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Marion County prosecutor candidates face off

October 13, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The two candidates for Marion County prosecutor faced each other at their alma mater, Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis, Sept. 29, in a debate sponsored by the Republican Law Coalition, the Democratic Law Society, and the Criminal Law Association of the law school.
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7 semi-finalists still vying for Tax Court

October 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Seven attorneys remain in the running to be the next Indiana Tax Court judge, and they return for second interviews before the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission Oct. 27.
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Anti-piracy legislation tackles IP enforcement

October 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The notion of pirates pillaging treasures and bartering it on the high seas isn’t that far fetched for Indianapolis intellectual property attorney Jonathan Polak.
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Discipline case poses questions on recusals, separation of powers

October 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Delaware County Prosecutor Mark McKinney should be publicly reprimanded for violating four professional conduct rules in his handling of civil forfeiture matters as a private attorney while simultaneously prosecuting those same criminal defendants, according to a hearing officer the Indiana Supreme Court appointed to examine disciplinary charges against the prosecutor.
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Boone Circuit Judge Steven David to succeed retiring Justice Theodore R. Boehm

September 29, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Judge Steven H. David said he would have been content staying in his job as Boone Circuit judge for the rest of his legal career. But he took a chance, overcoming an initial doubt that he should apply for an Indiana Supreme Court opening and ultimately rising to the top of 34 attorneys and judges to become the state’s 106th justice.
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5 vie for spot on judicial commissions

September 29, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Openings on the Indiana Supreme Court and state Tax Court in recent months have put more focus on the selection process and what goes into choosing appellate jurists, leading to increased interest from the legal community about who has a voice in deciding nomination and other judicial qualifications issues.
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Juvenile reform continues after '09 summit

September 29, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
No follow-through. That was a complaint voiced by attendees of last year’s summit to discuss juvenile justice matters in Indiana about many similar conferences they’d attended before: there was no follow-through.
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Quality of Life: Making significant life changes with purpose

September 29, 2010
Jonna Kane MacDougall
If you have ever considered making a major life change, you know that it isn’t easy.
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Discrimination cases rising

September 29, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
As people lose their jobs in a rough economy, it’s obvious that unemployment claims go up – and stay up – as it is more difficult to find new work.
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Federal Bar Update: Client representative at settlement conferences

September 29, 2010
John Maley
In the Southern District of Indiana, settlement conferences are routinely held in most civil cases before the assigned magistrate judge.
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Candidacy issues in Allen, Lake counties

September 15, 2010
Michael Hoskins
During an afternoon of heated debate about election law, a state commission kept a controversial incumbent judge on Allen County’s ballot despite arguments he should be disqualified while it essentially pulled another judicial candidate off the Lake County ballot in a challenge involving how the political process put him into the race.
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National event in Indiana can help lawyers, judges, law students

September 15, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Issues that affect every member of the legal community’s mental health and wellness, whether through a personal experience or that of a colleague, will be the focus of a conference in Indianapolis next month.
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Services, attitudes change toward domestic violence

September 15, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
When shelters started popping up in Indiana and around the country a little more than three decades ago, women who were victims of domestic violence had limited options.
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New approach to foreclosure prevention successful

September 15, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Courts around the state have experienced more success with a new approach to settlement conferences utilizing facilitators – who interact directly with borrowers and lenders – than past attempts to find alternatives to foreclosures.
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Judges not required to report recusals, reasons for stepping aside

September 15, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Judicial recusals are a serious topic, but Indiana law professor Charles Geyh can’t help but wonder how much lawyers and the public really know about requests and reasons for judges to step away from a case.
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Supreme Court preps for lineup change

September 15, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court will soon see its first lineup change in more than a decade, and as that turnover approaches, the state’s highest appellate court is mostly conducting business as usual.
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Former ISBA president Rabb Emison dies

September 15, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Even after longtime attorney Ewing Rabb Emison Jr. had finished his service as a pivotal president of the Indiana State Bar Association more than two decades ago, his legacy has inspired generations of attorneys and will continue to do so in the future.
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Wind energizing state

September 15, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Taking a drive on Interstate 65 just north of Lafayette, it’s hard to miss the many wind turbines along the highway. As wind power continues to gain momentum in Indiana, and as more counties change their zoning ordinances to include wind turbines, this will likely be a sight in more counties, especially in the northern part of the state.
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Lawyer-legislator's attacker on trial

September 15, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The man accused of attacking a lawyer-legislator last year because of a 23-year-old legal dispute is on trial in Hamilton Superior Court, facing multiple felony charges and potentially 100 years or more in prison.
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Indianapolis IP attorney killed by husband after filing for divorce

September 1, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Practicing law was never an obligation for Indianapolis attorney Mary Jane Frisby but a chance for her to say, “Wow, look what we get to do.”
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Guardians program fulfills need

September 1, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
To help address the need for guardians for patients of a northwest Indiana hospital, Lake County Judge Diane Kavadias-Schneider – with others in the court and with permission from Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard – worked on a guardianship program that involved temporary volunteer guardians.
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Adult guardianship programs continue to operate with little funding

September 1, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Courts around Indiana have started their own guardianship programs based on the Lake County model program in Allen, Elkhart, Lawrence, St. Joseph, Tippecanoe, and Vanderburgh counties.
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Indianapolis attorney chosen as magistrate judge

September 1, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A partner at Indianapolis law firm Barnes & Thornburg has been chosen as the newest federal magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Appeals court hears back-pay arguments

September 1, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Attorneys argued before the Indiana Court of Appeals on an appeal of a Marion Superior judge’s award of more than $42 million to a class of thousands of current and former state employees wanting to recover back pay for unequal wages earned between 1973 and 1993.
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Book recounts '08 presidential race

September 1, 2010
IL Staff
An Indiana lawyer intimately involved in Barack Obama’s presidential run has written a book about the campaign and how the consistently Republican state went Democrat for the first time since 1964.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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.

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