Courts

COA: Suit against sewer district isn’t a public lawsuit

August 9, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Spencer Circuit Court erred in finding a lawsuit filed by property owners challenging the requirement they connect to a new sewer system is a public lawsuit and the property owners must pay $9 million in bond to proceed with the suit, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Court rules on duty of care for healthy trees in residential areas

August 9, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reiterated its stance that urban or residential area landowners have a duty to take reasonable precautions regarding their own trees, healthy or otherwise, and make sure they don’t harm a neighbor’s property based on the size and where they are planted.
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Indiana joins suit against for-profit college company

August 9, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana has filed a joint complaint in a whistleblower suit against Education Management Corp., which alleges the for-profit college company and two of its subsidiaries received more than $12 million in state financial aid after making false claims and misrepresentations to the state.
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Bankruptcy court amends local rules

August 9, 2011
IL Staff
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana has adopted revisions to its local rules, which took effect Aug. 3.
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Circuit judges order court to take another look at Batson challenge

August 8, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Based on the record before them, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judges were unable to make an informed decision about the District Court’s decision to deny a defendant’s Batson challenge, so the judges sent the case back to the lower court.
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7th Circuit upholds mail fraud convictions

August 8, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Although it found the evidence presented in a mail fraud case “thin,” the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals viewed it as enough to send the case involving three Calumet Township Trustee’s Office employees to the jury.
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Online court employee training begins Aug. 18

August 8, 2011
IL Staff
In an effort to give a general introduction of the judicial system to new trial court employees, a new online training program has been created and is now open for enrollment.
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Scott County joins statewide CMS

August 8, 2011
IL Staff
Scott County is the latest county to become connected to Odyssey, a case management system that has slowly been implemented throughout the state.
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Lawyer can argue for cost-of-living adjustment for increased fees

August 5, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has decided that an attorney that successfully represented a client in a Social Security disability benefits suit should be allowed to make a request for a cost-of-living adjustment that would exceed the maximum $125 per hour that can be awarded under the Equal Access to Justice Act.
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UPL victims urged to claim refunds

August 5, 2011
IL Staff
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General is asking the victims of the United Financial Systems unauthorized practice of law case to apply soon if they want to receive restitution.
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Bankruptcy filings drop

August 5, 2011
IL Staff
The number of people filing for bankruptcy around the United States has decreased as compared to the same time last year, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
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Judges reverse ruling mechanic's lien has priority over mortgages

August 5, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled there was no reason for a trial judge to disregard the state’s priority statutes regarding liens and mortgages and find that a construction company’s mechanic’s lien has priority over previously recorded mortgages.
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COA applies sports injury conduct rule

August 4, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Less than three months after the Indiana Supreme Court issued a decision about sports injury cases, the state’s intermediate appellate court is now applying the new rule regarding how liability should be determined.
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AG: DCS out-of-state placements shouldn’t be reviewable by courts

August 4, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana Supreme Court decision upholding three statutes relating to juvenile judges’ authority on out-of-state placement cases created what the state attorney general’s office calls too much confusion, and the justices should revisit the ruling it made a little more than a month ago.
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Judges order hearing on unemployment benefits

August 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A man, whose request for a continuance in a hearing regarding his unemployment benefits was denied by an administrative law judge, is entitled to a hearing on the matter, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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COA divided on whether 'bully' comments require new trial

August 3, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split in affirming a man’s drunk-driving conviction, with the dissenting judge finding the prosecutor’s questions to the jury and repeated reference to the defendant as a bully at trial made a fair trial impossible.
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Protective Order Pro Bono Project launches pro se clinic

August 3, 2011
IL Staff
The Protective Order Pro Bono Project, which provides pro bono legal assistance to indigent victims of domestic violence in Marion County to obtain and enforce protection orders, is starting a pro se clinic this month.
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Looking back on rulings

August 3, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Looking in the rearview mirror on judicial precedent is a task that every judge on every court faces.
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Registration goes online

August 3, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Entering the 21st century is no longer optional for Indiana lawyers. When it comes to attorney registration, paper forms are history to make way for a new web portal.
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Lawmakers may consider sentencing options for children waived to adult court

August 3, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Within a six-month period, one Indiana county prosecutor faced two situations where he had to make one of the toughest types of decisions – whether a child should be tried in juvenile or adult court based on the brutality of a crime and age of the offender.
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Workers' comp cases question line between employer liability and employee responsibility

August 3, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
In June, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, affirmed the finding of a workers’ compensation judge who ruled that a man whose wife died of a pulmonary embolism while working from home was entitled to workers’ compensation survivor benefits. In Renner v. AT&T, No. A-2393-10T3, a doctor admitted that other factors – including obesity – may have been risk factors for developing the fatal blood clot.
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Former clerks recall a judge who gave support and kindness

August 3, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Hon. Robert H. Staton achieved many professional milestones in his lengthy career. But after his death on July 18, what people seemed to remember most about him was his enduring positive influence in their lives.
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Indiana files appellate brief in Planned Parenthood case

August 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General filed its appellate brief Monday asking the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to lift a preliminary injunction against parts of the new abortion-provider law cutting public Planned Parenthood funding.
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7th Circuit enjoins limits on 'super' PAC contributions

August 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A prominent Terre Haute attorney known for his work challenging campaign finance laws and regulations scored another legal victory after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals enjoined state limits on contributions to what’s known as "super" political action committees.
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COA cites 'good faith' exception for child pornography search warrant

August 2, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s denial of a motion to suppress evidence, holding that even though a search warrant was invalid, the evidence it produced is admissible due to a “good faith” exception to the exclusionary rule.
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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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