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Indiana law schools slip from top 25 in annual rankings

March 11, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The annual ranking that law schools love to hate was released March 11, and it may stir more emotions than usual in Indiana since none of the state’s law school placed in the top 25.
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Information used to obtain search warrant splits Court of Appeals

March 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the statements from three individuals were hearsay and initially led law enforcement to enter the wrong apartment, a split Indiana Court of Appeals found, collectively, the information supported probable cause.
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Senate to honor McKinney law professor Lawrence Jegen

March 10, 2014
IL Staff
A longtime Indiana University McKinney School of Law professor will be honored in the General Assembly today for an influential career spanning more than 50 years.
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Appeals court: Requests for modification don’t nullify foreclosure

March 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of a mortgage servicer despite the property owners’ attempts at modifying the mortgage.
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Divided Supreme Court reinstates parental termination order

March 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals impermissibly reversed termination of a father’s parental rights, a majority of the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Friday in reinstating a trial court order.
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Central American judge visits Indianapolis to learn about Indiana judicial system

March 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A member of Guatemala’s judiciary is making a two-day visit to Indianapolis to learn and exchange ideas with judges, attorneys and other dignitaries.
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Federal suit filed against Indiana marriage statute

March 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
While Indiana’s same-sex marriage amendment is on hold in the Legislature, a challenge to the state’s law banning same-sex marriage was filed March 7 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Institute analyzing proposed sites for Marion County criminal justice complex

March 7, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana University Public Policy Institute is analyzing proposed sites for a Marion County Criminal Justice Complex and may reveal its findings by the end of next week.
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Fellow at Ukrainian law school to speak at IU McKinney

March 7, 2014
IL Staff
Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law will focus on the troubled country of Ukraine during an upcoming lecture presented through the International Student Speaker Series.
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Deadline to comment on pro bono reporting requirement nears

March 7, 2014
IL Staff
Indiana attorneys who wish to share comments about required pro bono reporting have until April 1 to provide their views.
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Highway supervisor’s termination not subject to judicial review

March 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because the decision by the Fayette County Board of Commissioners to not reappoint its county highway supervisor was a ministerial decision, the Indiana Supreme Court held it was not subject to judicial review.
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Mental health witnesses, nonsupport bills move to governor’s desk

March 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Senate Wednesday concurred with changes made to legislation outlining who a court may appoint in determining whether a defendant is insane. On Tuesday, senators approved language in the expungement bill granting the Board of Law Examiners access to sealed expunged conviction records.
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Judges order more proceedings in property distribution after divorce

March 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Citing inconsistencies and lack of information, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered more proceedings to determine issues of spousal maintenance and distribution of the marital estate in a divorce case.
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COA: Buyer complied with notice statutes for obtaining tax deed

March 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Noting that the parties and trial court did not follow the established procedures to set aside a tax deed, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that the court erred in finding a buyer’s notices sent certified mail were statutorily deficient. The notices did not request return receipt.
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IU Maurer moot court judges include justice, bankruptcy judge

March 6, 2014
IL Staff
Indiana Justice Loretta H. Rush and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robyn L. Moberly of the Southern District of Indiana will join three others Friday in presiding over the final round of Indiana University Maurer School of Law’s annual Sherman Minton Moot Court Competition.
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Judges order woman resentenced for health care fraud

March 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found that a woman knowingly and voluntarily pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud, but it sent her case back to the District Court for resentencing. The District judge violated the ex post facto clause by sentencing her under the wrong version of the sentencing guidelines.
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ATF agent’s testimony supports gun conviction

March 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s weapons conviction Tuesday, ruling that the expert testimony of an agent of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives could be used to prove that a gun had crossed state lines.
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Evansville Bar Association to host discussion on marriage equality

March 5, 2014
IL Staff
An Indiana University Maurer School of Law professor will be the featured speaker at the Evansville Bar Association’s public discussion on marriage equality Friday.
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Legal Service Corp. requests substantial boost in funding to meet growing need

March 5, 2014
IL Staff
In the budget released March 4, the White House recommended the Legal Services Corp. receive a federal appropriation of $430 million for the fiscal year 2015.
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ABA: Valpo Law enrollment surges; McKinney, ND down; Maurer ticks up

March 5, 2014
Dave Stafford
First-year law school enrollment jumped 28 percent this academic year at Valparaiso University Law School, according to data from the American Bar Association.
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Judge Kimberly Brown removed from bench by justices

March 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court removed Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown from the bench Tuesday after finding she “engaged in significant judicial misconduct.” The judge had been on paid suspension since Jan. 9 pending final discipline.
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Justices remove Judge Kimberly Brown from bench

March 4, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday afternoon removed Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown from the bench. Brown had been on paid suspension since Jan. 9 pending final discipline.
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COA affirms cures imposed for title insurance company’s statutory violations

March 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found nothing wrong in the trial court’s decision to uphold the Indiana Department of Insurance’s order that found a title insurance company violated several statutes and outlined what the company must do to cure its violations.
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Funeral Friday for former IPAC leader

March 4, 2014
IL Staff
The funeral for Stephen Johnson, the attorney who led the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council for nearly 15 years, will be held Friday in Indianapolis.
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6th annual law firm food drive kicks off

March 4, 2014
IL Staff
The 6th annual March Against Hunger food drive – a friendly competition among law firms to raise food and monetary donations – has started and runs through March 31.
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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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