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Indiana Judges Association: Judges are good government partners

January 30, 2013
David Dreyer
Judge David Dreyer writes a letter to Gov. Mike Pence about how to make people more legally literate.
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Sequestration would deepen staff cuts, chief judges warn

January 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
Federal courts that have squeezed staff as budgets shrank could be forced to furlough employees if Congress fails to avoid mandatory budget cuts that now are slated to take effect in March.
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Round 2 for hunting and marriage amendments

January 16, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although changing the Indiana Constitution is not easy, attempts to amend are common and the 2013 session of the Indiana General Assembly could see two proposed amendments come to the floor for a second vote. One amendment would protect Hoosiers’ right to hunt while the other would restrict their right to marry.
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IU McKinney professor recognized for work in courtrooms and classrooms

January 16, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law professor Joel Schumm never forgets his mother telling him that life is not fair. Still he wants to make it a little fairer.
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Protecting students from the worst

January 16, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
An increased focus on school safety is expected in Indiana Legislature this session.
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AG argues contempt warranted in East Chicago suit

January 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
After seven years, there still has been no discovery on $16 million in casino revenue funneled to East Chicago Second Century.
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Legal fight fuels tensions in tight-knit tech world

January 16, 2013
Chris O'Malley
A trademark-infringement case brought against App Press LLC threatens to smother the tech startup in legal fees before it reaches its potential. And in a curious twist, the case also has generated grumblings in the tightknit developer community toward a big law firm that is representing App Press’ opponent in the federal court case.
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Smartphones replacing cash

January 16, 2013
Mobile payments are becoming popular, but consumers must proactively protect against fraud.
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Badger: Using arbitration clauses to reduce potential liability risk

January 16, 2013
Steven Badger
In the first part of this column, I outlined the advantages and disadvantages of arbitration as an alternative to litigation in court and concluded that neither arbitration nor litigation is preferable in all situations. This second part provides more specific suggestions on when to use arbitration in certain high-risk, “bet-the-company” situations.
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Federal Bar Update: Southern District of Indiana adopts rule amendments

January 16, 2013
John Maley
The Southern District has amended several Local Rules. These were approved in late December and took effect Jan. 1.
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Lucas: 2013 brings opportunities to effect change

January 2, 2013
Kelly Lucas
As I write the first of my 2013 columns, my inclination is to put on my rose-colored glasses and look with optimism toward the year ahead. While I feel that I am truly a glass-half-full kind of gal, I am also a realist and not a fan of people who stick their heads in the sand and pretend things are OK when they are not.
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Badger: To arbitrate or litigate, that is the question

January 2, 2013
Steven Badger
In my world of dispute resolution, one of the most basic questions is whether a particular business dispute should be resolved in arbitration or in a court of law. Like many of the questions I am frequently asked by clients, there is no simple answer that fits all occasions and situations.
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McGoff: It is a new year, start creating a new 'you'

January 2, 2013
Sharon McGoff
Each year, as Jan. 1 approaches and we gaze in the mirror at the after effects of the holidays … dark circles under our eyes, too many cookies and an over-abundance of cocktail parties, we set our sights on resolutions. We vow that “this time” we are going to do it! However, the statistics show that over 80 percent of us who set New Year’s resolutions will fail.
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Prenuptial agreements change with time but remain tricky

January 2, 2013
Dave Stafford
Prenuptial agreements are not written to be fair. Nor should they be, according to some Indiana attorneys who draft them.
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Attorneys coping with more domestic violence cases

January 2, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Domestic violence has been increasing in recent years along with what family law attorneys are observing as more anger and more meanness.
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New group aims to prevent many from enetering juvenile justice system

January 2, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A number of federal and state agencies along with nonprofit organizations are working to help regain the youths’ footing after they stumble into trouble. Now, a new nonprofit has been formed with a focus on preventing children and teenagers from entering the juvenile justice system.
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Rush robing completes Supreme Court transition

January 2, 2013
Dave Stafford
Justice Loretta Rush formally was robed the 108th justice of the Indiana Supreme Court on Dec. 28, the third member of the five-member court appointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels.
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Civics program helps turn students into lawyers

January 2, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Without the We the People program, Adam Packer might be conjugating Latin verbs rather than serving as general counsel at the Indiana Gaming Commission.
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Specialized units target Medicare, Medicaid swindlers in Indiana

January 2, 2013
Dave Stafford
Inside an unmarked building in a nondescript office park in Castleton is a burgeoning, multi-million-dollar legal enterprise. Its mission: cracking down on Medicaid fraud.
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Pilot iPad program expanding in Indiana General Assembly

December 19, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The process of turning a bill into a law requires thousands of pages of paper. Even the bills that do not become laws consume stacks and stacks – literally tons – of paper each year. But the tide may be turning. A pilot project in the Indiana General Assembly is being expanded with the goal of eventually replacing all that paper with electronic copies.
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Conour court filings reveal lavish lifestyle

December 19, 2012
Dave Stafford
The ex-attorney is still without counsel in his wire fraud case and is proceeding pro se in his divorce and foreclosure cases.
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Law firms mark the season with festive in-house traditions

December 19, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
From a litigation practice party around a partner's fireplace to highly decorated offices, law firms are showing their holiday spirit.
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Powers collide in utility rate case charged by ethics scandal

December 19, 2012
Dave Stafford
Undue influence is an undercurrent of Duke Energy v. Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission case.
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Rejecting the traditional legal career path

December 19, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Statistics may not provide a complete picture of female attorneys’ career aspirations.
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Attorneys find fulfillment helping orphans

December 19, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Nelson Vogel, partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP in South Bend, and Scott Weathers, attorney in Indianapolis, have never met, never crossed paths in a courtroom. Yet, both lawyers readily give their time and attention to youngsters who live in impoverished countries and mostly want just to talk and play with someone.
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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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