inspectors.
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Indiana has received 14 multidistrict litigation actions over four decades

February 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
It began with a mid-air plane collision over Shelby County in 1969. That deadly aviation action symbolized Indiana’s introduction to multidistrict litigation.
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Law schools discuss loans, jobs

February 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
School administrators respond to a widely circulated The New York Times article, "Is law school a losing game?"
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Same firm, but different cases before Supreme Court on same day

February 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
For appellate attorneys Paul Jefferson and Mark Crandley at Barnes & Thornburg, this double-argument day Jan. 20 was a new experience that many say isn’t very common in the legal community.
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Motion & discovery

February 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A settlement is the quicker resolution. A trial is the longer resolution. How the initial give and take between attorneys determines what happens.
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Pro bono districts hire new plan administrators

February 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
With almost half of the pro bono districts losing plan administrators since mid-2009, it is not going to be an easy job to replace the institutional knowledge of the outgoing plan administrators. Districts 2, 3, 6, 9, 11, and most recently 7 have been forced to tackle that task.
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Counsel sees benefit of 'growing up' with the company

February 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Working for a company while in law school then staying at that company as a lawyer is fairly rare, but it happens. Even less common for today’s in-house counsel is starting at a company without a bachelor’s degree making $6 per hour doing data entry work and staying with that company through the completion of undergraduate and law school degrees.
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Lawyer practiced realty, construction law

February 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana legal community has lost a former prosecutor and private attorney who, during his five decades of practice, established himself as a state and national expert in realty and construction law.
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7th Circuit judge to speak at Black History event

January 24, 2011
IL Staff
7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Ann Claire Williams will be the featured speaker at an event celebrating Black History Month hosted by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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.

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