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2015 Year in Review

December 30, 2015
IL Staff
Here are the highlights of what made headlines in the Indiana Lawyer in 2015.
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Bell/Whelan: 3 things to know about civility and discipline

December 30, 2015
James Bell, Jessica Whelan
As it turns out, acting in a civil manner is not just a way of being polite, or being a good advocate or a way to make the profession look good. In fact, being uncivil in and of itself can lead to disciplinary sanctions.
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Nelson: A look back … and to the profession’s future

December 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Birthdays, anniversaries, and a new year are good times for reflection and evaluation. That’s part of the reason we take a look back at the news we covered throughout the year in our last issue of the year and why we devoted stories each month in honor of our 25th anniversary in print.
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Column: Does Patchett v. Lee make patchwork of medical specials?

December 30, 2015
The Indiana Court of Appeals recently affirmed a ruling in Patchett v. Lee, 29A04-1501-CT-1 (Ind. Ct. App. Nov. 19, 2015), which held that government reimbursement rates are not an accurate reflection of the value of health care services, and thus are inadmissible as evidence of the reasonable value of medical services in personal-injury cases. The Patchett ruling signified a major shift in Indiana law on the determination of medical specials damages.
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DTCI: Where have all the jury trials gone?

December 30, 2015
Conceptually, attorneys (and especially perhaps members of organizations like DTCI and ITLA) embrace as inviolate the right to trial by jury. We cite the concept both as a goal and as the bedrock of our existence – and sometimes in responses opposing summary judgment motions. But the Indiana Supreme Court “2014 Indiana Judicial Service Report, Vol I: Judicial Year in Review” caused me to look more closely at how that right is being exercised as a practical matter.
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Carrying on an old family tradition

December 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
Cousins marking 25 years as lawyers are among quartet of Zappias practicing in St. Joseph County.
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Technology Untangled: New year means time for a new hard drive

December 30, 2015
Stephen Bour
The start of the new year is always a good time to clean up computer files. Hard drive maintenance is often something that goes unattended until it is too late. Today’s article will describe an instance where I took some of my own advice and replaced and upgraded a hard drive before it failed.
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Hammerle On… 'Chi-Raq'

December 30, 2015
Robert Hammerle
Bob Hammerle reviews "Chi-Raq" and also picks his top films of the year.
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Inmate wins $10,000 verdict against US for prison injury

December 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal inmate who cut his forearm on a jagged bed frame won a $10,000 judgment in his lawsuit against the United States.
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Split COA finds attorney did not provide adequate counsel

December 29, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Two typewritten letters and handwritten notes between a now-deceased defense attorney and a former prosecutor have divided the Indiana Court of Appeals over whether a plea agreement had actually been negotiated.
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Court: Disputed model year may void van sale agreement

December 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred when it granted summary judgment in favor of the seller of a van who represented to the buyer the vehicle was a year newer than recorded on the title.
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Officials: 'Affluenza' teen, mother detained in Mexico

December 29, 2015
 Associated Press
A sheriff in Dallas said Tuesday an arrest warrant will be issued for a Texas woman who was found with her son in Mexico, a teenager on probation after killing four people in a drunken-driving wreck and invoking an "affluenza" defense
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Some police, prosecutors back tougher cold-medicine law

December 29, 2015
 Associated Press
Some Indiana police agencies say their fight against methamphetamine production would be helped by a proposed state law change to require a doctor’s prescription for a common cold medicine that is used to make the illegal drug.
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Indiana law drives down moped thefts, sales

December 29, 2015
 Associated Press
Evansville Police Department spokesman Sgt. Jason Cullum said scooter theft reports fell from 269 in 2014 to just 79 as of Dec. 17. He said that’s because scooters are now easier to track if stolen because they now must be registered and licensed.
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DraftKings asks Illinois court to call fantasy sports legal

December 28, 2015
 Bloomberg News
DraftKings Inc., one of the two main providers of daily fantasy sports games in the U.S., asked an Illinois court to overturn a finding by the state’s attorney general that the games are illegal gambling.
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Bill would allow recovery of attorney fees in all wrongful death actions

December 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A northern Indiana senator has introduced legislation to amend Indiana’s wrongful death statute to allow for surviving families to collect attorney fees.
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COA on rehearing clarifies where to send payment

December 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Monday rejected arguments that its prior decision regarding a student-loan debt owed to a bankrupt note-holder caused confusion as to who was owed and left the debtor open to the possibility of multiple judgments.
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Reversal: BMV must report driver’s expunged OWI conviction

December 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in prohibiting the Bureau of Motor Vehicles from reporting the operating while intoxicated conviction of a driver who had his criminal record expunged.
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Poverty calculation causes Indiana Legal Services’ funding to drop

December 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although Legal Services Corp. will receive a $10 million bump in funding for fiscal year 2016, Indiana Legal Services will see its appropriation from the national organization decrease.
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Tippecanoe program aims to break cycle of incarceration

December 28, 2015
 Associated Press
To stem the cycle of release and reincarceration and prevent people from committing new crimes when they leave jail, Tippecanoe County Jail is expanding mental health services and launching a program designed to help inmates develop healthy support networks in the community.
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6 counties next in line for trial court e-filing

December 28, 2015
 Associated Press
Six Indiana counties — Clark, Harrison, Henry, St. Joseph, Shelby and Wells — will be joining Hamilton County in implementing e-filing in the trial courts during the first half of 2016, with more to come later.
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Lender discrimination may be pushing black churches into bankruptcy

December 24, 2015
 Bloomberg News
A long line of research shows that black consumers pay higher rates for credit, including mortgages and car loans. A new study by an Indiana University Maurer School of Law professor suggests the same kind of financial discrimination may apply to black churches.
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Justices take intoxicated motorist case that divided COA

December 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether any answer short of an “unqualified, unequivocal assent” to a chemical test constitutes a refusal resulting in a driver’s license suspension, as the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded in September.
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Planned Parenthood shooting case stalls for mental exam

December 24, 2015
 Associated Press
The case against the man who acknowledges killing three people in an attack on a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic moves into a new phase while he awaits a mental competency evaluation, ordered after he defiantly told a judge he wanted to fire his public defender and represent himself.
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Rolling Stone urges court to throw out UVa grads' lawsuit

December 24, 2015
 Associated Press
Rolling Stone magazine is urging a judge to throw out a lawsuit filed by three former fraternity members at the University of Virginia who claim they suffered humiliation and emotional distress because of the magazine's debunked article about a campus gang rape.
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