Government

We the People state finals Dec. 17 and 18

December 7, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Bar Foundation is preparing to host its annual We the People state finals later this month.
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Judge rules on case involving legislative walkout fines

December 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A Marion Superior judge has ruled that state courts don’t have the ability to interfere with the Indiana General Assembly’s constitutional authority to pass laws or its own internal rules, including how it compels attendance or imposes fines.
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Former city-county councilor sentenced to 40 months

December 2, 2011
IL and IBJ Staff
U.S. Senior Judge Larry McKinney on Thursday sentenced former Indianapolis City-County Councilor Lincoln Plowman to 40 months in federal prison for attempted extortion and bribery.
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7th Circuit rules on Indiana's prison grievance process

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Addressing a question for the first time about prison inmate complaints, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held that a prisoner's participation in internal affairs investigations isn’t an alternative for the administrative process an inmate must follow in filing a grievance.
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Supreme Court rules town can regulate aquifer's water use

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Underground aquifers are “watercourses” as defined by state law and as a result the Indiana Supreme Court says community officials have the ability to reasonably regulate how that water is taken out and used by other local governments.
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Targeting stolen money

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
AG says lawsuits against  public officials show need  for better oversight.
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Unifying Indiana courts

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Unification of courts is leading to greater efficiency and cooperation.
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Stopped short

November 23, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
State tuition law creates chasm between undocumented immigrants and college.
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Judge rejects dental coverage cap

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Ruling puts Medicaid dental program in jeopardy.
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Laws on immigrant tuition vary

November 23, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
States differ on interpretation of federal law, create state statutes addressing in-state status for college students.
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Justices rule on applicable statute of limitations

November 17, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court decided Thursday that the period within the general statute of limitations controls the limitation period when a medical provider may seek payment of outstanding bills for authorized treatment to an employer’s worker. The justices came to that conclusion after finding the Worker’s Compensation Act is silent on what the applicable limitation period is for this matter.
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Congress proposes cutting legal aid funding

November 16, 2011
IL Staff
If an agreement between the members of Congress passes, Legal Services Corp. will see its budget reduced by 14 percent. The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee had previously proposed cutting it by 17 percent.
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Code Revision Commission meets Tuesday

November 14, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Code Revision Commission will hold its second meeting Tuesday. Members will discuss proposed technical corrections and other matters.
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Lawmakers to preview legislative session at Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis

November 14, 2011
IL Staff
Phi Alpha Delta, Hamill Chapter, will host a 2012 legislative preview from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis, Inlow Hall, Wynne Courtroom, 530 W. New York St.
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SCOTUS takes Indianapolis sewer payment case

November 14, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States has granted certiorari in a case that questions whether the city of Indianapolis violated the federal Constitution in how it handled refunds for residents who paid assessments on local sewer projects.
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Barnes panel OKs proposed law changes

November 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A legislative study committee has approved proposed changes to state law that it hopes the Indiana General Assembly will consider in response to a state Supreme Court decision earlier this year.
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Indiana first in region to complete child welfare improvement plan

November 11, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Department of Child Services announced Thursday it has received word from Region V of the Administration of Child and Families, an affiliate of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that it has satisfactorily finalized its Program Improvement Plan.
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Judge: fundamental error rule doesn't apply to civil cases

November 10, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge disagreed with the decision of his fellow panel members to allow a man committed to a psychiatric unit to argue the trial court committed fundamental error by not issuing an order scheduling a hearing within three days of receiving the petition for involuntary commitment.
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AG says 3rd party school bus fees are unconstitutional

November 10, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller issued a legal opinion Thursday in response to a request by two Indiana legislators on whether school systems can outsource bus services to another entity that charges parents.
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Barnes study committee to vote on final report

November 9, 2011
IL Staff
The interim subcommittee established as a result of the Indiana Supreme Court ruling in Barnes v. State will meet Thursday to vote on the adoption of a final report.
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Improving a child's access to counsel

November 9, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A proposed draft rule would change waiver procedures in the juvenile justice system.
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Adding UPL to Indiana RICO statute

November 9, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana Supreme Court case involving an estate planning “trust mill” has led to a policy discussion about whether certain types of unauthorized practice of law should rise above a misdemeanor crime and involve a racketeering component.
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Appellate court rules man can challenge med mal cap's constitutionality

November 9, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis man will get an evidentiary hearing on whether the state's $1.25 million cap on medical malpractice awards is unconstitutional.
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Debate over local gun laws continues

November 9, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
On Oct. 24, the Hammond City Council again declined to repeal ordinances introduced by Councilwoman Kim Poland that would modify local gun laws in order to align with new state laws.
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OSHA postpones enforcement

November 9, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration previously announced it would begin enforcing fall protection plans for residential contractors as of Oct. 1 this year. However, on Sept. 29, Jeffry Carter, deputy commissioner of labor for Indiana OSHA, issued a memo that said federal OSHA administrators decided to push back enforcement to March 15, 2012.
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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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