Focus

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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Advocates: Suit over unpaid subsidies emblematic of DCS' shortcomings

July 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
Adoptive families who’ve sued the state and likened the Department of Child Services to deadbeat parents for failing to pay promised subsidies to people who adopt foster children aren’t alone in feeling slighted, child and adoption advocates say.
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Mastering the law without a J.D.

July 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The move by two Indiana law schools to follow a national trend and offer master’s degrees to non-lawyers has many practicing lawyers asking where the graduates of these programs will fit into the legal profession.
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Early education efforts expose youth to various careers in law

July 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
Harrison Ndife and his peers gathered at the end of a long week to kick back, talk shop and do a little networking. A rising sophomore at Terre Haute South High School, Ndife had just completed the Summer Legal Institute along with 39 other eighth-graders and high-schoolers. They learned what it will take for them to become lawyers and where their place in the profession might be.
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Guarding against undue influence

June 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
Changes in a person’s will and estate plan that vary from equal distribution of assets among heirs, as favored by law, should raise red flags, elder law attorneys say.
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Longtime private practitioner Steve Langer leads ITLA

June 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Valparaiso attorney Steven Langer brings to bear more than 30 years of experience as the new president of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association. He answers a few questions from Indiana Lawyer about the organization, the practice of law, and his family. And he had a pet black bear in his youth.
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ITLA Institute hits a big milestone

June 4, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The 50th annual conference will give attorneys a chance to recharge, connect with others, and learn tips from a comedian.
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Establishing Miller Trusts

May 21, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys offer their pro bono services to help nursing home residents keep their Medicaid benefits.
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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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