Federal Bar Update: John Maley

Federal Bar Update: Opinion provides insight on attorney fees in FDCPA cases

September 12, 2012
John Maley
Federal courts routinely determine fee petitions for prevailing parties in various fee-shifting cases. A recent opinion from Magistrate Judge Denise LaRue illustrates guiding principles here.
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Federal Bar Update: No changes to federal rules this year

August 1, 2012
John Maley
Federal rule amendments take affect Dec. 1 of each year after a lengthy, time-consuming process of transmittal from the Judicial Conference to the Supreme Court and then to Congress. This coming December, for the first time in many years, there are no amendments on the horizon for the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, or Federal Rules of Evidence.
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Federal Bar Update: 6-month update on changes to removal statutes

June 6, 2012
John Maley
As readers will recall, the Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act of 2011 took effect Jan. 6. Since the act took effect, it has been cited by name in 13 reported decisions, most of which simply deal with the effective date of the act.
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Federal Bar Update: Uniform Case Management Plan changes

April 11, 2012
John Maley
The Southern District of Indiana recently modified two sections of the court’s Uniform Case Management Plan regarding experts.
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Federal Bar Update: Removal and venue changes now in effect

January 18, 2012
John Maley
Maley writes about the Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act of 2011.
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Federal Bar Update: Removal and venue changes are on the horizon

December 21, 2011
John Maley
With the recent passage of the Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act of 2011, key statutory changes to removal and venue are on the horizon.
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Federal Bar Update: Comments sought for changes to local rules

November 9, 2011
John Maley
John Maley writes about changes coming to local rules in each District Court.
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Federal Bar Update: Comments accepted on Rule 45 amendments

September 14, 2011
John Maley
John Maley discusses proposed rule amendments and a study on 12(b)(6) motions.
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Editorial: Personal jurisdiction theories still evolving

August 3, 2011
John Maley
As most litigators know, in Asahi Metal v. Superior Court of Cal., 480 U.S. 102 (1987), a plurality of the Supreme Court embraced the stream-of-commerce theory of personal jurisdiction, which generally holds that if a manufacturer or distributor has sufficient knowledge and control of its distribution system, it can be sued in a state in which its products cause injury. Since Asahi Metal, the theory has evolved somewhat in federal and state appellate courts but had not been revisited by the Supreme Court.
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Federal Bar Update: Avoid multiple summary judgment motions

June 8, 2011
John Maley
The Southern District of Indiana has amended its Uniform Case Management Plan to include new language regarding summary judgment motions.
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Federal Bar Update: Confidentiality not always enforceable

April 13, 2011
John Maley
As federal practitioners know, the 7th Circuit is particularly strict about protecting public access to federal court filings.
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Federal Bar Update: Southern District amends civil and criminal rules

January 19, 2011
John Maley
Effective Jan. 1, the Southern District of Indiana amended three local rules affecting civil practice, plus Local Criminal Rule 13.1 affecting criminal practice and sentencing (see the court’s website for the text of all rule changes).
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Federal Bar Update: Dec. 1 rule changes now in effect

December 22, 2010
John Maley
As previewed in prior columns, effective Dec. 1 various amendments took effect to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (as well as appellate, criminal, and evidence rules).
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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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Federal Bar Update: More federal rule changes on horizon

August 18, 2010
John Maley
For 2010, the Supreme Court approved a package of amendments in late April that will amend several appellate rules, bankruptcy rules, criminal rules, civil rules, and an evidence rule.
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Federal Bar Update: Permissible fishing in discovery process

July 7, 2010
John Maley
John Maley writes about how one recent discovery order is interesting and has potential broader significance beyond the dispute between the parties.
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Federal Bar Update: New FRCP 15(a) is a little-noticed rules amendment

May 26, 2010
John Maley
As federal practitioners well know by now, sweeping changes to the federal rules took effect Dec. 1, with most of those changes incorporating the “days are days” time computation amendments.
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Federal Bar Update: Diversity test for corporations now settled

March 31, 2010
John Maley
For diversity jurisdiction purposes, one area of uncertainty for many years has been how to determine the citizenship of a corporation.
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  2. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  3. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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