District Courts

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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Defense attorneys in Bales case trash former co-defendant

January 30, 2013
Cory Schouten
Indianapolis attorney and developer Paul J. Page is no longer a co-defendant in the fraud trial of real estate broker John M. Bales and a partner after agreeing to a plea deal, but you wouldn't know it from the action Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
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Northern Indiana judges help create state's mock trial tradition

January 30, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Standing between two judges offering different opinions on how to proceed is not a place many attorneys would want to be. However, a group of students at Adams High School in South Bend often found themselves with opposing pieces of advice from the jurists. Two sets of instructions, two judges and no chance for a recess.
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Changes to Federal Rule 45 are first in more than 2 decades

January 30, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
For the past several years, who could be compelled to appear at a federal trial depended on whom you asked.
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Fraud trial for broker Bales begins in South Bend

January 28, 2013
Cory Schouten
The federal fraud trial of Indianapolis real estate broker John M. Bales and a partner began Monday morning in South Bend with a jury-selection process that may not have run as smoothly if it took place in central Indiana.
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Conour fraud trial set for September

January 25, 2013
Scott Olson
A federal judge Friday morning set a new trial date of Sept. 9 for an Indianapolis high-profile lawyer accused of misappropriating millions in client funds.
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Indiana water utilities receive millions in atrazine settlement

January 21, 2013
Dave Stafford
More than a dozen Indiana water utilities will receive checks of $100,000 or more as part of $105 million in settlement disbursements announced last week in the last phase of litigation involving the weed killer atrazine that contaminated more than 1,100 water systems nationwide.
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Judge dismisses federal right-to-work challenge

January 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A U.S. District judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed in Hammond by a labor union challenging the state’s right-to-work law for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Chief Judge Philip P. Simon in the Northern District of Indiana did allow two counts claiming the law violates the Indiana Constitution to proceed in state court.
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Sequestration would deepen staff cuts, chief judges warn

January 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
Federal courts that have squeezed staff as budgets shrank could be forced to furlough employees if Congress fails to avoid mandatory budget cuts that now are slated to take effect in March.
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Ruling: DOC 'indifferent' to mentally ill inmates

January 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
The opinion from the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Indiana fits the national trend against isolation policy for these inmates.
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Federal Bar Update: Southern District of Indiana adopts rule amendments

January 16, 2013
John Maley
The Southern District has amended several Local Rules. These were approved in late December and took effect Jan. 1.
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Ex-Chicago cop among 3 sentenced in Latin Kings prosecutions

January 14, 2013
IL Staff
The continuing federal prosecutions of the Latin Kings street gang that federal authorities have implicated in 19 murders resulted in a 19-year sentence for a former Chicago police officer.
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Indianapolis attorney pleads guilty in deal with prosecutors

January 4, 2013
Cory Schouten
Indianapolis attorney and developer Paul J. Page has agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors in an investigation that also targets former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi.
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Judge: DOC treatment of mentally ill unconstitutional

January 2, 2013
Dave Stafford
A lack of basic treatment for mentally ill Indiana Department of Correction inmates held in isolation violates the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, a federal judge ruled Monday.
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Man argues the sentencing guidelines were applied incorrectly

December 27, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A Wisconsin man who used a stolen Indiana driver’s license to obtain a passport had his sentence affirmed by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals which held certain provisions in the sentencing guidelines should be applied differently depending on the circumstances.
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Snow forces court, office closures

December 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Many people in Indiana may be enjoying an extra-long Christmas vacation thanks to blizzard-like conditions in parts of the state. Heavy snow and high winds have led to closures, including Indiana’s appellate courts.
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Comments being accepted on bankruptcy local rules

December 26, 2012
IL Staff
The judges of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana are considering amendments to two local rules: B-4001-3 and B-4008-1.
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Northern District adopts revision to bankruptcy rule

December 20, 2012
IL Staff
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana has adopted revisions to Local Rule B-7056-1, Motions for Summary Judgment. The change became effective Tuesday.
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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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