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Rep. Susan Brooks helps put spotlight on civil legal aid

December 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Civil legal aid providers got a boost Tuesday with the announcement of the formation of a Civil Legal Services Caucus in the U.S. Congress.
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Postal service warns newspaper about pot ads

December 2, 2015
 Associated Press
While Oregon voters legalized medical marijuana in 1998 and recreational marijuana for adult use in 2014, the plant is still illegal at the federal level. Any newspaper with pot ads would violate a federal law preventing advertising for illicit goods, the postal service said.
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Prosecutor seeks to dismiss charge against abortion doctor

December 2, 2015
 Associated Press

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office said Tuesday the doctor fulfilled terms of a pretrial diversion program he entered after being charged last year with failing to report an abortion performed at the Women's Pavilion on a 13-year-old in 2013.

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Henderson: Survey reveals signs of fundamental change in the legal profession

December 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The traditional career path for Indiana attorneys – graduate from law school, become an associate in a law firm, work long hours and eventually become a partner – appears to be broken, or at least cracked.
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Survey: Attorney social media use largely governed by personal responsibility

December 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
By a more than 2-to-1 margin, attorneys who responded to the IL survey said their organization encourages them to promote themselves and their firm or organization, compared to those who said their organization discourages social media.
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Survey finds widespread professional satisfaction, little encouragement to pursue career in law

December 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
Life’s not bad being a lawyer. Work is satisfying, there’s time for life outside work, and the pay is good. But I wouldn’t recommend it. Those contradictions in lawyers’ prevailing attitudes were revealed in Indiana Lawyer's Practicing Law in Indiana survey.
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Survey: Succession planning a top concern for organizations

December 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Thirty-eighty percent of the respondents to the Indiana Lawyer’s 2015 Practicing Law in Indiana survey listed transition or succession planning as the greatest challenge to their organization’s viability. Only the issue of managing costs while protecting quality of service topped this concern, which 42 percent found to be the greatest challenge.
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Survey results reveal range in hours of pro bono work performed annually

December 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The pro bono community still believes having attorneys donate their time and professional skills remains a viable method for providing services to low-income individuals and families. But Indiana attorneys overwhelmingly indicate they neither want to be told to volunteer nor be obligated to report their volunteer hours.
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Lucas: And the ‘Practicing Law in Indiana’ survey says …

December 2, 2015
Kelly Lucas
Welcome to the Indiana Lawyer’s “survey issue”! I hope that you find the data revealed in the pages of this publication interesting and that it spurs conversation and serves as a catalyst for positive change in the legal community.
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Quality of Life: Make sure to protect yourself from any type of ‘fall’

December 2, 2015
Jonna Kane MacDougall
At some point in life, you may have an experience that helps you to redefine your priorities. I had such an experience about three weeks ago, when I took a tumble, head first, down a long and steep staircase in my home.
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Inside the Criminal Case: Gluten, grandpas and reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle

December 2, 2015
James Bell, K. Michael Gaerte
“Back in our day,” reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop was based upon objective evidence that the suspect had committed a traffic violation.
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New DTCI president to continue diversity push

December 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
James Hehner brings 30-plus years of professional experience to the leadership post for the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana.
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2015 DTCI amicus report

December 2, 2015
From DTCI
In 2015, the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana’s Amicus Committee participated in a number of interesting appeals, two of which are set for oral argument in the near future. The cases DTCI became involved in this year, as in past years, pertain to a variety of issues which are of significant interest to the defense bar.
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DTCI elects new board and officers at annual conference

December 2, 2015
From DTCI
The Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana named its 2016 officers and directors at its 22nd Conference and Annual Meeting Nov. 19-20. The officers and directors will take office Jan. 1, 2016.
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Protecting Your Practice: Avoid problematic fee agreements

December 2, 2015
Neal Bowling, Dina Cox
It is crucial to have a clear, written agreement with your client explaining not just the scope of your services, but how you will be paid for those services. Be careful that you don’t run afoul of your professional obligations in that fee agreement or in your billing.
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Hammerle on ... 'Trumbo,' 'Spotlight'

December 2, 2015
Robert Hammerle
Bob Hammerle says "Trumbo" is a study in American history that should not be forgotten.
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7th Circuit stops Cook County sheriff’s campaign against adult ads

December 1, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was not convinced by the sheriff’s arguments and instead saw his actions as “government coercion” and leading to a slippery slope.
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Suit accuses owners of home-repair firm of serial fraud

December 1, 2015
IBJ Staff
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller sued the two owners of Carmel-based Green Frog Restoration Inc. on Tuesday, charging they scammed at least 41 Indianapolis-area residents out of more than $280,000 after one of them conducted similar schemes against Ohio and Kentucky residents.
 
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Justices disbar lawyer for theft of $150K from clients, ‘brazenness’

December 1, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis lawyer has been disbarred for stealing about $150,000 from his clients, “disclosing client confidences for purposes of both retaliation and amusement, threatening and intimidating his office staff (and) lying pervasively to all comers,” according to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Judge: Nativity lawsuit plaintiffs can remain anonymous

December 1, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal judge has ruled that a high school student and a parent can remain anonymous as they sue over a live Nativity scene that’s part of a northern Indiana school district’s annual Christmas show.
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Justices end Californian’s lawsuit against Austrian railway

December 1, 2015
 Associated Press
In their first decision of the term, justices of the Supreme Court of the United States ruled Tuesday that an American woman's lawsuit could not go forward in U.S. courts.
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High court’s election-year lineup rich in high-profile cases

December 1, 2015
 Associated Press
Affirmative action, abortion the Obama health care law and possibly immigration are among big issues that could be decided by the Supreme Court of the United States just months ahead of a presidential campaign season.
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Annexation battle over ‘reasonably near future’ continues in Indiana Supreme Court

November 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The second in a series of annexation battles was presented to the Indiana Supreme Court Nov. 25, this time asking the justices to review the Legislature’s intent when allowing cities and towns to bring in unincorporated areas for development.
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Divided COA reinstates lawsuit of drunk man who fled, was hit by cars

November 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
A bar will have to face a negligence lawsuit brought by a man who was served at least one drink before he fled from a police stop in handcuffs and was hit by two cars as he tried to cross a state highway.
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Lack of evidence gets CHINS ruling reversed

November 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding the evidence to be “wholly lacking,” the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a CHINS adjudication and admonished the juvenile court and the Indiana Department of Child Services to refocus their efforts on families truly in need.
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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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