Legal News

Federal judge dismisses class-action lawsuit against Carmel

October 7, 2016
Lindsey Erdody, IBJ Staff
A U.S. district court judge has dismissed a federal class-action lawsuit filed against the city of Carmel for its enforcement of a local traffic ordinance.
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Judge: East Chicago Housing Authority must stop warrantless home searches

October 6, 2016
Olivia Covington
The city of East Chicago and its housing authority have been ordered to stop what the ACLU of Indiana is calling “warrantless, nonconsensual entry” into residents’ homes after a district court ruled that doing so violated Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure.
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Justices consider rights of privacy vs. public safety in 4th Amendment case

October 6, 2016
Olivia Covington
At the center of an Indiana Supreme Court oral argument Thursday was the question of when exigent circumstances and an officer’s community caretaker role trump a citizen’s right to protection from unlawful searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment.
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Student-housing developer buys law firm’s historic building

October 6, 2016
IL Staff
An Indianapolis lawyer with a recognizable building on downtown’s Massachusetts Avenue has sold it to a local developer of student housing.
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Law firm mergers slow in third quarter

October 6, 2016
IL Staff
Another record year for law firm combinations in the U.S. may not happen after all. The number of mergers slowed considerably over the summer after a very active first half of 2016, according to Altman Weil MergerLine.
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Bench, bar, victim’s mother rally behind prosecutor facing discipline for speech

October 6, 2016
Dave Stafford
Johnson County judges, lawyers and the mother of a murdered teen traveled to a distant court Wednesday to come to the defense of their elected prosecutor.
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Jay County judges ordered to handle Dunkirk City Court matters

October 6, 2016
IL Staff
Following the suspension with pay of the Dunkirk City Court judge for allegedly battering the city’s police chief, the Indiana Supreme Court has temporarily transferred two Jay County judges to the court to handle matters.
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COA orders better findings of fact in parental rights case

October 6, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected Thursday a trial court order terminating a St. Joseph County woman’s parental rights to her daughter and instead ordered the trial court to present more specific findings of fact to support the termination.
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Airbnb’s San Francisco showdown may set rules for gig economy

October 6, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Airbnb Inc. has a message for cities that try to enforce rules that crimp its couch-surfing style: See you in court.
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NCAA facing 43 concussion lawsuits after latest filings

October 6, 2016
 Associated Press
The NCAA is now facing 43 class-action lawsuits related to the handling of concussions by Division I football programs after 18 more were filed this week.
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Firm again seeks attorney fees in overcharges suit; BMV files opposition

October 5, 2016
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is once again challenging an Indianapolis law firm’s motion to collect attorney fees in the class action it brought against the BMV for years of customer overcharges.
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Justices seem wary of limiting insider trading prosecutions

October 5, 2016
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court seemed unlikely on Wednesday to place new limits on the ability of prosecutors to crack down on insider trading on Wall Street.
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Tax Court upholds constitutionality of personal property valuation for steel mills

October 5, 2016
Olivia Covington
Despite multiple allegations of state and federal constitutional violations, the Indiana Tax Court decided Wednesday that a state tax statute requiring steel mills to operate blast furnaces in Indiana to receive a certain classification on their personal property taxes will stand.
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Tax Court orders reassessment of Westfield apartment property

October 5, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Tax Court decided Wednesday that the Hamilton County assessor misconstrued a portion of the Residential Property Statute in 2012, forcing the assessor to reclassify a Westfield apartment complex and its surrounding property.
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After appeals process, July bar exam results increase

October 5, 2016
IL Staff
The number of people who passed the July 2016 Indiana Bar Exam has increased to 64 percent following the appeals and review process. The Board of Law Examiners updated the July 2016 statistics on its website Monday.
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ISBA poll shows strong support for COA judges’ retention

October 5, 2016
IL Staff
A recently completed poll of Indiana State Bar Association members shows strong support for the four Indiana Court of Appeals judges seeking retention in the Nov. 8 general election.
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Lawyer’s Doxly aims to digitally organize and expedite legal transactions

October 5, 2016
Olivia Covington
Doxly Inc., founded in 2016, is a legal technology company that is designing a new software system to locate all transactional documents in one shared space.
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Avvo, LegalZoom execs tell ISBA legal services delivery must change

October 5, 2016
Dave Stafford
LegalZoom Chief Executive Officer John Suh told a gathering of Indiana lawyers Sept. 29 that solo and small firms whose practices in many cases have struggled for decades may be facing existential challenges, but they shouldn’t blame the internet.
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ISBA program aims for binding arbitration of disputes over legal billing

October 5, 2016
Dave Stafford
Clients who think their lawyer charged them too much have a new way to contest the bill. And so do attorneys whose clients haven’t paid up as they believe they should.
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Necessary judicial appointments may come at other courts’ expense

October 5, 2016
Dave Stafford
The short-staffing illustrated in the largest and most thorough weighted caseload study of the state’s trial courts may be met in the future, but not likely without cuts elsewhere. Rep. Greg Steuerwald, R-Danville, told a legislative study committee Sept. 22 that appointment of new state-paid judicial officers should be tied to reducing numbers of officers where they are underutilized.
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Non-citizen transgender man sues state to change name

October 5, 2016
Olivia Covington
Because of an Indiana law that prohibits non-citizens from legally changing their names, John Doe must continue to identify as Jane on all documents until he becomes a naturalized citizen.
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Justices hear home explosion appeal

October 5, 2016
Olivia Covington
Nearly four years after he orchestrated an Indianapolis home explosion that killed two people, Mark Leonard is arguing that he should not have to spend the rest of his life in prison because his Sixth Amendment rights were violated.
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Former employee files sexual harassment suit against Emmis

October 4, 2016
Susan Orr, IBJ Staff
A former employee of Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corp. has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the media company, alleging it did not do enough to respond to her complaints that she was harassed and criticized by two producers at one of its sports-talk radio stations.
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Justices opt to resentence convicted murderer facing life without parole

October 4, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court chose to exercise its “appellate prerogative” and resentence a convicted murderer  to a total term of 88 years in prison after the man appealed his sentence on the basis of a Sixth Amendment violation.
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Illinois man denied pardon by Pence asks court for new trial

October 4, 2016
 Associated Press
An Illinois man denied a pardon by Gov. Mike Pence for a robbery he said he did not commit requested a new trial Monday in a bid to win exoneration.
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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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