Legal News

Pawn shop owner loses case based on ‘class-of-one’ theory

June 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An Evansville pawn shop owner couldn’t convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that the state singled him out for disparate treatment without a rational basis when it initially denied his application for a pawnbroking license.
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COA: Debt collector not entitled to attorney fees under agreement

June 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A company assigned to collect on a woman’s medical debt cannot also collect attorney fees, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday. The agreement the woman signed with a medical provider that allows for the collection of attorney fees did not apply to the physician group which assigned her debt to the collections company.
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LCBA encouraging members to put a focus on individual health

June 20, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Lake County Bar Association will be holding its first “Practice Health, Not Law Day” on June 27. Members are encouraged to use the day to schedule a medical check-up or to visit the association’s office in Merrillville for a free health screening.
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Treble damages under Sales Rep Act not subject to Punitive Damages Act

June 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court unanimously held Thursday that treble damages under the Sales Representative Act are not subject to the Punitive Damages Act.
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Janitor loses pro se complaint alleging discrimination

June 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals noted that it was a “close call” whether a man worked in a hostile work environment as a school temporary janitor, but judges found that he could not meet his legal burden to prove that he suffered severe or pervasive harassment based on his race.
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Judge removes herself from county treasurer cases

June 19, 2014
 Associated Press
The judge overseeing the case of a central Indiana treasurer charged with mishandling public money and a lawsuit aimed at removing him from office has disqualified herself from both cases.
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State appeals ruling recognizing single same-sex marriage

June 19, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse an Indianapolis federal judge’s ruling requiring the state to recognize the same-sex marriage of two women, one of whom is gravely ill.
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Judge concerned insurance ruling has ‘broad-range consequences’ for future cases

June 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals issued a lengthy opinion Thursday dealing with an insurance coverage dispute between a company headquartered in Indiana and its insurers regarding claims from Taiwanese workers that they were made ill from contaminants from a manufacturing plant.
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Starting salaries increase slightly for 2013 law grads

June 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The median starting salaries for 2013 law school graduates rose slightly to nearly $62,500, according to data released by NALP Thursday. More grads also found jobs nine months out of school, but the unemployment rate rose due to the increased size of the graduating class.
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7th Circuit: Defendant’s counsel not ineffective

June 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday declined to find that a defendant’s appointed attorney provided ineffective assistance of counsel requiring the court to vacate or correct his 20-year sentence.
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SCOTUS nixes patent on financial risk software in closely watched case

June 19, 2014
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States has tossed out an Australian company's patent for business software in a closely watched case that clarifies standards for awarding patents.
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2 convicted for roles in death of fellow inmate

June 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Two inmates at the Terre Haute Federal Correctional Institution have been convicted for their roles in the death of a fellow inmate, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana announced Wednesday. William J. Bell and Lenard Dixon were recently ordered to wear modified leg restraints during their trial.
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Commission announces new fees for CLE

June 19, 2014
IL Staff
Attorneys and sponsors who are late in reporting attendance to the Indiana Commission for Continuing Legal Education will be subject to up to a $50 fee, according to an order released by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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How the Supreme Court handles death cases

June 19, 2014
 Associated Press
Supreme Court of the United States decisions to allow inmates to be put to death or to grant a rare reprieve often come at the last minute, and sometimes after the appointed hour of execution has come and gone.
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Ogden receives 30-day suspension for criticizing judge

June 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Indianapolis attorney and blogger Paul Ogden has been suspended for 30 days by the Indiana Supreme Court based on comments he made regarding a judge who presided over an estate case involving Ogden’s client.
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Trademark board rules against Redskins name

June 18, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal trademark board ruled Wednesday that the Washington Redskins nickname is "disparaging of Native Americans" and that the team's trademark protections should be canceled, a decision that applies new financial and political pressure on the team to change its name.
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US Supreme Court declines to hear Fort Wayne case

June 18, 2014
 Associated Press, IL Staff
The case of an Ohio man sentenced to 60 years for killing a man he found sleeping in a motel room where he and other traveling magazine vendors were staying is headed to the Indiana Court of Appeals after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear it.
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COA rules against bank in lien dispute

June 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Wells Fargo Bank could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse default judgment entered against it in favor of two companies trying to foreclose on mechanic’s liens. The court also had a warning for litigants when filing amended complaints.
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COA split over whether convicted murderer needs new trial

June 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a murder conviction Wednesday after the defendant argued his right to confront witnesses against him was violated. But one judge on the panel agreed with Michael Torres and wrote in his dissent that Torres should have a new trial.
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Order requiring man to participate in sex offender program not unconstitutional

June 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found that the order requiring a man to participate in the Sex Offender Management and Monitoring program does not violate Indiana’s prohibition of ex post facto laws.
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7th Circuit: Attorney provided effective assistance to man facing drug charges

June 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s argument that his trial attorney was ineffective because he failed to object to an interpreter arrangement during a witness’s testimony and chose not to have all of discovery translated into Spanish.
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Solo and Small Firm Conference puts focus on future of law

June 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
With a focus on “The Future of Law” and highlighted by a healthy dose of ethics and a look at coming changes and challenges, the Indiana State Bar Association’s Solo and Small Firm Conference at the French Lick Resort drew the second-largest crowd in the event’s history, organizers said.
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Change at the top means new leadership at Supreme Court

June 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
Chief Justice Brent Dickson led the Indiana Supreme Court for just two years, but attorneys who practice before the court said his decision to hand the reins to a colleague is in keeping with the leadership tone he set. Dickson expects to step down from his position as chief justice sometime before Sept. 1.
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Indiana lawmakers return to correct errors

June 17, 2014
 Associated Press
State lawmakers returned to the Indiana Capitol Tuesday to fix a series of problems with their sweeping overhaul of the state's criminal sentencing rules.
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Dealership did not abide by contract terms, COA rules

June 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Citing the terms spelled out in the contract, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a car dealer that entrusted a buyer with mailing a title to the lender will have to pay the balance of the auto loan.
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  1. Actually, and most strikingly, the ruling failed to address the central issue to the whole case: Namely, Black Knight/LPS, who was NEVER a party to the State court litigation, and who is under a 2013 consent judgment in Indiana (where it has stipulated to the forgery of loan documents, the ones specifically at issue in my case)never disclosed itself in State court or remediated the forged loan documents as was REQUIRED of them by the CJ. In essence, what the court is willfully ignoring, is that it is setting a precedent that the supplier of a defective product, one whom is under a consent judgment stipulating to such, and under obligation to remediate said defective product, can: 1.) Ignore the CJ 2.) Allow counsel to commit fraud on the state court 3.) Then try to hide behind Rooker Feldman doctrine as a bar to being held culpable in federal court. The problem here is the court is in direct conflict with its own ruling(s) in Johnson v. Pushpin Holdings & Iqbal- 780 F.3d 728, at 730 “What Johnson adds - what the defendants in this suit have failed to appreciate—is that federal courts retain jurisdiction to award damages for fraud that imposes extrajudicial injury. The Supreme Court drew that very line in Exxon Mobil ... Iqbal alleges that the defendants conducted a racketeering enterprise that predates the state court’s judgments ...but Exxon Mobil shows that the Rooker Feldman doctrine asks what injury the plaintiff asks the federal court to redress, not whether the injury is “intertwined” with something else …Because Iqbal seeks damages for activity that (he alleges) predates the state litigation and caused injury independently of it, the Rooker-Feldman doctrine does not block this suit. It must be reinstated.” So, as I already noted to others, I now have the chance to bring my case to SCOTUS; the ruling by Wood & Posner is flawed on numerous levels,BUT most troubling is the fact that the authors KNOW it's a flawed ruling and choose to ignore the flaws for one simple reason: The courts have decided to agree with former AG Eric Holder that national banks "Are too big to fail" and must win at any cost-even that of due process, case precedent, & the truth....Let's see if SCOTUS wants a bite at the apple.

  2. I am in NJ & just found out that there is a judgment against me in an action by Driver's Solutions LLC in IN. I was never served with any Court pleadings, etc. and the only thing that I can find out is that they were using an old Staten Island NY address for me. I have been in NJ for over 20 years and cannot get any response from Drivers Solutions in IN. They have a different lawyer now. I need to get this vacated or stopped - it is now almost double & at 18%. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

  3. I am in NJ & just found out that there is a judgment against me in an action by Driver's Solutions LLC in IN. I was never served with any Court pleadings, etc. and the only thing that I can find out is that they were using an old Staten Island NY address for me. I have been in NJ for over 20 years and cannot get any response from Drivers Solutions in IN. They have a different lawyer now. I need to get this vacated or stopped - it is now almost double & at 18%. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

  4. Please I need help with my class action lawsuits, im currently in pro-se and im having hard time findiNG A LAWYER TO ASSIST ME

  5. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

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