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7th Circuit affirms murder, racketeering convictions despite government error

December 5, 2016
Olivia Covington
Despite improper statements made by the government during closing arguments of a trial, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the defendant’s murder and racketeering convictions, writing that the statements constituted harmless error.
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Indiana Supreme Court grants transfer in parental rights case

December 5, 2016
Olivia Covington
Indiana’s highest court has agreed to hear a case regarding the termination of two parents’ rights to their children, with the father arguing that his rights should be restored because the Indiana Department of Child Services failed to file the termination petition within the required legal time frame.
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Supreme Court takes up cases about race in redistricting

December 5, 2016
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States is taking up a pair of cases in which African-American voters maintain that Southern states discriminated against them in drawing electoral districts.
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Jury selection begins in high-profile Saints star's death

December 5, 2016
 Associated Press
Conflicts settled by gunfire are tragically common in New Orleans, but there was nothing routine about this one: The dead man was retired football player Will Smith, a star on the 2006 Saints team who helped lift the stricken city's spirits with a winning season after Hurricane Katrina, and played with the team when it won the franchise's only Super Bowl three seasons later. Jury selection begins Monday in the trial of the man accused in his killing after a road-rage incident.
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2 Indiana men sentenced to prison for biodiesels fraud

December 5, 2016
 Associated Press
Two Indiana men have been sentenced to prison for their roles in what federal authorities say was a multi-million dollar fraud scheme involving biofuels.
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Judge: Disabled housing discrimination suit may proceed

December 2, 2016
IL Staff
An Indianapolis subsidized senior-citizens housing facility must face a lawsuit from disabled tenants who claim the three-story apartment building failed to repair its only elevator for weeks, leaving them unable to get to apartments on the top two stories and leaving some disabled tenants stranded upstairs.
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Hartford City sex offender ordinance unconstitutionally vague

December 2, 2016
IL Staff
A 2008 Hartford City ordinance that restricted registered sex offenders from entering or loitering within 300 feet of broadly defined “child safety zones” is unconstitutionally vague, a federal judge has ruled.
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Bankruptcy judge announces retirement

December 2, 2016
IL Staff
A former chief judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana has announced his retirement.
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COA affirms dismissal of case due to res judicata

December 2, 2016
Olivia Covington
Res judicata prevents a title insurance company from taking a “second bite” at the apple, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday, in a case in which the company appealed dismissal of its second attempt to challenge an action by the Indiana Department of Insurance.
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Former CIB chiefs try to avoid entanglement in legal fight involving Pacers

December 2, 2016
Anthony Schoettle, IBJ Staff
Three former presidents of the city’s Capital Improvement Board—Pat Early, Bob Grand and Ann Lathrop—are fighting an effort by attorneys for the IRS to depose them about what they learned about the Indiana Pacers' finances during discussions with the team.
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Death threats and abuse for woman leading Brexit court fight

December 2, 2016
 Associated Press
Gina Miller is paying the price for going to court. The financial entrepreneur says she has received death threats and racial and sexual abuse since she won a High Court ruling forcing the British government to seek Parliamentary approval before leaving the European Union.
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Mom pleads guilty in connection with Bluffton boy's death

December 2, 2016
 Associated Press
The mother of a northeastern Indiana boy whose body was found burned in a wooded area has entered into a plea agreement in connection with his death.
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Judge pro tem appointed in Henry County

December 1, 2016
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has appointed longtime Knightstown lawyer and judge E. Edward Dunsmore II to temporarily fill a judicial vacancy in Henry County.
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Justices consider conversion of felony to misdemeanor after plea agreement

December 1, 2016
Olivia Covington
The effect of legislative changes to state sentencing laws was at center in oral arguments before the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday.
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Mother’s suit alleging DCS caseworker abuses proceeds

December 1, 2016
Dave Stafford
An Indiana Department of Child Services case manager who allegedly pursued meritless child-abuse allegations against an Indianapolis mother must face a federal civil lawsuit, though her DCS supervisors will not, a judge has ruled.
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Jurors convict Indiana day care provider in toddler's death

December 1, 2016
 Associated Press
Jurors in northern Indiana have convicted a New Paris day care provider in the 2014 death of a 19-month-old boy in her care.
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Indiana Supreme Court considers general contractor’s duty of care to subcontractors

December 1, 2016
Olivia Covington
In oral arguments on a petition to transfer a case regarding a general contractor’s duty of care to its subcontractors, the justices of the Indiana Supreme Court considered the meaning of the phrase “monitor and implement.”
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Lawyer’s use of word ‘Negro’ prejudiced client, but doesn't get PCR

December 1, 2016
Dave Stafford
A defense attorney who has since been disbarred prejudiced his absent client when he referred to him as a “Negro” before potential jurors, a judge wrote, but the offending word wasn’t enough for the Court of Appeals to grant post-conviction relief.
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Justices consider transfer in chemical breath test case

December 1, 2016
Olivia Covington
Indiana’s rules regarding chemical breath tests can be read as a recipe, with each rule laid out for the process of testing someone’s blood alcohol content meant to be followed sequentially, said the attorney for a woman challenging her misdemeanor drunken-driving charges.
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Anthem’s Cigna takeover could draw $3B Blue Cross fine, exec testifies

December 1, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Anthem Inc. could face a penalty of about $3 billion from the national Blue Cross Blue Shield Association if it fails to derive the bulk of its nationwide revenue from Blue-branded products after acquiring Cigna Corp., according to testimony from an Anthem executive during a U.S. antitrust trial in Washington.
More

Katie Couric moves to dismiss $13 million defamation lawsuit over 'Under the Gun'

December 1, 2016
 Bloomberg News
In court papers lodged Tuesday, Katie Couric contends that a gun rights group has read too much into pregnant silence in Under the Gun. She's now moved for dismissal of a $13 million lawsuit with the argument that eight seconds from the two-hour-long documentary are incapable of defamatory meaning.
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Allen County judge dismisses Fort Wayne tax suit for lack of jurisdiction

December 1, 2016
Olivia Covington
An Allen County judge has dismissed the city of Fort Wayne’s complaint against the county auditor’s allocations of taxes, writing that the case should be heard in the Indiana Tax Court, not a trial court.
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Full 7th Circuit hears LGBT-workplace bias appeal

November 30, 2016
 Associated Press
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has heard arguments en banc on whether the 1964 Civil Rights Act covers workplace discrimination against LGBT workers.
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Court affirms injunction preventing violations of non-compete clauses

November 30, 2016
Olivia Covington
After several employees from one civil engineering firm began soliciting employees from a competitor, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday that a trial court correctly issued a preliminary injunction to force the employees to comply with non-compete and non-solicitation clauses they had signed.
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US Supreme Court weighs bond hearings for detained immigrants

November 30, 2016
 Associated Press
A seemingly divided U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday tried to figure out whether the government can detain immigrants indefinitely without providing hearings in which they could argue for their release.
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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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