Focus

Proposed rule clears up ambiguities on release of mental health patients' names

February 12, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
What the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services calls a modification to rules protecting patient privacy has sparked similar outcries from groups that might normally find themselves opposing each other. The National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Gun Owners of America both have come out against a proposed rule change to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act that would allow health care entities to release the names of some mental health patients to the national firearm background check system.
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Essley: The land of (health care lien) confusion

February 12, 2014
Eric Essley writes about a few of the health care-related lien statutes often encountered and/or cited by the plaintiff’s bar and their in-house/defense counterparts when trying to settle claims.
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Attorneys finding more link rot online

January 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Just a few days after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in his case, attorney Brian Paul searched for the website the court had cited and discovered not everything on the Internet is permanent.
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Papageorge: Predictive coding gaining support in courts

January 29, 2014
Attorneys now are faced with the monumental task of collecting, reviewing and producing their own client’s electronic documents while also reviewing the opposing side’s electronic documents. This can lead to uncomfortable conversations with clients regarding the significant cost of the process.
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Lawmaker targets burdensome pre-settlement funding by proposing cap on interest rates

January 15, 2014
Dave Stafford
Funding companies woo plaintiffs in need with promises of quick cash for their pending settlements without oversight in Indiana. That soon could change.
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SCOTUS adds IRA dispute in effort to avoid future chaos

January 15, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
In agreeing to hear an appeal on the question of whether retirement funds remain retirement funds after they are inherited, the Supreme Court of the United States seems to be acknowledging that what is today a rare question could arise more often as the population ages and more parents leave money to their children.
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Duncan: Learn these estate planning changes

January 15, 2014
After many years of complete uncertainty with the federal estate tax, there is now a law in place that provides some level of predictability. Further, in 2013, Indiana repealed its inheritance tax. Indiana’s inheritance tax was known as one of the most onerous of all the states and resulted in many snowbirds making Florida their permanent home.
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Untying the knot yourself

January 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Couples forgoing legal counsel in divorce risk creating big messes the courts can’t clean up.
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Can parents sue DCS? Yes, divided justices rule

January 1, 2014
Dave Stafford
A sharply divided Indiana Supreme Court decision that a family may sue the state’s child protection agency for negligence is sure to resonate within the Department of Child Services, attorneys familiar with the case said.
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Kraft wins in food fight with Cracker Barrel

December 4, 2013
Dave Stafford
A federal appeals court ruled recently that savvy consumers might be confused if food branded Cracker Barrel Old Country Store was sold in grocery stores that carry Kraft’s Cracker Barrel brand cheese. Turns out even a law professor who teaches a course on trademarks and unfair competition might be fooled.
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Judge finds Google's book project 'transformative'

December 4, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys differ on whether the recent ruling benefits society or opens the door for infringement.
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'Contraception mandate' goes before SCOTUS

November 20, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Madison family business is at the forefront of a legal challenge the Supreme Court of the United States will conference over Nov. 26 – whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act “contraception mandate” violates the religious liberties of company owners whose faith proscribes birth control.
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Lawyers want to settle tainted medication suit

November 20, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The product-liability litigation arising from the outbreak of fungal meningitis across the United States that infected nearly 100 Hoosiers has become mixed with a bankruptcy, a possible criminal investigation and a desire by plaintiff attorneys to reach a settlement soon so their clients can get restitution.
More

Gibson: Managing drug and medical device mass-tort litigation

November 20, 2013
A common mistake is the belief that a mass tort and a class action are interchangeable terms. While the paths of class actions and mass torts may cross, they are separate and distinct legal proceedings.
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Technology levels the legal playing field

November 6, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys find hardware and software make them more effective and efficient.
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Program provides lawyers trial run at oral argument

November 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
A novel program offered by the Indianapolis Bar Association and the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, the Indiana Appellate Institute gives lawyers a trial run in which they can practice their arguments before a panel of volunteer lawyers and sometimes former judges and justices.
More

COA finds mechanic's lien statute requires only substantial compliance

October 23, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The homeowner's lawyer seeks rehearing, arguing that differing names between the pre-lien and mechanic's lien makes the lien invalid.
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Marion County, Simon tangle over valuation of Indianapolis malls

October 23, 2013
Dave Stafford
Arguments in two cases before the Indiana Tax Court in recent weeks featured wildly divergent views of the valuation of two Indianapolis shopping malls that have seen better days.
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Incoming ISBA president sets communication at top of agenda

October 9, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Jim Dimos, partner at Frost Brown Todd LLC and the next president of the Indiana State Bar Association, wants to lead by listening and engaging bar association members and non-members from around the state to not only tell them what the organization offers but also to hear what more the association can do.
More

Mediating Justices: Former justices find that ADR is often a fertile field for life after the court

September 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
After years deciding disputes in the state’s highest court, two former justices now devote at least part of their practices to helping feuding parties find their own resolutions.

Former Indiana Supreme Court Justices Ted Boehm and Myra Selby each count corporate clients in their mediation and alternative dispute resolution portfolios, Boehm with Van Winkle Baten Dispute Resolution and Selby with Ice Miller LLP.
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Special task force going word-by-word through ADR rules

September 25, 2013
Although the privacy of mediation has been affirmed by the Indiana Supreme Court, the possibility that confidential conversations could become public highlighted the need to clarify and possibly change the state’s rules for alternative dispute resolution.
More

Arbitrator's unavailability will not stop arbitration from starting

September 25, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found an arbitration agreement’s “plain language” trumps a woman’s attempt to stop the alternative dispute resolution process.
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Business agreements provide roadmap for changes in family-run enterprises

September 11, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Integrate family into small business ownership and the potential for rivalry, high emotions and different agendas increases, especially as the business is passed from one generation to the next. The dispute rocking the Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari theme park in southwest Indiana shows what can happen when a family fights over a business but, attorneys say, it is an extreme and uncommon situation. Usually members of a family or multiple shareholders in a closely held company work through their dispute outside the courtroom.
More

Edward Thomas: Tips on determining testamentary capacity

September 11, 2013
Lewis Wagner attorney Edward Thomas discusses in the IL's Estate Planning focus section testamentary capacity and other considerations that go into creating a will.
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Ethanol plant emissions suit may be bound for Indiana Supreme Court

August 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s ethanol industry faces an uncertain regulatory environment and likely more stringent emissions standards after a recent Indiana Court of Appeals ruling. A state agency will ask the Indiana Supreme Court to hear the case, as several corn-to-fuel plant operators also are expected to do.
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  1. Hmmmmm ..... How does the good doctor's spells work on tyrants and unelected bureacrats with nearly unchecked power employing in closed hearings employing ad hoc procedures? Just askin'. ... Happy independence day to any and all out there who are "free" ... Unlike me.

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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