State agencies

Fewer Hoosiers voted in 2012, tally shows

November 30, 2012
Dave Stafford
Fifty-eight percent of registered Indiana voters cast ballots in the Nov. 6 general election – the same percentage as in 2004 but a decline from the 2008 vote, when 62 percent of Hoosiers voted.
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DCS study committee to hold last meeting Tuesday

November 26, 2012
IL Staff
The Department of Child Services Interim Study Committee will meet for the last time Tuesday in the Indiana Government Center to consider bill drafts, a final report and “other business,” according to the committee agenda.
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Budget session will not prevent state senators from working to improve DCS

November 20, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Department of Child Services will be part of the legislative agenda during the Indiana General Assembly’s 2013 session. 
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BMV puts the brakes on enforcing uninsured motorist registry

November 5, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles agreed Monday to halt enforcement of the “Previously Uninsured Motorist Registry” and reinstate the driver’s licenses of thousands of Hoosiers.
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PCF may not present evidence to dispute injury

November 1, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that in a case involving a boy diagnosed with a mild form of cerebral palsy, the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund may not present evidence to dispute the existence or cause of the boy’s injury while defending his petition for excess damages from the fund.
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Agency erred in adjusting experience account rates after merger

October 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered the Department of Workforce Development to reinstate the original contribution rates for unemployment insurance experience accounts of a parent company and its subsidiaries. The DWD should not have combined the accounts and adjusted the rates following a merger.
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AG seeks to suspend license of pharmaceutical maker linked to meningitis outbreak

October 26, 2012
IL Staff
Attorney General Greg Zoeller on Friday asked the Indiana Pharmacy Board to suspend the license of a Massachusetts company whose contaminated steroid injections are linked to 43 cases of fungal meningitis and three deaths in the state.
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State cannot enforce $1,000 cap on dental services for Medicaid recipients

September 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has left in place the preliminary injunction granted by Chief Judge Philip Simon last year that prevents the state from capping dental work for Medicaid recipients at $1,000 a year.
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Payne resigns as head of DCS

September 24, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
James W. Payne, the director of the Indiana Department of Child Services since 2004, submitted his resignation letter Monday to Gov. Mitch Daniels. The resignation comes after news reports raised questions about his involvement in DCS actions pertaining to his grandchildren.
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DCS launching pilot to address children with mental health issues

September 18, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Department of Child Services announced Monday that it will fund a two-month pilot program that will utilize local services to provide help for juveniles with mental health issues.
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Attorney general’s office will now represent DCS on appeal

September 13, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced Thursday afternoon that the attorney general’s office will take over appellate representation of the Department of Child Services. DCS currently utilizes attorneys of its choice in appellate matters.
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Proposed med mal complaint fee divides Court of Appeals

September 13, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In a dissent from Judge Nancy Vaidik involving a proposed medical malpractice complaint filed with the Department of Insurance before filing fees were paid, Vaidik claimed Judge James Kirsch created a new test to determine whether a complaint is timely filed and shifted the burden of ensuring fees are paid to the Department of Insurance instead of the attorney. 
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Sept. 11, State Fair compensation expert Feinberg to speak

September 10, 2012
Dave Stafford
Attorney and victim compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg will speak Tuesday at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis about efforts to compensate victims of the Indiana State Fair stage collapse that included an unsuccessful settlement offer.
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Court correctly ruled toxicology department audit results ‘irrelevant’

September 6, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Hamilton Superior Court properly denied a defendant’s attempt to elicit testimony concerning the reliability of toxicology test results from the Indiana Department of Toxicology dealing with an audit of tests performed by the department from 2007 to 2009, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Judges: employee discharged for just cause

August 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the finding by an administrative law judge and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development that an employee of a funeral home was fired for just cause.
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DCS admits petition flawed; COA orders more proceedings

August 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Gibson Circuit Court committed fundamental error in terminating the parental rights of a mother and father over their young child, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday. The Department of Child Services admitted that it failed to comply with statute when filing the petition to terminate their parental rights.
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State moves forward with IBM appeal

August 21, 2012
Dave Stafford
Attorneys for the state of Indiana have begun the formal appeal process after a Marion County court in July awarded a $52 million judgment to IBM over cancellation of the company’s contract to privatize social service claims processing.
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Lawmakers seek leader for 'interesting, challenging and unique' post

August 21, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana General Assembly has begun the search for a new executive director of the Legislative Services Agency.
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Tax judge declines to require attorneys represent LLCs in court

August 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of State Revenue asked the Indiana Tax Court to create a rule requiring limited liability companies be represented by attorneys in court, similar to a rule pertaining to corporations, but Judge Martha Wentworth declined to “invent such a rule where one does not currently exist.”
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DCS taking recommendations for members of child fatality review teams

August 14, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Department of Child Services has begun the process of establishing child fatality review teams across the state.
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Court issues injunction against BMV

August 13, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
An Indianapolis single mother of six has had her driving privileges reinstated after a Marion Superior Court judge granted a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and private counsel Scott DeVries against the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
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Struggles mount for labor

August 1, 2012
Dave Stafford
Indiana this year became the 23rd state to enact a right-to-work law in which workers cannot be compelled to pay union dues. Within months, individual workers in union shops opted out, even as court challenges linger.
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Ruling for IBM likely first act in legal epic

August 1, 2012
Dave Stafford
A ruling that ordered the state to pay more than $52 million to IBM due to cancellation of its contract to privatize social service claims processing certainly will have a second, and most likely a third, act.
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Summary judgment upheld in contamination case

July 30, 2012
Dave Stafford
The former owners of a Beech Grove shopping plaza that once contained a laundry and dry cleaning business that contaminated soil and groundwater cannot be held liable due to the statute of limitations, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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State will appeal IBM ruling

July 18, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The state is going to appeal Wednesday’s decision in Marion Superior Court that it pay IBM $52 million for ending early its billion-dollar contract with the company to update the state’s welfare system.
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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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