Government

Lawyers blast bias in ALJ system; urge technical adjudicators remain

September 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
Lawyers who practice before Indiana administrative law judges painted a picture Wednesday of a rigged, onerous system that overwhelmingly favors the government when parties appeal state agency actions.
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Anthem, Cigna accusing one another of merger breach, US says

September 22, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Anthem Inc. and Cigna Corp., the health insurers fighting a U.S. antitrust lawsuit, have accused one another of breaching their $48 billion merger agreement, the Justice Department said in a court filing.
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Lawmakers OK more background checks for Indiana teachers

September 21, 2016
 Associated Press
A panel of Indiana lawmakers has endorsed recommendations to strengthen the state's background checks system for educators and streamline the process for revoking a teacher's license.
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Pence confident Trump Foundation followed law

September 21, 2016
 Associated Press
Mike Pence is defending Donald Trump against new criticism of how the Republican presidential hopeful used his charitable foundation.
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Criminal Justice Institute accepting funding applications

September 21, 2016
IL Staff
The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute is now accepting applications for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program.
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Pence lawyer: Man seeking pardon must exhaust court remedies

September 21, 2016
 Associated Press
An Illinois man must first exhaust all his options in court before Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will consider a pardon for a robbery the man says he didn't commit, an attorney for the Republican vice presidential candidate said.
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Robert Durst's lawyer: Indiana prison doesn't make sense

September 20, 2016
 Associated Press
It doesn't make sense to send real estate heir Robert Durst to prison in Indiana, where he's been assigned, when he faces a murder trial in Los Angeles, Durst's attorney said Monday.
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Indiana senator to introduce bill extending civil filing fee

September 19, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The sunset may be longer in coming for the $1 fee that was tacked onto civil legal filings to help shore up pro bono and legal services programs.
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Legislative panel to consider administrative law reforms

September 19, 2016
IL Staff
Lawyers who practice before administrative law judges will be among those who testify this week before a General Assembly study committee that will consider reforms that could include establishment of administrative law panels.
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Tippecanoe County adopts transgender protections

September 19, 2016
 Associated Press
Tippecanoe County has joined the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette in adding gender identity protections to its human rights ordinance.
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Lawyer: Robert Durst assigned to medical prison in Indiana

September 19, 2016
 Associated Press
Real estate heir Robert Durst has been assigned to an Indiana prison which has a medical unit, rather than the California prison requested because he faces a murder trial in Los Angeles, attorney Dick DeGuerin said Sunday.
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Lawmaker takes job with firm at center of vaping controversy

September 16, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
An Indiana lawmaker who voted two years in a row for legislation that put one private company in control of who could manufacture e-liquid for sale in Indiana has now gone to work for a division of that firm.
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AP, other media sue FBI for details on iPhone hacking tool

September 16, 2016
 Associated Press
The Associated Press and two other news organizations sued the FBI on Friday to learn who the government paid and how much it spent to hack into an iPhone in its investigation into last year's San Bernardino, California, massacre.
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Insurance fight prolongs Hartford City junk yard's pollution

September 13, 2016
 Associated Press
Five years of court battles haven't resolved the blame game between a western Indiana junk yard and one of the nation's largest insurance companies over water pollution.
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Report: Segregation can lead to increased symptoms of mental illness in inmates

September 12, 2016
Olivia Covington
A new report from an inmates-rights advocacy group is calling for fewer prison inmates to be placed in segregation based on research that shows that segregation can lead to a higher risk for mental illness.
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Gulf bloc hits back at Sept. 11 Saudi lawsuit legislation

September 12, 2016
 Associated Press
A group of six Gulf Arab countries expressed "deep concern" Monday over a bill passed by the U.S. Congress that would allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia over the attacks.
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Both sides of liquor fight say it’s about fairness

September 12, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
The state is appealing an Aug. 24 ruling in favor of Spirited Sales LLC, a Monarch affiliate, that Spirited Sales is entitled to a liquor permit, a decision that other liquor distributors hope is stayed until the appellate court rules.
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Syrian family diverted from Indiana struggles in Connecticut

September 12, 2016
 Associated Press
As they waited as refugees in Jordan to come to America, Syrian couple Abdullah and Fatema were assured that the United States welcomes all people and that being Muslim would not be a problem. Those expectations were first dashed when, upon arrival in the U.S. in November, Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence blocked their entry into his state and they were diverted to Connecticut.
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Some police departments shelve body cameras, cite data costs

September 12, 2016
 Associated Press
Police departments in at least two states that outfitted their officers with body cameras have now shelved them, blaming new laws requiring videos to be stored longer, which they say would significantly increase the cost.
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Indiana video gambling fans to plan legislative strategy

September 12, 2016
 Associated Press
Advocates of legalized video gambling in Indiana will plot legislative strategy this week in Indianapolis.
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SCOTUS' inaction leaves in place Michigan straight-party voting ban

September 9, 2016
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday declined to let Michigan's new ban on straight-party voting take effect for the November election, rejecting state officials' request to halt lower court rulings that blocked the Republican-sponsored law.
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Appellate judges, attorneys to visit Hoosier classrooms to celebrate Constitution Day

September 9, 2016
Olivia Covington
Judges and attorneys from across Indiana are heading into schools this month to celebrate the 229th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution with Hoosier students.
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Former GM factory site in Indiana to get $4 million cleanup

September 9, 2016
 Associated Press
A $4 million contract has been approved to clean up contaminated soil at the site of a former General Motors factory in Indiana.
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Biden, Supreme Court nominee on Hill to pressure GOP

September 8, 2016
 Associated Press
Judge Merrick Garland found himself back on Capitol Hill on Thursday in a familiar place — meeting with a Democratic senator who complained about Republicans' inaction on President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee.
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I-69 developer's missed payments ignites dispute

September 8, 2016
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana mayor blamed Republican Gov. Mike Pence's administration on Wednesday for allowing a private developer to fall behind in payments to subcontractors, leading to a work stoppage on a new section of the Interstate 69 extension project.
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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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