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Bill pushes to replace administrative law judges

December 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
The chairman of the Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee has introduced Senate Bill 1, a 119-page proposal that would replace administrative law judges with an administrative court made up of nine judges appointed by the governor.
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COA: Doctor had duty to nurse practitioner’s patient who died

December 31, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana doctor who entered into an agreement with a nurse practitioner to review her prescription practices had a duty to one of the nurse practitioner’s patients, who later died in part because of medicines prescribed to him.
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Consent amid wine, pills to be a key question in Cosby case

December 31, 2015
 Associated Press
Entertainer Bill Cosby has long maintained that his extramarital conquests over the years were all consensual. A jury may ultimately decide if that's true after the 78-year-old actor was arrested Wednesday on felony assault charges in suburban Philadelphia stemming from a 2004 encounter with a former Temple University employee less than half his age.
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Indiana adoption advocates to push again to open up records

December 31, 2015
 Associated Press
The leader of an advocacy group for Indiana adoptees says she's optimistic state lawmakers will endorse a bill to expand adoptees' access to sealed records.
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Evansville law firm to pay for free cab rides New Year's Eve

December 31, 2015
 Associated Press
An Evansville law firm will be paying for New Year's cab rides home for the 18th year in a row.
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County scores partial victory on mall assessments

December 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Marion County assessor, who argued the values assigned to Washington Square mall for 2006-2010 were too low, will see an uptick in the assessed value of the mall in three of those years following a ruling from the Indiana Tax Court.
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Donnelly hopeful Indiana’s federal court vacancies will be filled soon

December 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
With U.S. District Judge Robert Miller Jr. preparing to take senior status in January, Indiana will have three judicial vacancies to fill on the federal bench.
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Judge grants extensions Pence sought in Syrian refugee case

December 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal judge has granted extensions the administration of Gov. Mike Pence sought as it continues to oppose a charity’s resettlement of Syrian refugees in Indiana. The ACLU of Indiana, meanwhile, calls discovery demands the state has directed at the nonprofit agency “breathtaking.”
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Man did not provide enough evidence to support lower home valuations

December 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A homeowner seeking to reduce the valuation of his residential properties did not provide enough evidence to the Indiana Board of Tax Review to support his argument, the Indiana Tax Court ruled Wednesday in two separate appeals.
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COA: Termination hearing did not comply with Open Door Law

December 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of a southern Indiana school board after finding its holding of a public meeting at 2:30 a.m. regarding the employment of a teacher violated the Open Door Law.
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House party hosts face heightened liability after recent COA ruling

December 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
Just in time for holiday revelry and New Year’s Eve celebrations, an Indiana appeals court ruled hosts of house parties may be held liable for the well-being of guests who drink too much.
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Smoking ban dispute heads to Supreme Court

December 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court wants to hear more from Hoosier Park about why patrons at its Winner’s Circle off-track betting parlor in Indianapolis should be allowed to light up when smoking in public is otherwise generally banned by city ordinance.
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Man accused in death of pastor's wife charged in 2nd slaying

December 29, 2015
 Associated Press
An 18-year-old man accused of killing an Indianapolis pastor's pregnant wife during a home invasion faces another murder charge in a second fatal robbery that a prosecutor said Tuesday happened amid an "unprecedented" eight-day violent crime spree.
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Inmate wins $10,000 verdict against US for prison injury

December 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal inmate who cut his forearm on a jagged bed frame won a $10,000 judgment in his lawsuit against the United States.
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Split COA finds attorney did not provide adequate counsel

December 29, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Two typewritten letters and handwritten notes between a now-deceased defense attorney and a former prosecutor have divided the Indiana Court of Appeals over whether a plea agreement had actually been negotiated.
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Court: Disputed model year may void van sale agreement

December 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred when it granted summary judgment in favor of the seller of a van who represented to the buyer the vehicle was a year newer than recorded on the title.
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Officials: 'Affluenza' teen, mother detained in Mexico

December 29, 2015
 Associated Press
A sheriff in Dallas said Tuesday an arrest warrant will be issued for a Texas woman who was found with her son in Mexico, a teenager on probation after killing four people in a drunken-driving wreck and invoking an "affluenza" defense
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Some police, prosecutors back tougher cold-medicine law

December 29, 2015
 Associated Press
Some Indiana police agencies say their fight against methamphetamine production would be helped by a proposed state law change to require a doctor’s prescription for a common cold medicine that is used to make the illegal drug.
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Indiana law drives down moped thefts, sales

December 29, 2015
 Associated Press
Evansville Police Department spokesman Sgt. Jason Cullum said scooter theft reports fell from 269 in 2014 to just 79 as of Dec. 17. He said that’s because scooters are now easier to track if stolen because they now must be registered and licensed.
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Bill would allow recovery of attorney fees in all wrongful death actions

December 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A northern Indiana senator has introduced legislation to amend Indiana’s wrongful death statute to allow for surviving families to collect attorney fees.
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COA on rehearing clarifies where to send payment

December 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Monday rejected arguments that its prior decision regarding a student-loan debt owed to a bankrupt note-holder caused confusion as to who was owed and left the debtor open to the possibility of multiple judgments.
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Reversal: BMV must report driver’s expunged OWI conviction

December 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in prohibiting the Bureau of Motor Vehicles from reporting the operating while intoxicated conviction of a driver who had his criminal record expunged.
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Poverty calculation causes Indiana Legal Services’ funding to drop

December 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although Legal Services Corp. will receive a $10 million bump in funding for fiscal year 2016, Indiana Legal Services will see its appropriation from the national organization decrease.
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Tippecanoe program aims to break cycle of incarceration

December 28, 2015
 Associated Press
To stem the cycle of release and reincarceration and prevent people from committing new crimes when they leave jail, Tippecanoe County Jail is expanding mental health services and launching a program designed to help inmates develop healthy support networks in the community.
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6 counties next in line for trial court e-filing

December 28, 2015
 Associated Press
Six Indiana counties — Clark, Harrison, Henry, St. Joseph, Shelby and Wells — will be joining Hamilton County in implementing e-filing in the trial courts during the first half of 2016, with more to come later.
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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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