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Disciplinary Actions - 5/20/15

May 20, 2015
IL Staff
Read who has recently resigned from the Indiana bar.
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Corporate clients are reshaping big law firms

May 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The demands being made by corporate executives and legal departments are forcing law firms to change not only how they do business but also how they run their business.
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Growth of IP law feeds large firms, boutiques

May 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
Not so long ago, patent and intellectual property attorneys most often practiced in firms that specialized in the technical, complex legal systems that govern and protect invention and creation. But big firms saw opportunities and seized them, sometimes gobbling up entire practices
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Lawyers treated to Time for Three on World IP Day

May 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
From Johannes Brahms’ “Hungarian Dance No. 5” to Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” what’s legal and what isn’t when it comes to musical performances shared center stage with the Time for Three trio during Indianapolis’ World IP Day event April 27.
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Bell/Whelan: 3 things to know about amended pro bono reporting rule

May 20, 2015
James Bell, Jessica Whelan
Rule 6.7, in effect for a mere four months, was recently amended by a Supreme Court order issued April 30, 2015, and effective immediately. The amendment provides additional clarity on what is expected of Indiana attorneys with respect to reporting pro bono service.
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New lawyers admitted to the Indiana bar

May 19, 2015
Kelly Lucas
Telling them that it is a "good day to become a lawyer," Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush welcomed Indiana's newest attorneys to the Indiana bar and oversaw the admission ceremony Tuesday that included the recitation of oaths to practice before the state courts and U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana.
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Indiana judge weighs fate of BMV overcharges case

May 19, 2015
 Associated Press
A judge is weighing the fate of a lawsuit targeting the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles after he heard arguments Monday in the case alleging that the BMV overcharged motorists by tens of millions of dollars for fees and services.
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Indianapolis bar owners challenge city’s smoking ban

May 19, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Court of Appeals has heard arguments from the owners of two Indianapolis bars who want to overturn the city's 2012 ban on smoking.
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Former Lake County clerk given 4-year suspension

May 19, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The former clerk of Lake County who used federal funds to pay himself bonuses has been suspended from the practice of law after the Indiana Supreme Court found he had betrayed the public’s trust and violated both his oath of office and of attorneys.
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Failure to buckle a seatbelt cannot be used to prove contributory negligence

May 19, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The city of Fort Wayne will not be able to present evidence at trial that an injured passenger in a traffic accident was not wearing a seatbelt. The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a violation of the state's Seatbelt Act may not be used to prove contributory negligence.
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Justices author dissents in appeal denials

May 19, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court won't hear two cases in which justices felt compelled to write dissents arguing why they believed toxic-litigation and marital estate distribution appeals should be heard.
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Justices to determine if ‘Spice law’ void for vagueness

May 19, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will determine whether Indiana’s “Spice law” banning synthetic drugs as new formulations appear is void for vagueness, as separate divided panels of the Court of Appeals ruled in January.
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Justice center developer trying to meet with council members

May 19, 2015
Kathleen McLaughlin
The company that wants to develop a criminal justice center has invited the entire Indianapolis City-County Council to a meeting Tuesday afternoon to discuss lingering concerns about the $1.6 billion project, which died in committee last month.
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Supreme Court voids Maryland tax similar to Indiana tax

May 18, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday struck down a Maryland tax that has the effect of double-taxing income residents earned in other states.
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Police immune from lawsuit over arrest of mentally ill woman

May 18, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Monday that police are immune from a lawsuit arising from the arrest and shooting of a mentally ill woman in San Francisco.
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Property owners have no duty for tenant’s free-running dog

May 18, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the landlords provided the means to restrain the tenant's dog, they are not responsible for the injuries a motorcyclist sustained when the pooch dashed into the road and caused an accident.
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Justices make it easier to sue over 401(k) plans

May 18, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled unanimously Monday in favor of participants in employee retirement plans who object to companies' investment decisions that eat into retirement savings.
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SCOTUS: Convicted felons can sell their guns

May 18, 2015
 Associated Press
A unanimous Supreme Court of the United States ruled Monday that the government can’t prevent a convicted felon who is barred from possessing firearms from trying to sell his guns after they are confiscated by authorities.
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6 selected for ICLEO internships

May 18, 2015
IL Staff
Six law school students have been chosen to participate in the 2015 Carr L. Darden Conference for Legal Education Opportunity internship program.
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Court of Appeals interviews to be held June 10

May 18, 2015
IL Staff
Eight judges and lawyers vying for appointment to the Indiana Court of Appeals will be interviewed June 10 by the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission. The commission will recommend three finalists to Gov. Mike Pence, who will select the person to succeed Judge Ezra Friedlander, who is retiring at the end of August.
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Boston Marathon bomber sentenced to death

May 15, 2015
 Associated Press
A jury sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death Friday for the Boston Marathon bombing, sweeping aside pleas that he was just a "kid" who fell under the influence of his fanatical older brother.
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Southern District New Albany magistrate takes oath

May 15, 2015
IL Staff
New Albany attorney Van T. Willis, a senior partner with Kightlinger & Gray LLP, was sworn in Friday as a new part-time magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana by Chief Judge Richard L. Young.
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Admission of recording is harmless error

May 15, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A recording of a victim’s conversation with friends should not have been admitted into evidence at trial, but the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled it was a harmless error.
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Tax Court affirms Zionsville office assessment

May 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Tax Court on Thursday affirmed the real estate assessment of an office building on Zionsville’s Main Street in Boone County.
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COA: Rapper’s brokered peace treaty irrelevant in murder case

May 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
A rapper convicted as an accomplice in the murder of Indianapolis disc jockey Thomas Keys failed on appeal to show his brokering of a peace treaty between rival rap groups was wrongly excluded from evidence in his trial.
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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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