Government

Independent analysis finds DOC’s population will grow under new criminal code

December 11, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A report released Dec. 10 predicts that Indiana’s new criminal code will increase the number of individuals incarcerated in state prisons to the point where a new facility may have to be built.
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Marion County announces plan to build new criminal justice complex

December 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Under a plan announced by city and court officials Wednesday, Marion County’s courts, jails and other offices would be located in one complex instead of spread out around downtown Indianapolis and the county.
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New commission on children executive committee includes justice, DCS head

December 10, 2013
IL Staff
The Commission on Improving the Status of Children, created during the 2013 legislative session, announced its executive committee Tuesday. The committee includes Indiana Justice Loretta Rush, who also serves as commission chair.
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Property tax assessment prevents township from controlling cemetery

December 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Because a couple had paid taxes on the land where a cemetery existed since 1967, the township did not have authority under Indiana law to exercise control over that cemetery, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Monday.
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24 more school corps join IRS lawsuit on employer mandate

December 9, 2013
IL Staff
Twenty-four additional school corporations have joined the lawsuit filed in October by the state of Indiana and 15 school corporations against the Internal Revenue Service challenging the tax penalties that could be imposed in 2015 under the “employer mandate” of the Affordable Care Act.
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Indiana among states wanting SCOTUS to clear the air on pollution standard

December 9, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A coalition of 14 states, including Indiana, are headed to the Supreme Court of the United States Dec. 10 to argue that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has overstepped its authority, again, in trying to regulate air pollution in upwind states.
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Indiana appeals $62.8 million tobacco settlement reduction

December 4, 2013
IL Staff
The state is appealing an arbitration panel ruling from September that reduced by $62.8 million the amount due from tobacco companies to offset Indiana’s health costs associated with treating sick smokers and tobacco users.
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State, IBM contest $62 million award for canceled welfare contract

December 4, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana Court of Appeals judges spent the better part of a 90-minute oral argument Nov. 25 focused on whether a trial judge’s order applied the proper legal standards in awarding $62 million to IBM after the state canceled its $1.3 billion contract to overhaul Indiana’s welfare administration.
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Notre Dame refiles suit against Obamacare ‘contraception mandate’

December 3, 2013
IL Staff
The University of Notre Dame has refiled a federal lawsuit seeking to block enforcement of the so-called contraception mandate included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
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Denial of SSI reversed for failure to consider mental health

December 3, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A woman who claimed disability in part because of her diminished mental health will get another chance to present her case after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found the administrative law judge did not properly consider the opinions and testimony regarding the woman’s mental condition.
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Schools get $14 million settlement in ISTA, NEA securities suit

December 3, 2013
IL Staff
Four-year-old litigation over $27 million lost by at least 27 Indiana public school systems that invested in a troubled teachers union-sponsored health insurance plan has concluded with a settlement in which schools will receive about $14 million.
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SCOTUS takes ACA ‘contraception mandate’ cases

November 26, 2013
IL Staff
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear two cases that could determine whether companies that provide health insurance to employees can be required under the new health care law to provide coverage for birth control.
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Order for IBM to pay subcontractor in state suits affirmed

November 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
An appeals court Tuesday affirmed trial court orders that IBM pay a subcontractor for costs it incurred related to lawsuits over the failed $1.3 billion Family and Social Services Administration modernization contract.
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IBM seeks greater judgment; state claims $62 million award erroneous

November 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
A $62 million judgment against the state for canceling a contract with IBM to overhaul Indiana’s social services administration is clearly erroneous, an attorney for the state argued Monday, while an IBM lawyer argued the company was entitled to even greater damages.
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Criminal code study committee sets 2 December meeting dates

November 25, 2013
IL Staff
The Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee will hold two final meetings in December – Dec. 10 and 19 – to look at funding and sentencing.
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Conour assets raise more than $105,000 at auction

November 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
An auction of art, wine and household furnishings seized from the former Carmel home of convicted ex-attorney William Conour fetched more than $105,000, most of which will go toward restitution for his client victims.
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Senate votes to change filibuster rule

November 22, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The U.S. Senate has voted to change how many votes are required to break a filibuster to approve executive and judicial nominees, reducing the threshold to the simple majority of 51. The change came about after several nominees were blocked by Republicans.
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Foster child’s claim against health center falls outside Medical Malpractice Act

November 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Morgan County court erred when it granted Adult and Child Mental Health Center Inc.’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed on behalf of a child in foster care who suffered severe brain damage from a near-drowning. The center argued the complaint was subject to the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act.
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Youth alternative detention program expanding

November 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The state’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative is expanding into more counties, the Indiana Supreme Court announced Thursday, thanks to more than $5 million in funding appropriated by the Legislature.
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Local law firm reaps $6.3M in fees from BMV class-action suit

November 20, 2013
Scott Olson, IBJ Staff
A local law firm will receive $6.3 million as part of a class-action lawsuit that accused the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles of overcharging for driver’s licenses.
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Court rules in favor of subcontractor suing Fort Wayne

November 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday that a trial court properly granted summary judgment for a subcontractor seeking payment from the city of Fort Wayne after the general contractor working on the city park project declared bankruptcy.
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Indiana House speaker outlines agenda for 2014 legislative session

November 20, 2013
IL Staff
Addressing the Indiana House of Representatives, Speaker Brian Bosma encouraged legislators to move forward with the new criminal code and to provide the funding for community corrections programs.
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JPMorgan enters into $13B settlement with states, federal government

November 20, 2013
IL Staff
JPMorgan has agreed to pay a record $13 billion to settle federal and state civil claims arising out of its packaging, selling, marketing and issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.
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'Contraception mandate' goes before SCOTUS

November 20, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Madison family business is at the forefront of a legal challenge the Supreme Court of the United States will conference over Nov. 26 – whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act “contraception mandate” violates the religious liberties of company owners whose faith proscribes birth control.
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US Supreme Court takes pass on cyberspying petition

November 19, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the Supreme Court of the United States decided Monday, not to consider a petition challenging the legality of the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities, one cybersecurity expert at IU expects the issue will eventually come before the nine justices.
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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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