Legal News

Patent reform law withstanding challenges

December 16, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A battle between two tech companies put a key provision of the recent patent reform law on the firing line. But intellectual property attorneys were not surprised the patent holder attempted to knock out the administrative review process or that the attempt failed.
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2 recent cases in federal court showcase trademark treachery

December 16, 2015
Dave Stafford
A steel giant’s trade name was used to misrepresent business deals with the intent to procure millions of dollars worth of machinery and financing, and an Amish-country spice maker alleges a local rival is ripping off its registered trademark. These two recent cases in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana illustrate the difficulties in policing registered marks on intellectual property, but the cases also show the means of recovery at rights holders’ disposal when their IP marks are violated.
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Blended gasoline raises question of tax exemption

December 15, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A convenience store’s process for mixing two grades of gasoline left too many questions unanswered for the Indiana Tax Court to determine if the equipment used in the blending process was tax exempt.
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Indiana’s cold beer prohibition survives rational-basis review

December 15, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding retailers did not meet their burden in attempting to overturn one of Indiana’s quirky alcohol laws, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the state’s limits on the sale of cold beer is not unconstitutional.
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Lawmakers offer alternative to cold medicine sales crackdown

December 15, 2015
 Associated Press
Republican Sens. Randy Head of Logansport and Jim Merritt of Indianapolis said pharmacists should have the authority to approve or disapprove sales for medicines containing pseudoephedrine, which is a decongestant used to treat colds and allergies. A rival measure backed by Indiana prosecutors and GOP House Speaker Brian Bosma would require a prescription for such medicines.
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Attorney questions if schools complied with Nativity ruling

December 15, 2015
 Associated Press
An attorney who filed a lawsuit that led to a federal judge banning a northern Indiana school district from including a live Nativity scene in its annual Christmas show says he believes the district's use of mannequins instead of student actors had many of the same constitutional flaws.
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Ex-Subway pitchman Jared Fogle appealing child porn sentence

December 15, 2015
 Associated Press
Former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle is appealing the more than 15-year prison sentence he received for possessing child pornography and having sex with underage prostitutes, which was longer than the maximum term prosecutors agreed to pursue as part of his plea deal.
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Study: Smaller counties driving jail population growth

December 15, 2015
 Associated Press
A study shows jail populations in mid-sized counties with populations of 250,000 to 1 million residents grew by four times and small-sized counties with 250,000 residents or fewer grew by nearly seven times since 1978. In that time large county jail populations grew by only about three times.
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Fraud claims against insurers wrongly dismissed

December 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
Plaintiffs who purchased cash-value life insurance policies for their employees and deducted those contributions on income taxes that were later disallowed were wrongly denied their day in court against the insurers.
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‘Inference of discriminatory motive’ in striking juror not reversible error

December 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals noted one of a prosecutor’s reasons for striking a prospective juror in a criminal case “raises an inference of discriminatory motive,” but this was insufficient to reverse a man’s felony resisting law enforcement conviction.
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7th Circuit upholds Indiana’s cold beer law

December 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Cold beer will continue to be sold only by licensed liquor stores in Indiana. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld state law that prohibits convenience stores, gas stations and other retailers from selling beer cold.
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Justice Dickson honored at We the People dinner

December 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Bar Foundation used its 2015 Civics Dinner to present the President’s Award to Dickson for his many years of service to the Supreme Court, the judiciary, the legal profession and the state.
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Reversal: Host owed duty to guest who died after drinking, fight

December 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
The host of a birthday party for her live-in boyfriend had a duty to render aid to a guest she saw unconscious after he’d been drinking and involved in a fight, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The man later died.
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Justices block Alabama court order in lesbian adoption case

December 14, 2015
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court has sided with a lesbian mother who wants to see her adopted children, blocking an Alabama court's order that declared the adoption invalid.
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High court rejects LA appeal over $5.7M jury award to felon

December 14, 2015
 Associated Press
The justices on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that upheld the award to Robert Contreras, who was left paralyzed after police shot him multiple times when he fled the scene of a drive-by shooting in 2005.
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Justices: Kentucky death sentence wrongly overturned

December 14, 2015
 Associated Press
Justices ruled Monday that a federal appeals court was wrong to overturn Roger Wheeler's sentence based on the exclusion of a juror who expressed reservations about the death penalty.
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Banned live Nativity goes on with mannequins

December 14, 2015
 Associated Press
School officials say a federal judge's injunction only applied to a live scene and that they complied with the order.
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Southern Indiana county OKs riverboat revenue settlement

December 14, 2015
 Associated Press
The settlement calls for Switzerland County officials to deliver to Jefferson County within 10 days about $50,000 in economic development money they're currently holding.
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Counties in central Indiana address jail overcrowding

December 14, 2015
 Associated Press
Three central Indiana counties have been working over the past five years to address jail overcrowding by building or upgrading facilities.
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More proceedings necessary in mortgage foreclosure action

December 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because there are genuine issues of material fact as to the fair market value of a property at the time of sale and the true amount of indebtedness on a promissory note, a trial court erred in granting summary judgment in favor a bank on its foreclosure action, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Majority: Sex offender registration not ex post facto law

December 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the requirement that man convicted of a sex crime in Washington must also register as a sex offender in Indiana, finding the requirement is not an ex post facto punishment under the Indiana Constitution. But one judge disagreed, and would reverse his registration requirement.
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Speeding ticket tossed because of invalid Carmel ordinance

December 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
“Carmel’s wholesale adoption of chapters of Indiana Code resulted in its ordinance being nothing more than a ‘duplicate’ of already existing State law,” Court of Appeals Judge Melissa May wrote.
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Daughter’s emancipation leads to reduction in child support

December 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court should have reduced a father’s child support obligation to his three children because his daughter’s emancipation constitutes a substantial and continuing change, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday. The trial court denied the father’s motion because the amount of child support offered differed by less than 20 percent of the amount dictated by the Indiana Child Support Guidelines.
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Slavery labels sought for US goods as SEC reporting law mulled

December 11, 2015
 Bloomberg News
“This item may be the product of slave labor.” Those jarring words could end up on candy bar wrappers, packages of frozen shrimp and even cans of cat food if some California lawyers get their way.
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Family suing Marion County Sheriff over inmate's suicide

December 11, 2015
 Associated Press
The family of an Indianapolis man who apparently hanged himself in a Marion County Jail cell is seeking damages in a federal lawsuit against the sheriff's department.
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