U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana

Judge Pratt makes history

October 13, 2010
IL Staff
Judge Tanya Walton Pratt becomes the first African-American federal jurist in Indiana.
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Applications for new magistrate accepted

October 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is accepting applications for a new magistrate position recently approved by the Judicial Conference.
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7th Circuit finds for energy plant

October 12, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today reversed a decision out of Indiana regarding a claim by the Environmental Protection Agency that Cinergy Corp. was wrong to modify its coal-burning plants without first obtaining a permit from the EPA.
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Suit filed following inmate's suicide

October 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A father whose son committed suicide while in a southern Indiana jail has filed a lawsuit against the county and its sheriff.
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Judge: Girls' basketball games schedule not discriminatory

October 7, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge has ruled that 14 school corporations haven’t discriminated against girls’ basketball teams by scheduling more of their games on weeknights instead of weekends as compared to boys’ basketball games.
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Judge Pratt to be officially sworn in Friday

October 7, 2010
IL Staff
The state’s first African-American federal judge will be formally sworn in Friday afternoon at the United States Courthouse in Indianapolis.
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7th Circuit upholds injunction in adult-business ordinance case

October 1, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a Southern District of Indiana judge who granted a preliminary injunction preventing Indianapolis from enforcing the 2002 ordinance that regulates adult-bookstore business hours.
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Indiana gets new federal magistrate

September 15, 2010
Michael Hoskins
For the first time since the early 1980s, the Southern District of Indiana has gotten approval to hire a new full-time federal magistrate. The U.S. Judicial Conference, which is the policy-making arm of the federal court system, approved during its annual fall meeting on Tuesday the Indianapolis-based magistrate spot along with three others throughout the country.
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No qualified immunity for city in racially motivated promotions

September 10, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the denial of the motion of qualified immunity filed by the City of Indianapolis and several officials in a suit filed by three white police officers who claim they were passed over for promotions because of their race.
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Judge nixes non-attorney’s attempt to join class action

September 7, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge says that a non-attorney who wants to work for the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana or as a local public defender can’t join an already-pending class-action lawsuit that challenges the state’s Board of Law Examiners and its questions about applicants’ mental health history.
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Indianapolis attorney chosen as magistrate judge

September 1, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A partner at Indianapolis law firm Barnes & Thornburg has been chosen as the newest federal magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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7th Circuit rules on attorney fee issues in brownfield case

August 31, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has mostly upheld an Indiana federal judge who’d ruled on the litigation costs and attorney fees involved in a Shell gas station brownfield case.
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Southern District names new magistrate

August 27, 2010
IL Staff
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana announced today the selection of Mark J. Dinsmore as magistrate judge.
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Court rules on first impression FLSA issue

August 24, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In denying summary judgment for either party in a dispute involving the Fair Labor Standards Act, the U.S. District judge noted the issue appears to be one of first impression in the 7th Circuit.
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Attorney waits for plea agreement decision

August 23, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Anderson attorney Samuel Hasler is still waiting to see if his plea agreement regarding child pornography charges will be accepted.
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Court OKs class certification in Conseco securities-fraud case

August 20, 2010
Michael Hoskins
In a securities-fraud case involving the Carmel-based financial and life insurance services company Conseco, a 7th Circuit Court of Appeals panel has refused to significantly alter the class certification rules and throw out the long-established fraud-on-the-market doctrine.
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Safety vs. free speechRestricted Content

August 18, 2010
Michael Hoskins
In her 15 years on both the state and federal benches, Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson has had only one time when she’s feared for her safety inside her courtroom.
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Judge Magnus-Stinson receives her robe

August 18, 2010
IL Staff
U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson takes her official oath.
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Class action suit challenges voter-removal statute

August 17, 2010
Michael Hoskins
State officials are prohibiting people convicted and incarcerated for misdemeanor offenses from voting while they are behind bars, but that could change if a federal suit is successful.
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A chargeback isn't a sale of insurance

August 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held today that a chargeback for the cost of insurance is not a sale of insurance, as some owner-operators of leased trucks argued. The Circuit Court also took issue with the District judge’s decision on which statute of limitations applied to the parts of the suit.
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Governor names new Marion Superior judge

August 3, 2010
IL Staff

The governor has appointed Barbara L. Cook Crawford as the newest Marion Superior judge. She will replace former Marion Superior Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, who was appointed to the U.S. District Court’s Southern District of Indiana in June.

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Exotic dancers are employees, may settle case

August 2, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge has found that exotic dancers at an Indianapolis club are employees, not independent contractors as the club owner argued.
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7th Circuit ends use of inextricable intertwinement doctrine

July 28, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a defendant’s perjury conviction and in doing so, concluded that resorting to inextricable intertwinement is unavailable when determining a theory of admissibility.
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High court takes certified question from Southern District

July 28, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court will answer a certified question in litigation involving the state’s Products Liability Act. The justices accepted the certified question from U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana Judge Larry J. McKinney Tuesday afternoon.
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Anything you tweet may be used against you...Restricted Content

July 21, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Instant updates on Facebook and Twitter are becoming a staple in people’s lives, and those social media networks are becoming a more common part of the litigation process in state and federal courts.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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