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

7th Circuit cautions bare-bones recitation of Rule 403 insufficient

September 9, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A District Court’s failure to review evidence and provide a considered analysis for admitting that evidence drew an admonishment – but no reversal - from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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7th Circuit reinstates mechanics’ claims of faulty trailer-support design

September 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
Complaints for damages from two mechanics that were injured by a semi trailer they were working on were partially reinstated Friday by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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7th Circuit declines to second guess co-defendant credibility in firearm sentence

September 3, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Contradictory testimony given in two plea agreements presented the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, with the “classic choice” of whom to believe.
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ITLA to give $30,000 Conour donation to restitution fund

September 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
A $30,000 donation that convicted former attorney William Conour made four years ago to the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association will be given to a federal court fund to provide restitution to his fraud victims.
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Southern District Bankruptcy Court amends rules

August 30, 2013
IL Staff
New rules in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana regarding wage assignment orders in Chapter 13 cases and additional requirements for electronic filing will be effective Sept. 23, according to an order posted Thursday.
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Men sentenced for aiding inmate-run meth ring

August 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
Two men found guilty of participating in a drug-trafficking ring directed by Indiana prison inmates were sentenced in federal court on Tuesday.
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Judge tosses one of two stent patent suits against Cook Medical

August 7, 2013
Dave Stafford
A federal judge Wednesday dismissed a patent dispute case against Cook Medical Inc. of Bloomington, but a Texas corporation continues to press its claim that the device maker infringed its patents on blood vessel stents and grafts.
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Judge clears IU to donate $450,000 for Conour victim restitution

August 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
A judge last week approved an order clearing the way for Indiana University to transfer $450,000 to a federal court restitution fund for victims of former personal-injury and wrongful-death attorney William Conour.
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Liquor store chain seeks to impose strict regulations on convenience stores selling alcohol

August 1, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A chain of 19 liquor stores in Indianapolis wants the drug, grocery and convenience stores that sell alcohol to be subject to the same strict regulations that govern package liquor stores.
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Conour seeks pre-sentence release

August 1, 2013
Dave Stafford
Former attorney William Conour has asked a federal judge who ordered him jailed last month in his wire fraud case to free him ahead of his Oct. 17 sentencing.
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Indiana University will donate former attorney’s gift to victims

July 17, 2013
Dave Stafford
Now that former high-profile personal-injury attorney William Conour has pleaded guilty to accusations that he defrauded dozens of clients of more than $4.5 million, his victims hope for some measure of restitution. At least a fraction of the loss will be covered by the law school to which Conour gave $450,000.
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Conour bond revoked, denied funds to file bankruptcy

June 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
William Conour, a former leading personal-injury attorney, was led from federal court in handcuffs Thursday after a judge said Conour had misled the court and dissipated assets in violation of bond conditions ahead of his trial on a wire fraud charge.
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Judge sends Conour to jail for bond violation

June 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
Former leading personal-injury attorney William Conour was led from federal court in handcuffs Thursday after a judge said Conour had misled the court and dissipated assets in violation of bond conditions ahead of his trial on wire fraud.
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Lauren Spierer’s parents sue 3 in daughter’s disappearance

June 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
The parents of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer have asked the federal court in Indianapolis for a civil jury trial in a lawsuit against students believed to have last been with her before her disappearance two years ago.
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Bankruptcy Court updating procedure for Chapter 13 confirmation hearings

June 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana will be changing how it handles Chapter 13 confirmation hearings beginning July 1.
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ACLU of Indiana files class-action lawsuit against FSSA for changes to Medicaid waiver programs

June 17, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The ACLU of Indiana has slapped the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration with a class-action lawsuit over the way the state agency operates two of its Medicaid waiver programs.
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Conour still free though judge ‘deeply, deeply concerned’

June 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
Former leading personal-injury attorney William Conour remained free Thursday pending his wire fraud trial after a federal judge withheld ruling on the government’s bid to revoke his bond on claims that he dissipated assets against court orders.
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Specificity requirement does not extend to limitations of liability, 7th Circuit rules

June 3, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a contract clause limiting liability stands because the two commercial entities that entered into the agreement were sophisticated and knowingly negotiated the terms.
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Judge sets hearing on Conour bond revocation bid

May 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
A judge Thursday set a hearing to determine whether former personal injury attorney William Conour will remain free pending his federal wire fraud trial.
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First Merchants Bank accused of overdraft fee violations

May 29, 2013
Chris O'Malley
A lawsuit alleges that Muncie-based First Merchants Bank manipulated the timing of customers’ transactions to cause their checking accounts to bounce more frequently, generating millions of dollars in overdraft fees.
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Federal judge keeps alive Rock case vs. NCAA

May 29, 2013
Dave Stafford
A federal judge has left the door open for a former Division I college football quarterback to pursue his claim that the NCAA constitutes an illegal college sports monopoly, allowing him to amend a complaint that had been dismissed.
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Against court orders, Conour auctioned art for $10k

May 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
Former personal injury attorney William Conour claims his ex-wife is in possession of most of the items the government says are missing from his Carmel home, but he acknowledged auctioning sculptures for $10,000 in an apparent violation of bond conditions in his federal wire fraud case.
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7th Circuit orders Indiana case sent back to Ohio

May 23, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge in the Southern District of Indiana erred when she determined that a claims adjuster from Ohio was fraudulently joined to a case that was transferred out of federal court in Ohio to Indiana, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. The case also presented two issues of first impression for the Circuit.
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Carr investiture completes bankruptcy court transition

May 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
Judge James Carr, right, takes the oath May 14 as the newest member of the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Feds charge 5 in Indy Land Bank kickback scheme

May 21, 2013
Cory Schouten
Federal prosecutors have charged two Indianapolis city employees in the Department of Metropolitan Development and three others in a scheme involving cash kickbacks on the sale of properties in the Indy Land Bank.
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  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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