District Courts

Judge turns away challenge to smoking ordinance

March 7, 2013
Indianapolis Business Journal
A federal judge has denied a challenge to a smoking ordinance passed last year by the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council.
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Judge tosses suit against NCAA that reads ‘like a press release’

March 4, 2013
Dave Stafford
A federal judge on Friday dismissed several former college athletes’ attempt to bring a class-action lawsuit against Indianapolis-based NCAA, writing in a 25-page order that the complaint “reads more like a press release than a legal filing.” The judge left open the possibility that an antitrust claim may survive.
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5 sitting jurists to judge moot court competition Friday

March 1, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of distinguished judges, including one from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, will be on hand Friday evening to hear final arguments in a case involving judicial recusal and eminent domain as part of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law Sherman Minton Moot Court Competition.
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Settlement talks set for Don Marsh severance dispute

March 1, 2013
Scott Olson
Lawyers for Marsh Supermarkets Inc. and its former CEO are set to meet Monday in hopes of finally ending their years-long court battle in which the company already has notched a partial victory.
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Environmental groups lob new suit at I-69 work

February 28, 2013
Scott Olson
An Indiana environmental group once again is attempting to stop construction of the Interstate 69 extension between Evansville and Indianapolis by filing suit in federal court.
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‘Sovereign citizen’ gets 40-year sentence

February 25, 2013
IL Staff
A self-identified sovereign citizen was sentenced last week to 40 years in prison for felony convictions of kidnapping and intimidation of a witness.
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High-priced Chicago firm handling Durham’s appeal pro bono

February 21, 2013
Scott Olson
Just because Tim Durham isn’t paying a lawyer to handle the appeal of his 50-year federal prison sentence doesn’t mean he’s getting shortchanged.
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Decision could come soon on Don Marsh severance claim

February 18, 2013
Scott Olson
Don Marsh shouldn’t have to wait long to find out if he can collect his entire $4 million severance or whether he’ll have to return the portion he’s already received from Marsh Supermarkets Inc.
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Jury to begin deliberating in Don Marsh trial

February 15, 2013
Scott Olson
A jury is expected to begin deliberating Friday afternoon whether Don Marsh owes Marsh Supermarkets Inc. more than $3 million in personal expenses he allegedly charged the company while he was CEO.
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7th Circuit orders proposed plan of reorganization open to competitive bidding

February 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a Southern District Bankruptcy judge Thursday, finding the judge incorrectly ruled that competition was unnecessary in a plan of reorganization involving a shopping center.
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Witnesses: Don Marsh’s expenses never questioned

February 14, 2013
Scott Olson
Lawyers for Don Marsh continue to hammer home their claims that the former supermarket CEO's expenses for lavish travel were widely accepted as normal business costs.
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David Marsh defends trips he took at company's expense

February 13, 2013
Scott Olson
Don Marsh's son David, who served under his father as president of Marsh Supermarkets Inc, traveled widely, often on the company jet, just as his father did.
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Sun Capital execs 'shocked' by Marsh financials

February 12, 2013
Scott Olson
Any feelings of satisfaction that executives of Sun Capital Partners had after completing its acquisition of Marsh Supermarkets Inc. quickly turned to “shock and surprise,” a managing director of the private-equity firm told jurors Tuesday.
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Marsh pilot says he flew former CEO to see mistresses

February 11, 2013
Scott Olson
Don Marsh’s personal pilot told jurors Monday morning that he ferried the former CEO of Marsh Supermarkets Inc. to New York City at least twice a month in a year’s span to visit one of his mistresses.
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Former Marsh CFO sought out bankruptcy lawyers

February 8, 2013
Scott Olson
A former top executive of Marsh Supermarkets Inc. became so concerned about the company’s deteriorating finances less than a decade ago that he took the desperate step of meeting with bankruptcy lawyers.
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Jury: Real estate execs Bales, Spencer not guilty of fraud

February 8, 2013
Cory Schouten
John M. Bales lifted his crossed hands to his face and began to cry Thursday evening as a federal judge read the same jury verdict on each of 13 fraud counts against the real estate broker and his partner: Not guilty.
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Marsh defense: Travel was integral to company success

February 7, 2013
Scott Olson
Without membership in certain international business organizations, Don Marsh says he could not have built his grocery chain into a billion-dollar company.
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Bales trial in jury's hands after colorful closings

February 7, 2013
Cory Schouten
The jury began deliberations Thursday in the federal fraud trial of Indianapolis real estate broker John M. Bales and partner William E. Spencer after three hours of spirited closing arguments Wednesday.
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Federal court to stage Underground Railroad event for Black History month

February 6, 2013
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana will celebrate Black History Month with the presentation “Escape of Caroline,” based on a true story of the Underground Railroad.
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Marsh: Company code of conduct didn’t apply to him

February 6, 2013
Scott Olson
Don Marsh continued to use the company jet for personal reasons even after Marsh Supermarkets Inc. adopted a code of conduct to discourage financial fraud within the company, a lawyer for the supermarket chain alleged Wednesday morning in an Indianapolis courtroom.
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Defense rests in Bales trial after flurry of witnesses

February 6, 2013
Cory Schouten
Closing arguments are expected to begin Wednesday afternoon in the federal fraud trial of Indianapolis real estate broker John M. Bales and partner William E. Spencer after the defense raced through seven witnesses Tuesday and early Wednesday.
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Jury selected in Marsh civil trial

February 4, 2013
Dan Human
Don Marsh will have a lot of explaining to do about millions of dollars in expenses he charged to Marsh Supermarkets during a two-week civil trial that got underway Monday morning.
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Defense attorneys turn tough in Bales trial

February 1, 2013
Cory Schouten
The legal team representing real estate broker John M. Bales and partner William E. Spencer haven't called their first witness and already they're putting up a spirited fight as federal prosecutors seek to prove charges including bank, mail and wire fraud.
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7th Circuit reverses dismissal of prisoner’s suit

February 1, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A lawsuit filed by a prisoner at the Pendleton Correctional Facility against two prison doctors and a nurse after he learned he had prostate cancer is allowed to continue after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of his suit.
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Former Venture employee turns on Bales during testimony

January 31, 2013
Cory Schouten
An FBI investigation into Venture Real Estate Services and principals John Bales and Bill Spencer had already begun when Matthew Dyer signed on as the company's controller in December 2009.
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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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