Indiana Lawyer Staff

Worker's suicide fails chain of causation test

August 21, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A widow's request for workers' compensation benefits of her deceased husband can't be granted because his death at work was caused by a knowingly self-inflicted injury, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today. The woman failed to satisfy the chain of causation test in trying to prove an initial work-related event led to her husband's death.
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7th Circuit affirms possible erroneous sentence

August 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Because a defendant's attorney affirmatively waived any challenge to an Armed Career Criminal Act enhancement - despite the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals advisement that the enhancement may have been an error due to a recent Circuit ruling - the federal Circuit Court had no choice but to affirm the District Court.
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Informational meeting set for Kenya legal aid trip

July 16, 2009
IL Staff
An October trip to Kenya to visit legal colleagues in a partnership between Indiana and Eldoret attorneys is open to anyone who wants to join the delegation and learn more about the program.
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ACLU sues State Board of Law Examiners

July 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The ACLU of Indiana has filed a lawsuit against the members of the Indiana State Board of Law Examiners, alleging the state's bar examination application violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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7th Circuit split in prisoner media-ban issue

June 25, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was split in its en banc decision today to uphold the Federal Bureau of Prisons' authority to deny face-to-face interviews between inmates and the media.
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7th Circuit seeks comment on jury instructions

June 18, 2009
IL Staff
The 7th Circuit Pattern Jury Instruction Committee and Trademark Subcommittee are accepting comments on proposed trademark pattern civil jury instructions.
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Nominees wanted for pro bono award

June 12, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Pro Bono Commission is accepting applications for the Randall T. Shepard Award.
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7th Circuit: No attorney conflict of interest

May 11, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a drug offender's petition for habeas corpus, ruling his attorney didn't render ineffective assistance of counsel when he also represented other co-defendants on the same drug charges.
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13 counties receive Family Court grants

April 20, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court announced today it has awarded nearly $160,000 in grant money for Family Court Projects around the state.
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6 attorneys suspended for non-payment

March 27, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court suspended six attorneys Wednesday for failure to pay costs in lawyer disciplinary cases.
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Foreclosure training in Griffith March 18

March 13, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has announced its second training session for attorneys, judges and mediators to learn how to handle foreclosure cases, including through pro bono representation.
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ILS budget likely to increase

March 12, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
Thanks to a $40 million increase in funding for Legal Services Corporations signed by President Barack Obama Wednesday, an official at Indiana Legal Services Inc. estimates that the only Indiana-based organization that receives funding from LSC will receive up to an additional $300,000 to $350,000 in funds for the organization's 2009 fiscal year, which runs Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.
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7th Circuit: Courts wrongfully denied re-litigation

March 11, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Finding Indiana state and District courts erred in denying a convicted killer the chance to re-litigate his claim for relief from execution because he is mentally retarded, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the District Court's denial of the man's habeas petition
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2 new members of Public Defender Commission

March 9, 2009
IL Staff
Indiana Speaker of the House Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, has appointed two new members to the Public Defender Commission, the Indiana Supreme Court announced today. Representatives Vernon G. Smith, D-Gary, and Greg Steuerwald, R-Avon, join the 11-member commission.
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Bill: Legal aid services can assess indigency

February 13, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Indiana lawmakers want the state's legal aid and pro bono programs to have one less hurdle to navigate through when representing indigent clients, agreeing that there's no need to always tie up court time in establishing indigency.
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Dinner to support IU Law - Indy LRAP

February 12, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
To help students and alumni who want to practice public interest law, even with law school loan debt, a group of Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis students will host a fundraiser March 7 for the school's loan repayment assistance program endowment.
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Woman didn't prove she should get new trial

February 6, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Finding a defendant didn't meet her burden of proving her newly discovered evidence claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals today upheld the denial of her petition for post-conviction relief.
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Law firm forecast sees declining profits

February 6, 2009
Scott Olson
Declining profits could be on the dockets of many law firms again this year.
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7th Circuit Bar celebrates Lincoln bicentennial

January 15, 2009
IL Staff
The 7th Circuit Bar Association is celebrating the Lincoln bicentennial with a one-day symposium in Chicago open to the public. Those who can't make it to Chicago will be able to watch it from Indianapolis.
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7th Circuit addresses challenges under the RFA

January 12, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
7th Circuit adresses for the first time who could bring a challenge to a regulatory flexibility analysis or certification under the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
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'Rocket docket' now set for juvenile appeals

January 8, 2009
Michael Hoskins
New rules from the Indiana Supreme Court this week officially create an expedited "rocket docket" for certain juvenile cases going through the appellate system.
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Appellate court rules on GAL fees

December 23, 2008
Michael HoskinsMore

7th Circuit rules on sex offender registration

December 22, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A reasonable grace period is required before the federal government can enhance a convicted sex offender's punishment for not registering after a move to a new state, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today.
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7th Circuit cautions about propensity inference

November 20, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today affirmed a man's drug convictions with intent to distribute, but questioned how a previous drug conviction showed the man had intent or absence of mistake in the instant case.
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Woman sues BMV over vanity plate denial

November 19, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is again involved in a lawsuit involving the use of "God" on a license plate.
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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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