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US Supreme Court adds gay marriage to Sept. 29 agenda

September 10, 2014
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court has formally added gay marriage cases to the justices' agenda for their closed-door conference on Sept. 29.
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Part of payday loan settlement funding new legal aid consumer project

September 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Legal Services and Heartland Pro Bono Council will be using a portion of a class-action settlement to help Indianapolis residents who have battled payday loan companies or suffered other consumer rights abuses.
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Court must hold hearing on injunction involving medical practice

September 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court’s assessment of the public interest regarding whether a doctor is prohibited under a noncompete agreement to practice within 25 miles of his former office in Rensselaer was contrary to law, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday. The judges reversed the denial of a motion for a preliminary injunction preventing the doctor from opening a new practice next door to his previous one.
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COA orders judgment in favor of Lapel in annexation lawsuit

September 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The city of Anderson does not meet the requirements to bring a declaratory judgment action to challenge the town of Lapel’s annexation of land in Madison County that Anderson once considered annexing.
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Supreme Court provides clarity to maintenance agreement modification

September 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
If divorcing parties want to make judicial modification available for the maintenance agreements, they must say so in their contract, the Indiana Supreme Court pointed out Tuesday. Because a divorced couple’s maintenance agreement allowed for court intervention, the justices ordered the trial court to consider the wife’s request for modification.
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Defendant cleared 'low bar' to require reversal of summary judgment

September 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court reversed summary judgment in favor of the state on its motion for forfeiture of cash found on a man accused of dealing cocaine. The justices found the man’s “self-serving” affidavit specifically controverted the state’s prima facie case that the cash was connected to drug crimes.
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Tax Court denies rehearing in charitable purposes exemption case

September 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Tax Judge Martha Wentworth affirmed that a housing company in Bartholomew County failed to show that its rental properties qualified for a charitable purposes exemption for the 2006 tax year. The judge denied granting Housing Partnerships Inc.’s request for a rehearing.
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Deal may be near in stage collapse suit

September 10, 2014
 Associated Press
A lawsuit filed by victims of the 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse appears to be nearing a settlement, a mediator's report indicates, more than three years after the fatal accident that killed seven people and injured more than 40.
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Closure of Indiana juvenile boot camp put on hold

September 10, 2014
 Associated Press
State officials are delaying the closure of a paramilitary-style boot camp for juvenile offenders in northwestern Indiana.
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IP lawyer among first to accept Bitcoin for services

September 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
Intellectual property attorney Paul Overhauser’s clients are often on the cutting edge of Internet technology, so he decided that in addition to dollars, he’ll take digital dough.
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7th Circuit: Marriage law is unconstitutional

September 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana’s assertion that preventing same-sex marriage encourages responsible procreation among heterosexuals was unequivocally rejected Sept. 4 in a blistering opinion from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which said the state’s argument could not be taken seriously.
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Economic harm is key part of gay marriage argument

September 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
When the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Sept. 4 affirmed Indiana’s marriage law was unconstitutional, Judge Richard Posner’s opinion gave special nod to the economic harm married same-sex couples suffer by not receiving the tangible state and federal benefits that are extended to married opposite-sex couples.
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Law firms find rewards in staging events just for kicks

September 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
Sometimes lawyers just want to have fun. For numerous firms large and small, it’s good practice to stake out events that offer an opportunity to socialize, cut loose and have a good time.
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Marion County small claims reform faces hurdles in Legislature

September 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court’s recommendation to merge Marion County’s nine township small claims courts with Marion Superior Court may be too bold for the Indiana General Assembly, a key senator said.
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Legal aid benefits from settlement

September 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A financial boost for legal aid is expected to come from one of the banks that contributed to the 2008 economic collapse. The money will bring much-needed funding to the state’s pro bono districts which have been crippled by dwindling revenues and growing client lists. While the money will help, some say it should have come sooner.
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New program gives attorneys an 'Intro to Indy'

September 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indianapolis Bar Association's "Intro to Indy" program will introduce attorneys to nonprofit agencies and give them leads on becoming more engaged in the community.
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Dean's Desk: Distance learning comes of age at NDLS

September 10, 2014
Nell Jessup Netwon
Thanks to distance-learning technology, professors as well as students have much more flexibility than previous generations did. Today a professor might teach in Chicago one week and in South Bend the next.
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Lawyers say communication is key to long-term preservation of large estates

September 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
A fortunate few wealthy families are able to preserve their estates for more than a couple of generations, but attorneys say communication can improve the odds that a grantor’s grandchildren will have something left to pass on.
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Alerding/Latterell: A 2014 view of portability

September 10, 2014
Gift and estate tax planning has gotten easier for married couples thanks in part to a relatively new concept: porting of the federal gift and estate tax exemption to a surviving spouse.
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Thomas: When drafting a will, be as specific as possible

September 10, 2014
To ensure that your client’s property will go to the beneficiaries of his or her choosing, as opposed to the beneficiaries that the state chooses, it is imperative that the last will and testament be very specific and provide for as many contingencies as possible.
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Start Page: Microsoft Outlook distribution lists reduce email frustration

September 10, 2014
Seth Wilson
Have you ever used the “reply all” option on an email that has multiple recipients, only to get a return email notifying you that one (or more) of the email addresses was typed incorrectly by the original sender? Or, do you frequently email the same group of people by typing one email address at a time, only to realize that you forgot to include someone (usually right after you hit send)? The solution? Use distribution lists in Microsoft Outlook.
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Sidebars: Noblesville eatery’s Buffalo chicken sandwich is tasty surprise

September 10, 2014
Jennifer Lukemeyer, Fred Vaiana
We give Copper Still Kitchen & Bar 3 gavels!
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Quick: Use the tools available to market today’s law firms

September 10, 2014
Lawyers are trying new and different ways to advertise with more focus on websites and digital media. But even today, problems remain.
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Hammerle On… 'Land Ho!' 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,' 'The Trip to Italy'

September 10, 2014
Robert Hammerle
Bob Hammerle says the stars of "The Trip to Italy" have no shame when they get together.
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Indiana files same-sex marriage petition with SCOTUS

September 9, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
In the race to get a same-sex marriage case before the Supreme Court of the United States this term, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office is arguing the state’s three lawsuits provide the best vehicle for resolving the same-sex marriage issue.
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  1. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  2. If the end result is to simply record the spoke word, then perhaps some day digital recording may eventually be the status quo. However, it is a shallow view to believe the professional court reporter's function is to simply report the spoken word and nothing else. There are many aspects to being a professional court reporter, and many aspects involved in producing a professional and accurate transcript. A properly trained professional steno court reporter has achieved a skill set in a field where the average dropout rate in court reporting schools across the nation is 80% due to the difficulty of mastering the necessary skills. To name just a few "extras" that a court reporter with proper training brings into a courtroom or a deposition suite; an understanding of legal procedure, technology specific to the legal profession, and an understanding of what is being said by the attorneys and litigants (which makes a huge difference in the quality of the transcript). As to contracting, or anti-contracting the argument is simple. The court reporter as governed by our ethical standards is to be the independent, unbiased individual in a deposition or courtroom setting. When one has entered into a contract with any party, insurance carrier, etc., then that reporter is no longer unbiased. I have been a court reporter for over 30 years and I echo Mr. Richardson's remarks that I too am here to serve.

  3. A competitive bid process is ethical and appropriate especially when dealing with government agencies and large corporations, but an ethical line is crossed when court reporters in Pittsburgh start charging exorbitant fees on opposing counsel. This fee shifting isn't just financially biased, it undermines the entire justice system, giving advantages to those that can afford litigation the most. It makes no sense.

  4. "a ttention to detail is an asset for all lawyers." Well played, Indiana Lawyer. Well played.

  5. I have a appeals hearing for the renewal of my LPN licenses and I need an attorney, the ones I have spoke to so far want the money up front and I cant afford that. I was wondering if you could help me find one that takes payments or even a pro bono one. I live in Indiana just north of Indianapolis.

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