Legal News

Former HHGregg manager wins class-action suit over bonuses

July 22, 2015
Indianapolis Business Journal, Scott Olson
A former HHGregg Inc. manager has won his lawsuit charging that the company failed to pay incentive bonuses after reaching certain financial goals.
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Judgment for city on wrongful arrest claim affirmed

July 22, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis man who claimed he was the victim of wrongful arrest and malicious prosecution may not pursue his federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and the arresting officer, but he may go to state court to sue the neighbor who claimed the man broke into his house and assaulted him.
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Opinions July 21, 2015

July 21, 2015
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Steven J. Ouellette
02S00-1502-DI-107
Attorney discipline. Disbars Steven J. Ouellette for converting $8,725 in client funds and failing to cooperate with the disciplinary process. Ouellette, who currently was suspended indefinitely in a separate disciplinary matter, violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15(a), 8.1(b), 8.4(b) and 8.4(c). Respectively, those rules violations are for failing to hold client property in trust; failing to respond to disciplinary authorities; committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness; and conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.
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Supreme Court disbars suspended Fort Wayne lawyer

July 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Fort Wayne lawyer’s latest disciplinary matter resulted in his disbarment for taking $8,725 from clients he represented in a bankruptcy case.
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COA: Petitioner entitled to tax deed after completing all steps

July 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
An entity that bought two properties at a tax sale fulfilled all the requisite steps to acquire ownership of the parcels, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled, rejecting an appeal from the trust that previously owned the properties.
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Gender gap persists among lead trial counsel

July 21, 2015
 Bloomberg News
When it comes to lead trial counsel, a recent American Bar Association Study reveals that the gender divide shows no signs of going away.
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Dose of chlorine gas alone not enough to support diagnosis of respiratory illness

July 21, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who failed to produce an expert witness to link his respiratory ailment to a mishap at an amusement park will not be able to continue with his negligence claim.
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Justices take drug-buy sting appeal

July 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will review the conviction of a man arrested after authorities set up controlled cocaine purchases from him.
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Judge’s failure to address killers’ upbringings requires resentencing

July 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
Two men sentenced to life in prison for the 2000 murder of a 73-year-old nearly deaf Hammond gun store owner must be resentenced, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Deaf courtroom spectator gets $124,500 settlement from state of Indiana

July 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A deaf Indiana man who was denied a sign-language interpreter in court has reached a $124,500 settlement with the state of Indiana.
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Residents celebrate law allowing alcohol at retirement homes

July 20, 2015
 Associated Press
Residents of a Bloomington retirement home are enjoying their successful push for a change to state law to allow the serving of alcohol at Indiana's nursing homes and retirement communities.
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Involuntary commitment vacated for lack of evidence

July 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis woman was improperly ordered committed for mental illness, but there was insufficient evidence she was gravely disabled, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday. The decision further emphasizes the need for clear and convincing evidence of grave disability to support a commitment.
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Coroner: Arterial disease killed ND law professor at 31

July 20, 2015
IL Staff
The death of a popular Notre Dame Law School professor and undergradate mock trial coach was caused by cardiovascular disease, according to the St. Joseph County coroner’s office.
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Reversal: Court wrongly required $1.1M bond in estate spat

July 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court wrongly ordered an heir to an estate to post a bond of more than $1.1 million for a claim he submitted as he sought to block the sale of the family farm.
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Indiana AG Zoeller enters congressional race

July 20, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is looking for a return to Washington by seeking the congressional seat that Republican U.S. Rep. Todd Young is giving up to run for the U.S. Senate next year.
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Judge OKs $60 million settlement in NCAA video game case

July 20, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal judge approved a $60 million settlement for college athletes in a class-action lawsuit filed against the NCAA and video-game maker Electronics Arts.
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Sex orientation added to Terre Haute anti-discrimination law

July 17, 2015
 Associated Press
The Terre Haute City Council has passed an amendment adding sexual orientation and gender identity to its local anti-discrimination ordinance.
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Supreme Court won't hear ex-Indiana elections chief appeal

July 17, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court has denied a request by former Secretary of State Charlie White that it review a state appeals court decision upholding his three felony convictions for voter fraud, theft and perjury.
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IBF establishes grant program with national settlement funds

July 17, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Bar Foundation has established a new grant program to help residents and their communities heal wounds from the Great Recession.
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Altice selected to succeed Friedlander on Court of Appeals

July 17, 2015
Dave Stafford
Marion Superior Judge Robert R. Altice Jr. was named to the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday by Gov. Mike Pence.<
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Trial court had discretion in allowing hearsay statements into evidence

July 17, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court, which excused two young girls from testifying against their abuser at trial and instead allowed their prior statements to be admitted into evidence, did not abuse its discretion, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Altice selected to succeed Friedlander on Court of Appeals

July 17, 2015
IL Staff
Marion Superior Judge Robert R. Altice Jr. has been named to the Indiana Court of Appeals, Gov. Mike Pence announced Friday.
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Pence orders investigation of Planned Parenthood in Indiana

July 16, 2015
 Associated Press
Gov. Mike Pence has directed the state Department of Health to investigate Planned Parenthood facilities in Indiana in cooperation with the Indiana attorney general to see if organs from aborted fetuses are being sold.
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Reversal: Trial court erred in vacating agreed paternity order

July 16, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Hendricks County trial court erred by disregarding a mother and father’s agreed paternity order, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday, sending the matter back to the trial court. The court affirmed a judgment against father to pay mother’s attorney fees.
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Court aid offered for non-English-speaking, pro se litigants

July 16, 2015
IL Staff
Court improvement grants of up to $50,000 are available to assist unrepresented litigants and those with limited English proficiency.
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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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