Focus

Trust proposal in Legislature would shield assets from creditors, permit perpetuity

January 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
Assets could be shielded from creditors and passed down to numerous generations under a legacy trust proposal being considered by the Indiana General Assembly. The proposed estate-planning device would be exempt from the rule against perpetuities.
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Partial-termination dispute gets full treatment from court

January 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
After nearly 19 years and five appearances before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, a dispute over retirement benefits has ended where it began and elicited an admission of mistaken interpretation from the court.
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Ruling extends standing in adoption cases to those with ‘lawful custody’

January 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
The sometimes-bitter litigation between a child’s adoptive parent and her grandparents who raised her from a young age yielded a decision from the state’s highest court that family law experts believe may represent a significant shift in adoption cases.
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Zoeller: Use depositions over interrogatories in family law matters

January 14, 2015
We’ve all received the responses to interrogatories so doctored by opposing counsel there is virtually no substance, or so littered with objections and qualifications that the answer is meaningless. So for many years my solution to this problem has been to take depositions. I will outline a few of the reasons more family law practitioners should do the same.
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Protective order filings rise during past 9 years

January 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys say the 25 percent increase reflects more understanding and less victim blaming.
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Lucky, plucky owners reclaim and renew famous Hoosier trademarks

December 17, 2014
Dave Stafford
Entrepreneurs enjoying sweet successes and heady times with the resurgence of their retro products took varied paths to claim the rights to bring back brands with deep Hoosier roots. The new owners of Roselyn Bakery, Choc-Ola chocolate drink and Champagne Velvet beer got dormant brands back on store shelves by capitalizing on trademarks that had disappeared from the marketplace but retained a certain cachet.
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Frustrations with patent trolls spark push for pest control

December 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Three years after passing the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act which overhauled the U.S. patent system, Congress and state legislatures have been introducing bills that primarily seek to reform the process by clamping down on so-called patent trolls.
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Gallagher: Recent Supreme Court rulings could help end patent trolls

December 17, 2014
There have been recent efforts in Congress and state legislatures to address the issue of so-called patent trolls, also known as patent assertion entities. This year, at least three of the six patent-related decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States have been widely regarded as impacting PAE activity. Although these decisions are only six months old, they appear to be on a path to help curb these unwanted lawsuits.
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White: Say ‘I do’ to IP due diligence in business transactions

December 17, 2014
Intellectual property is one of the most valuable and important assets of any consumer products, life sciences or technology driven company. Despite the inherent value associated with these intangible assets, IP rights are often overlooked or are only cursorily evaluated when a company is embroiled in a business transaction (such as a merger or an acquisition).
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Fewer young attorneys enter graying profession, instead find alternative uses for JDs

December 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
Recent Indiana law school graduates are broadening their horizons, with many taking nontraditional post-graduate paths in the business world as the legal profession is increasingly graying.
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Preparing for Ebola

November 19, 2014
Dave Stafford
The first Ebola cases in the United States caused panic that Indiana legal and medical experts say has receded somewhat as public health systems contained the virus and educated people about the risks of the disease and the perils of overreacting.
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Leonard: Proposed rule expands safe harbors under federal Anti-Kickback Statute

November 19, 2014
The United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General recently published a proposed rule seeking to add new safe harbors to the Anti-Kickback Statute, as well as amend certain existing safe harbors within the rule.
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Technology helps aid non-English-speaking litigants but has limits

November 5, 2014
Dave Stafford
Remote connections for interpreting services are becoming more common in courts and legal proceedings. Speakers of Arabic, Mandarin, Punjabi and countless other languages and dialects are entitled to understand proceedings and communicate, but there isn’t always a qualified interpreter who can show up in person.
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Law firms struggle to create apps that meet a specific need

November 5, 2014
The challenge for law firms is to create an app that brings value. The apps must  fill a need that the user has and go beyond putting the firm's legal blog into the app.
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When municipal growth clashes with property owners, the result is annexation headaches

October 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A 644-acre swath of rural Hancock County land is at the heart of a contentious annexation battle that illustrates what municipalities say is the need to get control of property before development happens. The case also brings to light what may be a shift in the judiciary’s attitude toward remonstrators.
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Public-private partnerships’ popularity peaking

October 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
In an era of tight lending for construction, public-private partnerships are a solution to get desired projects funded and under way. Attorneys who represent parties in such deals say nuanced negotiations hold the key for deals with a shared vision but sometimes competing interests.
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Maximizing paralegal roles to get money's worth

October 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
An Indiana State Bar Association panel examines ways firms can delegate work to paralegals to increase efficiency and profitability.
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Small firms rise to top of ISBA leadership

October 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
Jeff Hawkins is like most Indiana lawyers – he works in a small practice. Hawkins, incoming president of the Indiana State Bar Association, will be the first of three consecutive leaders hailing from solo or small law firms.
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A place for community mediation

September 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
While the state hasn’t funded community mediation centers, a few providers offer limited services.
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Indiana joins other states challenging EPA regulatory authority

August 27, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana has joined 11 other states in filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, taking the unusual tactic of challenging the federal government’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases rather than challenging the rule itself.
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Deveau: RCRA threatens validity of brownfield redevelopment

August 27, 2014
During the past 12 months a troubling trend has developed in the area of brownfield redevelopment. In several routine property transactions, buyers, sellers and lawyers have had the unpleasant experience of having their deals scuttled by a questionable application of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
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Workplace threat injunction deemed invalid

August 13, 2014
Dave Stafford
An employee’s reported threat to blow his boss’s head off resulted in an injunction barring him from the workplace, but the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed recently in a case that highlighted conflicting statutes aimed at preventing violence on the job.
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Metrics create benchmarks for 'granular' evaluations of lawyer performance

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
Metrics measuring attorney and law firm performance have exploded in recent years, and trend watchers say the implications for the industry are only beginning to be felt.
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Video depositions can be a compelling trial tool

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The ability to catch the nonverbal messages and vocal inflections made by witnesses and experts is the biggest benefits to videotaping depositions, attorneys say.
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Whaley: Adventures in e-discovery and social media

July 30, 2014
With the amount of social media people use, it is not surprising that social media can have a significant impact on litigation and discovery. Occasionally something dramatic provides a cautionary tale, like the confidential settlement in a Florida employment discrimination case that the defendant private school voided when the plaintiff’s daughter bragged about it on her Facebook account. But there are many aspects of social media which, while not flashy, present interesting e-discovery challenges.
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