District Courts

Death row inmate’s habeas petition denied

October 4, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge in South Bend has denied a death row inmate’s request for habeas corpus, rejecting the man’s claims that he is mentally retarded and, therefore, cannot be sentenced to death.
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Conour drops attorneys, gets $15k from shrinking trust

September 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
Ex-attorney William Conour and his defense lawyers officially parted ways on Thursday. A federal judge afterward granted Conour’s request that he receive $15,000 from a $100,000 trust fund set up for compensating client victims he is accused of defrauding.
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Federal judge dismisses whistleblower suit against Rolls-Royce

September 27, 2012
Scott Olson
A federal judge in Indianapolis has dismissed a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former Rolls-Royce Corp. engineer who accused the company of selling faulty aircraft engine parts to the government.
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Durham to be sentenced Nov. 30

September 27, 2012
IL Staff
Tim Durham and the two other men convicted of running a Ponzi scheme and taking money from investors in Ohio-based Fair Finance Co. will be sentenced Nov. 30.
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Major changes coming in bankruptcy court Oct. 1

September 26, 2012
IL Staff
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana is reminding practitioners that some amendments to local rules taking effect next month “may significantly impact” bankruptcy attorney practices.
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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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Attorney facing fraud charges dropping lawyers

September 24, 2012
Scott Olson
Lawyers for a high-profile Indianapolis attorney accused of misappropriating $4.5 million in client funds are requesting to withdraw as his defense counsel just a month before his trial date.
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Conour's colleagues questioned behavior

September 12, 2012
Dave Stafford
William Conour, until recently, was one of Indiana’s most respected and powerful personal injury attorneys, his name prominent enough to grace a law school atrium. Now he faces a federal charge that could send him to prison for much of the rest of his life.
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Pharmacy owner pleads guilty to $3.5M in Medicaid fraud

August 31, 2012
IL Staff
A West Lafayette pharmacy owner was sentenced to four years and 9 months in federal prison for defrauding the state’s Medicaid program. He was also ordered to repay Medicaid and pay taxes owed.
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7th Circuit vacates habeas petition, orders further proceedings

August 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Although a District Court’s grant of the habeas petition of a man claiming he didn’t have an impartial jury was reversed by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the case was sent back to the lower court for the state to show that the jury was not prejudiced.
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Bad BP gas distributed widely in Indy, as far south as Corydon

August 29, 2012
Dave Stafford
Tainted BP gasoline that is the subject of two federal lawsuits in northern Indiana was delivered to and likely sold in at least 28 Indianapolis gas stations and as far south as Corydon and Lawrenceburg, according to information the company provided.
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Same court, new experience

August 29, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Hoover Hull LLP partner Alice Morical joins a Southern District pro bono program and faces a jury for the first time.
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Updated instructions aim to prevent social media use during trial

August 24, 2012
IL Staff
Federal judges have new guidelines for keeping Twitter and Facebook out of the jury box.
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Steak ’n Shake loses appeal over franchisee’s independent pricing

August 24, 2012
Dave Stafford
A longtime Steak ’n Shake franchisee who sued the chain after it insisted on setting prices for menu items prevailed again Friday as the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an Illinois federal court’s ruling in the franchisee’s favor.
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Man had no constitutional right to counsel

August 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claims in support of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, finding his motion to correct sentence wasn’t a motion pursuant to Indiana Code, but was a collateral attack on his sentence.
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AT&T technicians file lawsuit over lunch policy

August 17, 2012
Chris O'Malley
Eleven AT&T technicians have filed a federal lawsuit seeking class-action status to collect unpaid wages and overtime, alleging the company compels them to work during unpaid lunch breaks.
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Federal Rules website revamped, accepting comment on rule changes

August 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The United States Courts’ Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Appellate, Bankruptcy, Criminal, and Evidence Rules announced Friday that it is seeking comment on several proposed changes to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, as well as changes made to its website. Officials hope the revamped website will be more user-friendly.
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Rehearings - 8/17/12

August 15, 2012
Dave Stafford
Updates on Indiana's immigration law and the former Merrillville doctor facing hundreds of malpractice suits and other charges.
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Bankruptcy filings down across country, Indiana

August 3, 2012
IL Staff
Bankruptcy filings are down 14 percent across the country for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2012, as compared to the year ending June 30, 2011, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts reported Friday. Filings are down by at least 13 percent in Indiana courts.
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Federal Bar Update: No changes to federal rules this year

August 1, 2012
John Maley
Federal rule amendments take affect Dec. 1 of each year after a lengthy, time-consuming process of transmittal from the Judicial Conference to the Supreme Court and then to Congress. This coming December, for the first time in many years, there are no amendments on the horizon for the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, or Federal Rules of Evidence.
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Zoeller: Parts of immigration law can't stand

July 31, 2012
Dave Stafford
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said Tuesday a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down most of a tough Arizona law will impact a similar immigration law signed by Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2011.
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New suit alleges NCAA monopoly, seeks class action

July 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
A new federal lawsuit has been filed alleging that the Indianapolis-based NCAA constitutes an illegal college sports monopoly.
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Federal judge rules against environmental groups in I-69 suit

July 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The two environmental organizations challenging the construction of Interstate 69 in southern Indiana lost in federal court Tuesday. The lawsuit filed by Hoosier Environmental Council and Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads dealt with the stretch of the interstate from Washington, Ind. to Scotland, Ind.
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Mother of man shot to death at Kroger files suit

July 19, 2012
Scott Olson
The mother of an Indianapolis man fatally shot in December by a Kroger manager during what police determined was an attempted robbery is suing the supermarket chain for wrongful death.
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Comment needed on bankruptcy local rule changes

July 18, 2012
IL Staff
The United States Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Indiana is seeking comment on proposed amendments to its local rules. The changes include references to the local rules of the District Court.
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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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