State agencies

64 claimants accepted settlement offers stemming from stage collapse

December 20, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced Monday that 64 of 65 claimants offered settlements in the Indiana State Fair stage collapse have accepted the offers. Checks will be issued by year-end, the AG’s office said, paying out the entire $5 million in tort claim funds the state has available by law.
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Grand jury indicts 2 attorneys, real estate broker

December 14, 2011
Cory Schouten
A grand jury in South Bend has returned a 14-count criminal indictment against two attorneys and a real estate broker from central Indiana over a state lease deal in Elkhart.
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Judges reverse termination of parents' rights

December 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a case filled with several errors and discrepancies, the Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the termination of parental rights of a mother and two fathers because the Department of Child Services failed to meet the burden of proving that termination is in the best interest of the children.
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Former IURC chairman indicted

December 12, 2011
IL Staff
The former chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, David Lott Hardy, has been indicted by a Marion County grand jury on felony official misconduct charges, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office announced Monday.
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Judge rejects dental coverage cap

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Ruling puts Medicaid dental program in jeopardy.
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Laws on immigrant tuition vary

November 23, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
States differ on interpretation of federal law, create state statutes addressing in-state status for college students.
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Justices rule on applicable statute of limitations

November 17, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court decided Thursday that the period within the general statute of limitations controls the limitation period when a medical provider may seek payment of outstanding bills for authorized treatment to an employer’s worker. The justices came to that conclusion after finding the Worker’s Compensation Act is silent on what the applicable limitation period is for this matter.
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Indiana first in region to complete child welfare improvement plan

November 11, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Department of Child Services announced Thursday it has received word from Region V of the Administration of Child and Families, an affiliate of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that it has satisfactorily finalized its Program Improvement Plan.
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Indiana has new ALJ chapter

November 8, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Two state government attorneys have founded the Indiana chapter of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary. Their goal is to organize and connect those individuals in the state who are working in an ALJ capacity.
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Indiana can't cap Medicaid coverage of dental services

November 7, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A northern Indiana federal judge has ruled that the state must fully cover dental services that are medically necessary for Medicaid participants, and it can’t deny coverage exceeding a certain amount because that would prevent some low-income individuals the ability to get needed care.
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Simon sues state over Amazon sales tax exemption

November 4, 2011
IL and IBJ Staff
A Marion Superior lawsuit is accusing Indiana of violating the state constitution by not collecting sales taxes from Amazon.com Inc.
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Justices decline to reconsider out-of-state placements ruling

November 4, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has denied a rehearing petition from the state attorney general’s office to revisit a June ruling that upheld three statutes involving juvenile judges’ authority on out-of-state placements.
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Ethics scandal costs Duke Energy in 2 rulings

October 20, 2011
Chris O'Malley
A 2010 ethics scandal involving the chief legal counsel for the state’s utility regulatory agency, who presided over cases favorable to Duke Energy Corp. in the months prior to taking a job at the utility, has come back to bite the state’s biggest electric utility.
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Justices take FSSA reimbursement case

October 11, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to a case in which the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a state agency to pay a long-term care facility after the agency terminated its contract with the facility.
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Court: CHINS fact-finding hearing required by due process

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals disagrees with the state Department of Child Services that fact-finding and dispositional hearings in a child in need of services case are interchangeable. The appellate panel has ruled a Marion County father’s due process rights were denied because he didn’t receive the opportunity for a fact-finding hearing.
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Judge allows state to cut Medicaid fees to pharmacists

September 15, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis federal judge has reversed the temporary restraining order she issued two months ago that stopped the state from cutting fees it pays to pharmacists for dispensing Medicaid prescriptions.
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Judges disagree on whether use of names or initials is appropriate

September 14, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A clear divide exists at the Indiana Court of Appeals these days and is anything but confidential. Judges are debating whether parties’ names on certain cases should be released publicly or be shielded through use of initials only.
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State preparing to pay maximum in stage collapse damages

August 31, 2011
Scott Olson
The state of Indiana is set to forgo costly and lengthy litigation and instead pay the maximum $5 million in damages allowed by law to victims of the Indiana State Fair concert stage collapse, Attorney General Greg Zoeller said Wednesday.
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Man's detainment by officer violated 4th Amendment

August 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Conservation officers checking to see if a fisherman had a valid license did not have reasonable suspicion to detain the man and ask to see what was inside his bag after verifying his license, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Meth use linked to increase in CHINSRestricted Content

August 31, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Leslie Dunn, Indiana state director for GAL/CASA, said the number of Child in Need of Services cases over time remains stable, but she’s seen some remarkable variations in cases per-county from year to year. In Vanderburgh County, for example, new CHINS cases jumped from 448 in 2008 to 818 in 2010. People who are watching these numbers with concern cite several possible reasons for these variations.
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Attorney general wants State Fair class action dismissed

August 30, 2011
IL Staff
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General filed a motion Monday in Marion Superior Court to dismiss a proposed class-action lawsuit filed as a result of the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair.
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Class-action lawsuit filed over State Fair stage collapse

August 23, 2011
Scott Olson
A class-action lawsuit filed by an Indianapolis law firm is the largest legal action to arise so far from the collapse of a concert stage at the Indiana State Fair.
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Tax judge shoots down 'Al Capone' approach

August 22, 2011
Michael Hoskins
In a blow to the Indiana attorney general’s office, the state’s tax judge has shot down a legal theory that used jeopardy tax assessments to go after a purported puppy mill in Harrison County.
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Damage cap limits state's potential losses from concert tragedy

August 18, 2011
Scott Olson
Total damages the Indiana State Fair could pay victims of last Saturday's concert tragedy would be capped at $5 million—an amount personal-injury lawyers say is far too low for the injuries and deaths involved.
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Rising CHINS cases cause concernRestricted Content

August 17, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Southern Indiana counties struggle with increase in child abuse cases.
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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

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  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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