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Indy judge selection bill set for Wednesday hearing

January 26, 2016
Dave Stafford
A proposed merit-selection plan giving state lawmakers a strong hand in the nomination and appointment of Marion Superior judges will be introduced Wednesday to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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Lawsuits deluge operator of towing business

January 26, 2016
Indianapolis Business Journal, John Russell
Brian Fenner had big plans for his Indianapolis towing company, Sperro Towing and Recovery. His goal was to build a national network of bankruptcy attorneys who would let him know if a struggling client had a vehicle they couldn’t afford to keep. But the plan, which he appears to have hatched at least two years ago, quickly ran into trouble.
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No changes to bill allowing withholding of body camera video

January 26, 2016
 Associated Press
A legislative proposal allowing Indiana law enforcement agencies to withhold video from police body cameras is advancing unchanged.
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Supporters say medicine prescriptions needed to curb meth

January 26, 2016
 Associated Press
Supporters of a proposal to allow pharmacists to require prescriptions to buy medicine with pseudoephedrine say the requirement is the only way to curb Indiana's methamphetamine problem.
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Med-mal reform bill unexpectedly derailed

January 25, 2016
Dave Stafford
A proposal to raise caps on medical malpractice damages by $400,000 appears to face a grim prognosis after a key lawmaker said parties to the legislation have failed to agree on certain provisions of the bill.
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Jury instruction splits Supreme Court

January 25, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Jury instructions that included the interpretation from an appellate ruling split the Indiana Supreme Court as to when trial courts should look beyond the statute.
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30 apply for Indiana Supreme Court vacancy

January 25, 2016
IL Staff
Thirty judges and lawyers have applied to succeed Justice Brent Dickson on the Indiana Supreme Court. The first round of interviews will take place in mid-February.
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Investment broker's plea deal erases 20 felony counts

January 25, 2016
Indianapolis Business Journal
An Indianapolis man accused of multiple felony securities fraud counts has reached a plea agreement with the Marion County Prosecutor's Office.
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Small parcel opens door for Zionsville to expand

January 25, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Zionsville in an annexation fight over Perry Township, finding, in part, that a small parcel of incorporated land gives Zionsville the ability to leap frog Whitestown and lay claim to new territory.
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Indiana justices take case involving denied deposition request

January 25, 2016
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether a man on trial for a drug charge should have been allowed to depose two witnesses before trial. The issue divided the Indiana Court of Appeals in September.
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Justices extend bar on automatic life terms for teenagers

January 25, 2016
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Monday that people serving life terms for murders they committed as teenagers must have a chance to seek their freedom, a decision that could affect more than 1,000 inmates.
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High court upholds government's energy conservation program

January 25, 2016
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States has upheld a 4-year-old federal program that pays large electric customers to save energy during times of peak demand.
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Prosecutor won't pursue case against state lawmaker

January 25, 2016
 Associated Press
A special prosecutor says he will not pursue a criminal case against state Rep. Michael Aylesworth over allegations that he was inside a polling station illegally during election day in November 2014.
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Loser of tied southern Indiana mayor's race won't appeal

January 25, 2016
 Associated Press
The loser of a southern Indiana mayor's race decided by a single vote has decided not to appeal a recount.
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1 inmate dies, others sickened with flu-like symptoms

January 25, 2016
 Associated Press
Indiana authorities are trying to determine what caused illnesses that have left one inmate at the Putnamville Correctional Facility dead and sent others to the hospital.
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Justices: Officer could open container found after pat-down search

January 22, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer did not commit an unreasonable search when he opened a pill container found following a pat-down search after a man was lawfully placed under arrest for driving without a valid license. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld the search under the state constitution.
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Proposal for cold medicine prescriptions being scaled back

January 22, 2016
 Associated Press
An Indiana legislator is scaling back his proposal to require a doctor's prescription to buy cold medicines that contain pseudoephedrine as lawmakers look for ways to prevent methamphetamine makers from obtaining the drug.
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Med-mal, administrative law reform bills set for hearing

January 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
A proposal to raise the cap on medical malpractice damages by $400,000, index future increases to inflation and make other reforms to the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act will be introduced to a Senate committee Monday.
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COA agrees man’s Ohio convictions don’t support SVF charges

January 22, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Because the elements of the Ohio residential burglary statute used as the basis to charge a defendant as a serious violent felon in Indiana are not substantially similar to the Indiana statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of the defendant’s SVF charges.
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District Court in New Albany closes early

January 22, 2016
IL Staff
Snow has shut down the New Albany division of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Attorney urges jurors in house blast trial to keep open mind

January 22, 2016
 Associated Press
An attorney for a man accused of murder and arson in a house explosion that killed two people urged jurors to keep an open mind despite emotional testimony they will hear during the trial expected to last more than a month.
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Judge: Indiana wildlife facility can keep federal license

January 22, 2016
 Associated Press
A judge has ruled that a southern Indiana wildlife facility can keep its exhibitor's license despite the U.S. Department of Agriculture's efforts to revoke it.
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Indianapolis lawyer named as president of Taylor University

January 22, 2016
 Associated Press, IL Staff
An Indianapolis lawyer has been selected as the next president of Taylor University in eastern Indiana.
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Henderson again named ‘most influential’ in legal education

January 21, 2016
IL Staff
For the second year in a row, Indiana University Maurer School of Law professor William Henderson has been named the most influential person in legal education by National Jurist magazine.
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Justices agree: No mistrial because of juror’s Facebook friend

January 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to a case to affirm the Court of Appeals decision denying a mistrial for a man who argued a juror’s being “friends” with the victim’s relative on Facebook required the mistrial.
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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  4. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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