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Supreme Court pulls plug on audio-video transcript pilot project

June 3, 2015
Dave Stafford
Transcripts generated by video cameras have had their day in court in Indiana. The verdict is in favor of keeping paper records.
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Criminal defense attorney Robert Hammerle joins Pence Hensel

June 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Between them, the three defense attorneys have handled a range of cases from murder and the death penalty to fraud, civil business litigation and even treason. But on a recent morning, the trio of legal minds was gathered around the conference room table discussing the most pressing matter of that day – office furniture.
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Legislative Council assigns topics to summer committees

June 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a study to determine the appropriate number of courts in Pulaski County was not assigned to a summer interim committee, the Indiana Legislature may not be finished with making reductions in some state courts.
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Making room for the millennials

June 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The new generation of lawyers embraces technology and collaboration.
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Abrams: Engage with professionals to discover opportunities

June 3, 2015
Jeffrey Abrams
I would encourage recent law school graduates to remain optimistic, work hard and network with as many attorneys as you can find since you never know when the next law firm or employer will need to hire a recent graduate.
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Meeting clients in cyberspace

June 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Twenty-five years ago, people needing legal help either met with an attorney face-to-face or made a phone call. Person-to-person, they explained their problems and made up their minds if the lawyer had the answers. Today, when picking a lawyer, clients first visit the Internet.
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Notre Dame mock trial team rallies, excels after death of coach

June 3, 2015
Dave Stafford
Dawson Robinson remembers getting the shocking news that his mock trial coach, mentor and friend Drew Haase had died at age 31. Haase died on April 1, just 16 days before his beloved Fighting Irish were to make their first appearance in five years at the American Mock Trial Association national championship tournament.
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Supreme Court appoints team to look at pro se litigant problems

June 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Less than two years after appointing a commission to expand civil legal services for the indigent, the Indiana Supreme Court has assembled another group to examine the nagging problems caused by pro se litigants.
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Federal Bar Update: Removing state-court actions to federal court

June 3, 2015
John Maley
Removal of state-court actions to federal court has provided a seemingly never-ending source of procedural disputes. Fortunately many of those mind-numbing issues have been resolved in the last several years by Congress and the courts, with the Supreme Court of the United States addressing one key issue recently.
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Abeska: St. Joseph County Bar Foundation is hitting its stride

June 3, 2015
The St. Joseph County Bar Foundation's philanthropic efforts are made possible by support from attorneys and law firms, though fundraising remains a challenge for the board.
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Quick: How to get noticed by the media

June 3, 2015
Swallow your pride. Sometimes the media doesn’t believe your law firm is as important as you do.
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New laws shelter attorneys-in-fact from liability in settling estates

June 3, 2015
Dave Stafford
How long heirs have to initiate an action arising from an attorney-in-fact’s final accounting of an estate has been an open question in Indiana, but a recent change in state law settles it. Mostly.
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Open House: Connor Reporting moves up

June 3, 2015
Dave Stafford
Indiana Lawyer is launching an occasional series in this issue titled “Open House.” In it, we will feature law firms, legal service providers, and other law-related entities that have undergone a redesign of their office to improve flow and function or that have repurposed a building or space to fit the needs of today’s legal providers. This issue features Connor Reporting.
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Kissel: Keeping the business in the family

June 3, 2015
Passing the family business to the next generation is likely to be one of the biggest projects of the owner’s lifetime. Family business succession is the process of transitioning the governance and ownership of a closely held business to the next generation.
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Injured man fails to convince COA he was mentally incompetent

June 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A split Indiana Court of Appeals found that affidavits from an injured man’s family members as to his mental competency were not sufficient to overcome his failure to file a complaint before the statute of limitations had expired.
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Plan to establish commercial courts in Indiana moves forward

June 2, 2015
IL Staff
The move to create commercial courts in Indiana, first mentioned by Chief Justice Loretta Rush during her State of the Judiciary address in January, is a step closer to becoming a reality. The Indiana Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it has named a working group to recommend policies and procedures for the courts, which could be hearing cases as early as 2016.
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Death sentence reversed in 2001 slaying of Morgan deputy

June 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
The death sentence imposed on a man for the killing Morgan County Deputy Sheriff Daniel Starnes in 2001 has been reversed by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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COA finds Zionsville has authority to incorporate neighboring township

June 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Describing itself as having a “hybrid status,” Zionsville successfully argued it had the authority to reorganize with Perry Township and convinced the Indiana Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court’s order blocking its efforts to incorporate the township.
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COA widens class-action suit against Lincoln National

June 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
A former policyholder’s class-action lawsuit claiming Lincoln National Life Insurance breached its contract was expanded Tuesday by a Court of Appeals ruling.
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Monroe County wants to bring trained dogs to court

June 2, 2015
 Associated Press
Efforts are underway in Monroe County to bring trained dogs to the courthouse in Bloomington.
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Parents sue Hobart school district over prayers at school events

June 2, 2015
 Associated Press
A Hobart school district faces a lawsuit over prayers that are said before athletic events, graduations and school board meetings from parents who say the prayers violate the First Amendment.
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Proposed rule bans T-shirts, gum-chewing in courtrooms

June 2, 2015
 Associated Press
A new rule being considered by judges in a southwestern Indiana county would prohibit lawyers, litigants and spectators from wearing T-shirts or shorts or chewing gum in courtrooms.
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More than 300 suspended for CLE, fee or IOLTA violations

June 2, 2015
IL Staff
More than 300 lawyers have been suspended for failing to pay registration fees, meet their continuing legal education requirements or submit certification of Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts.
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Justices reinstate med-mal suit against doctor in stillbirth

June 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court reinstated a medical malpractice case against a Richmond doctor accused of failing to meet the standard of care in examining a pregnant woman whose child subsequently was stillborn.
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Justices affirm stabbing conviction in evidence appeal

June 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Anderson man convicted of stabbing his son-in-law lost his appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday. The man claimed the trial court wrongly excluded evidence that the victim told others that he had struck the man with a two-by-four piece of lumber before the knife attack.
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  1. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  2. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

  3. She must be a great lawyer

  4. Ind. Courts - "Illinois ranks 49th for how court system serves disadvantaged" What about Indiana? A story today from Dave Collins of the AP, here published in the Benton Illinois Evening News, begins: Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public, according to new rankings. Illinois' "Justice Index" score of 34.5 out of 100, determined by the nonprofit National Center for Access to Justice, is based on how states serve people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, how much free legal help is available and how states help increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, among other issues. Connecticut led all states with a score of 73.4 and was followed by Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Delaware, respectively. Local courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest overall score at 80.9. At the bottom was Oklahoma at 23.7, followed by Kentucky, Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana. ILB: That puts Indiana at 46th worse. More from the story: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee and Maine had perfect 100 scores in serving people with disabilities, while Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri and Idaho had the lowest scores. Those rankings were based on issues such as whether interpretation services are offered free to the deaf and hearing-impaired and whether there are laws or rules allowing service animals in courthouses. The index also reviewed how many civil legal aid lawyers were available to provide free legal help. Washington, D.C., had nearly nine civil legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty, the highest rate in the country. Texas had the lowest rate, 0.43 legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty. http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2014/11/ind_courts_illi_1.html

  5. A very thorough opinion by the federal court. The Rooker-Feldman analysis, in particular, helps clear up muddy water as to the entanglement issue. Looks like the Seventh Circuit is willing to let its district courts cruise much closer to the Indiana Supreme Court's shorelines than most thought likely, at least when the ADA on the docket. Some could argue that this case and Praekel, taken together, paint a rather unflattering picture of how the lower courts are being advised as to their duties under the ADA. A read of the DOJ amicus in Praekel seems to demonstrate a less-than-congenial view toward the higher echelons in the bureaucracy.

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