Legal News

8th Circuit upholds Warner Bros.' legal victory over 'Gone With the Wind' merchandise

November 2, 2016
 Bloomberg News
It might sound extraordinary, but a legal dispute over merchandise associated with The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind and Tom and Jerry has been raging for more than a decade. On Tuesday, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals revisited the dispute by affirming both a $2.57 million judgment and permanent injunction in favor of Warner Bros.
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Trial courts plan events to highlight, promote adoption

November 2, 2016
IL Staff
Twenty Indiana trial courts have planned events this month allowing cameras to document the placement of about 160 children with their adoptive parents.
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326 pass July Indiana Bar Exam

November 2, 2016
IL Staff
The Indiana Lawyer congratulates the individuals listed on passing the July 2016 Indiana Bar Exam.
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Networking is key in job hunt for new attorneys

November 2, 2016
Olivia Covington
The careers of today’s law school graduates will benefit most from the connections made through pre-professional experiences, a sentiment shared by law school career development professionals.
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Undocumented worker's injury suit puts major issues before justices

November 2, 2016
Dave Stafford
An undocumented immigrant’s workplace injury — and how much he may be entitled to — has put the rising number of foreign-born workers, the rights they can expect, and the responsibilities of employers squarely before the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Bouncing back from the bust

November 2, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Hammered in the recession, real estate law now faces competition from nonlawyers as well as the need to attract new faces.
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COA considers jury trial in State Fair stage collapse suit against ESG Security

November 2, 2016
Olivia Covington
Five years after severe weather brought the stage of the Indiana State Fair grandstand to the ground, killing seven people and injuring dozens of others, the final defendant in the ensuing litigation is asking that summary judgment in its favor be upheld.
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New report critical of Indiana’s indigent defense

November 2, 2016
Dave Stafford
The report found Indiana is failing to equally provide constitutionally mandated effective counsel to indigent people accused of felony, misdemeanor and juvenile offenses.
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Former court administrator Judson reflects on lifelong career with state Supreme Court

November 2, 2016
Olivia Covington
Lilia Judson has a unique distinction among judicial employees. She has worked with 17 Indiana Supreme Court justices during her 40-year career, the largest number of justices any Indiana judicial employee has ever worked for.
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Prosecutors balk at curbing eyewitness identifications

November 2, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Public Defender Council touts the proposed rule as helping to prevent wrongful convictions.
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Women attorneys frustrated compensation gap still wide

November 2, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
For the most part, women leaders in Indiana’s legal profession are not surprised that female attorneys earn less than their male counterparts. What does shock them is how much less they are making.
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Q&A with the Indiana AG candidates

November 2, 2016
Dave Stafford
Voters on Nov. 8 will replace outgoing Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller. Indiana Lawyer asked the candidates, Democrat Lorenzo Arredondo and Republican Curtis Hill, to respond to the same five questions. Here’s what they had to say.
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Indiana attorney with failed Florida firm calls ethics complaint against her a ‘witch hunt’

November 2, 2016
Dave Stafford
By outward appearances, Divina K. Westerfield is an attorney practicing in Indianapolis. But looks can be deceiving.
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500-plus hours of pro bono nets award for Fort Wayne lawyer

November 2, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
John Cowan is being recognized with the Pro Bono Publico Award from the Indiana Bar Foundation this December.
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Prosecutors want pretrial release rule withdrawn

November 2, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
More than a month after the Indiana Supreme Court approved a rule that encourages state courts to release low-risk arrestees without bail, Indiana prosecutors are asking the justices to reconsider.
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Indiana Tech Law School dean argued for more time

November 1, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The decision by the Indiana Tech board of trustees to close the university’s law school came after law school dean Charles Cercone repeatedly argued the institution could become viable if it remained open.
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School district in Elkhart promises to nix live Nativity

November 1, 2016
 Associated Press
A student and parents suing a school district in Elkhart over its annual holiday pageant are still seeking a court order preventing the school from reverting to old versions of the show that contain live Nativity scenes.
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7th Circuit vacates brandishing sentence for lack of jury finding

November 1, 2016
Olivia Covington
A man convicted of attempted robbery in Indiana federal court will be resentenced after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found Tuesday that the jury failed to find that the defendant had actually aided and abetted the brandishing of firearms during the robbery.
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3 judges appointed to replace late Noblesville city judge

November 1, 2016
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has appointed three judges to temporarily replace a Noblesville city judge who died last month.
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State appealing $31M judgment against DCS workers

November 1, 2016
IL Staff
The state of Indiana is asking the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to review the $31 million jury verdict awarded to a Pulaski County family after they sued Department of Child Services workers and others for the wrongful removal of their children and prosecution of the parents.
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COA panel takes oral arguments to Notre Dame

November 1, 2016
IL Staff
A panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Wednesday at the University of Notre Dame Law School.
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AG files for emergency stay in case against beer wholesaler

November 1, 2016
IL Staff
The state is fighting a court order that would require it to grant a wholesaler permit to Spirited Sales LLC, a company affiliated with Monarch Beverage that wants to sell liquor.
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Indiana Tech Law School faculty considering lawsuit after closure announcement

October 31, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
One law school faculty member is describing Indiana Tech’s decision to close its law school as sudden, abrupt and shocking, and indicated that legal action may be coming.
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Members of Indiana legal community weigh in on ‘metaphysical quandary’

October 31, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Before the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments Monday morning on an issue that has been described as a “metaphysical quandary,” the Indiana legal community offered some guidance.
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Indiana Tech Law School to close

October 31, 2016
IL Staff
Indiana Tech Law School will close at the end of this school year, the Fort Wayne institution announced less than one semester after graduating its first class.
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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