Legal News

Circuit Court upholds settlement; $43 million in attorney fees

September 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a $180 million settlement and grant of $43.5 million in attorney fees in a dispute between retirement plan participants and their former employer. Some class members objected to the amount of attorney fees, but the 7th Circuit saw no reason to disturb the lower court’s decision.
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COA: Grandma didn't have standing to petition for visitation

September 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the denial of a mother’s request to set aside grandparent visitation, finding the grandmother filed her petition in the incorrect court.
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Prison jumpsuits don't constitute cruel and unusual punishment

September 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Requiring inmates to wear lightweight jumpsuits instead of shirt and pants is not cruel and unusual punishment, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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7th Circuit tackles 'novel' U visa review request

September 1, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled it does not have jurisdiction to review immigration orders denying a specialized visa to a non-citizen trying to stay in the country after assisting in an investigation or prosecution.
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Grandmother can't petition for visitation

September 1, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A grandmother has lost her right to petition for visitation rights after her son’s parental rights were terminated, so the trial court was correct in dismissing her petition, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Bankruptcy Court seeks comment on rule changes

September 1, 2011
IL Staff
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana is now accepting comments on proposed amendments to its local rules.
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State preparing to pay maximum in stage collapse damages

August 31, 2011
Scott Olson
The state of Indiana is set to forgo costly and lengthy litigation and instead pay the maximum $5 million in damages allowed by law to victims of the Indiana State Fair concert stage collapse, Attorney General Greg Zoeller said Wednesday.
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Unrepresented litigants don't forfeit exemptions even if not pleaded

August 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a couple who were ordered in small claims court to pay $100 a month toward judgments and look for work each week. The couple’s only income is exempt under the general wage and the Social Security Income exemptions.
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Man's detainment by officer violated 4th Amendment

August 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Conservation officers checking to see if a fisherman had a valid license did not have reasonable suspicion to detain the man and ask to see what was inside his bag after verifying his license, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Attorney must pay credit card company

August 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An Illinois attorney has lost his appeal in his fight against a credit card company seeking to collect money owed on a Discover card.
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Toxic dust exposure leads to litigationRestricted Content

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Indianapolis attorney Gabe Hawkins has already attended the funerals of three former clients, and he hopes that he won’t have to see a fourth before finally being able to say that the courtroom battle they’ve been waging for years has paid off.
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Can schools discipline for off-campus conduct?Restricted Content

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
School is back in session, and a new set of court rulings issued during the summer break may make it more difficult for school administrators to decide how to handle inappropriate or potentially disruptive online activities carried out by students off-campus.
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Off the beaten path

August 31, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Two thirsty cowboys descend from a winding forest trail and hitch their horses to a post. They saunter about 100 paces to the tavern to grab a beer, where a tattooed bartender is watching the only TV in town, and Patsy Cline’s voice drifts from the stereo. An elderly couple enjoys a post-lunch stroll in the garden, and in the distance, the high-pitched whine of a table saw means the handyman is hard at work, as usual. This is life in Story, a tiny patch of paradise that began as a logging town in 1850.
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Meth use linked to increase in CHINSRestricted Content

August 31, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Leslie Dunn, Indiana state director for GAL/CASA, said the number of Child in Need of Services cases over time remains stable, but she’s seen some remarkable variations in cases per-county from year to year. In Vanderburgh County, for example, new CHINS cases jumped from 448 in 2008 to 818 in 2010. People who are watching these numbers with concern cite several possible reasons for these variations.
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Economic woes hitting state's public defense

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Years ago, those working in the Porter County Public Defender Office reported seeing a bright blue Post-it note tagged to their caseload reports that said, “HELP!” in huge hand-written print. That was a common occurrence at a time when the local public defender’s office faced a critical overload point because of skyrocketing caseloads and too few attorneys.
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Jefferson County celebrates reopening of courthouse

August 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A fire in May 2009 displaced the courts and government offices. After more than two years, they were able to move back into the courthouse.
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Class-action lawsuit filed over stage collapse

August 31, 2011
Scott Olson
A class-action lawsuit filed by an Indianapolis law firm is the largest legal action to arise so far from the collapse of a concert stage at the Indiana State Fair.
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Foundation hosting golf fundraiser

August 31, 2011
IL Staff
Christ is my Big C, a charitable foundation started by attorney Stephenie Jocham to help cancer patients, is seeking sponsorships, foursomes, and silent auction items for an Oct. 17 golf tournament.
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Protecting pets in perpetuity

August 31, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The non-profit American Pet Products Association estimates that this year, Americans will spend $50.84 billion on their pets – not surprising, considering the ever-increasing variety of treats, toys, and services for animals. But what happens to these pampered pets after their owners die? Are they consigned to a life of off-brand food? Forced to take up residence in a cramped kennel?
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Court tackles timeliness of trust distribution

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A recent Indiana Court of Appeals decision offers guidance to those working in trust and estate matters regarding how long a trustee should wait before turning to a probate court for guidance on distributing money to beneficiaries when a dispute exists over the amount that will be received.
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2011-2012 Civil Legal Aid Fund figures released

August 31, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Division of State Court Administration has released figures for 2011-2012, showing how the $1.5 million Civil Legal Aid Fund has been distributed among 11 qualifying agencies.
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Legal Aid Society to hold 70th birthday celebration

August 31, 2011
IL Staff
The Indianapolis Legal Aid Society has scheduled a celebration in honor of its 70th birthday on Sept. 16. The guest speaker is Bobby Knight, former Indiana University basketball coach.
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Appeals court sides with murder defendant in hearsay appeal

August 30, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Citing hearsay rules, the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court’s finding that the state may not introduce into evidence statements that could implicate a man who is facing murder charges.
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COA: 6th Amendment not violated in juvenile murder case

August 30, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found that a juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in waiving a 15-year-old boy’s murder trial to adult court and that Indiana’s juvenile waiver statute does not violate the Sixth Amendment.
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Attorney general wants State Fair class action dismissed

August 30, 2011
IL Staff
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General filed a motion Monday in Marion Superior Court to dismiss a proposed class-action lawsuit filed as a result of the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair.
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  1. Bill Satterlee is, indeed, a true jazz aficionado. Part of my legal career was spent as an associate attorney with Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans in Valparaiso. Bill was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing me to jazz music, thereby fostering my love for this genre. We would, occasionally, travel to Chicago on weekends and sit in on some outstanding jazz sessions at Andy's on Hubbard Street. Had it not been for Bill's love of jazz music, I never would have had the good fortune of hearing it played live at Andy's. And, most likely, I might never have begun listening to it as much as I do. Thanks, Bill.

  2. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  3. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  4. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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