Statehouse News

Protecting students from the worst

January 16, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
An increased focus on school safety is expected in Indiana Legislature this session.
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Democrats' walkout leads to another 'fines' mess

January 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
Before the Indiana General Assembly convened Jan. 7, some unfinished business was debated in the Statehouse: whether Republican House leaders went too far in seizing fines from Democrats who walked out of the Legislature in 2011 and 2012.
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Pilot iPad program expanding in Indiana General Assembly

December 19, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The process of turning a bill into a law requires thousands of pages of paper. Even the bills that do not become laws consume stacks and stacks – literally tons – of paper each year. But the tide may be turning. A pilot project in the Indiana General Assembly is being expanded with the goal of eventually replacing all that paper with electronic copies.
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Lawmakers to look at marijuana penalties

December 5, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
There's a growing appetite by some in the Legislature for leniency.
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Drought fuels renewed drive for a statewide water policy

December 5, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Chamber of Commerce is finding that there is nothing quite like a dry, arid, hot summer to spark people’s interest in water.
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Estate lawyers' duty of responsibility clarified in proposed legislation

November 21, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Estate attorneys are hoping the Indiana General Assembly will provide a remedy after a ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals muddied the waters concerning the scope and duties of a lawyer working on behalf of an estate’s personal representative.
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State Senate creates new committee to study civil law

November 19, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Senate has added a new committee to its roster to examine non-criminal legal issues.
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Indiana Department of Child Services urged to set course for new direction

October 10, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
With a new governor taking over Indiana’s executive branch in January, what changes, if any, will come to the Department of Child Services are unknown. However, some contend that should not stop the agency from addressing criticism and implementing new policies or programs now.
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Zoeller, senators at odds over immigration law

September 26, 2012
Dave Stafford
Indiana lawmakers seek to intervene with aid of Kansas official Kris Kobach.
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CCEC Work Group proposes sweeping revision to the Indiana Criminal Code

September 12, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana General Assembly’s Criminal Code Evaluation Commission has started another round of hearings to collect data and recommendations for revising the state’s criminal statutes. A key element of this review will be an extensive study of significant sections of Title 35 by the CCEC Work Group.
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LSA leaves opinions at the door

September 12, 2012
In a world of partisan wrangling, the  Legislative Services Agency has “jealously guarded” its nonpartisan nature.
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Pill mills migrating to Indiana?

August 29, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The General Assembly and physician groups are considering ways to stop over-prescribing of pain medications.
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Indiana's inheritance tax phasing out

May 9, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
Attorneys who handle estate planning say questions remain about the future of the federal estate tax.
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Indiana legislative round-up

March 28, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A snapshot of key points from bills heard in the 2012 legislative session. All enrolled acts were signed by the governor by March 20.
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CFOs, CAFOs in the spotlight

February 29, 2012
IL Staff
An update on Indiana laws and legislation involving confined feeding operations and confined animal feeding operations.
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Bill would increase funds for pro bono districts

January 18, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The modest filing fee could help offset declining IOLTA funds.
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Bill would change child support statute

January 18, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
Senate Bill 18 could reduce arrearages.
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Labor law to be key issue in 2012

December 7, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Indiana legislators disagree about merits of right-to-work legislation.
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Judge rules on case involving legislative walkout fines

December 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A Marion Superior judge has ruled that state courts don’t have the ability to interfere with the Indiana General Assembly’s constitutional authority to pass laws or its own internal rules, including how it compels attendance or imposes fines.
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Adding UPL to Indiana RICO statute

November 9, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana Supreme Court case involving an estate planning “trust mill” has led to a policy discussion about whether certain types of unauthorized practice of law should rise above a misdemeanor crime and involve a racketeering component.
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Lawmakers discuss sentencing

October 26, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Proposed changes would reclassify drug crimes and emphasize county oversight.
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Lawmakers taking second look at 'second chance law'

October 14, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Legislators want to take a second look at a new law passed this year that gives Indiana residents with nonviolent criminal histories a chance to limit public access to parts of their record.
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Change allows closed-circuit testimony for child victims

May 25, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
On July 1, Indiana will begin allowing the use of closed-circuit testimony in certain court cases. Introduced as House Bill 1215 and signed into law by Gov. Mitch Daniels, the amendment to Indiana Criminal Code 35-37-4-6 may help minimize emotional distress for child victims.
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Immigration bill could bring Indiana into the national spotlight

May 11, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
On May 9, Indiana was still awaiting word about whether Gov. Mitch Daniels would sign Senate Enrolled Act 590. After a protracted volley between the House and Senate, the bill designed to crack down on illegal immigration passed on April 29, its language considerably altered from the introduced version.
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Bills on courts, forfeiture before governor

May 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Several Indiana counties will have their Circuit and Superior courts unified and certain judges will no longer have to be less than 70 years old when they take office, thanks to legislation passed during the 2011 session of the General Assembly.
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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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