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2012 Year in Review

January 2, 2013
IL Staff
2012 was another busy year for the legal community. We welcomed new justices and a new chief justice, witnessed the beginnings of the state’s fifth law school, and saw local stories garner national and international attention. Here’s a look back at the top news stories from last year.
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Public-record email case focuses on scope of requests

January 2, 2013
Dave Stafford
A dustup over access to public records reveals an uncertain standard exists for what is considered a reasonable request to disclose public officials’ emails under Indiana public record laws.
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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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Duke loses appeal of scandal-touched IURC rate case reversal

December 28, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s reversal and subsequent rejection of deferred accounting of $11.9 million for Duke Energy was affirmed by the Court of Appeals Friday in a case revisited because of an ethics scandal involving state regulators.
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Public interest in reducing poverty is grounds for application of doctrine of laches

December 27, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
In overturning a lower court’s ruling, the Indiana Court of Appeals opened the door for the doctrine of laches to be applied to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles by finding the suspension of a Bloomington woman’s driving privileges conflicts with the public’s interest in reducing poverty.
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Appeals court upholds Medicaid fraud charges

December 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
A woman charged with defrauding Indiana’s Medicaid program of nearly $350,000 lost the appeal of her partial motion to dismiss the charges.
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Sensient settles over use of 'popcorn lung' chemical

December 27, 2012
Scott Olson
Sensient Flavors LLC will pay a smaller fine in exchange for agreeing to reduce the amount of a chemical it uses at its Indianapolis plant, as part of a settlement it has reached with state regulators.
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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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Court split over valid ID requirement for name change

December 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday that the trial court erred when it required a valid driver’s license or state identification card as a prerequisite to grant a petition for a name change under Indiana Code 34-28-2, but split over whether an elderly man can change his name because he’s never had a valid state-issued ID.
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Indiana justices consider constitutional challenge to Choice Scholarship Program

December 5, 2012
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s test case for school vouchers could have implications for other states, legal observers said after the state Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that challenges the constitutionality of school vouchers.
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King Celebration to place special emphasis on community service

December 4, 2012
IL Staff
Two new activities promoting public service will be part of the 22nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Indiana Holiday Celebration and Youth Summit.
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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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  1. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  2. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  3. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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