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Prosecutors seeking DNA sample in Gary officer's slaying

October 8, 2015
 Associated Press
The Lake County Prosecutor's Office wants to obtain a DNA sample from a 27-year-old man accused of killing a Gary police officer.
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Northern Indiana school district sued over Nativity scene

October 8, 2015
 Associated Press
A high school student and a parent are challenging the constitutionality of a live Nativity scene that's been included in a northern Indiana school district's annual Christmas show for decades.
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Drug statutes not vague, but justices dismiss ‘spice’ charges

October 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Two men who challenged their criminal charges for possessing chemical compound XLR11 had their charges dismissed by the Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday, but not because the statutes relating to the drug are unconstitutional as they had argued.
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Federal prisoner not entitled to additional sentence credit

October 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court that an inmate in a federal Terre Haute prison should not receive credit for a three-year period as he argued in his habeas corpus petition.
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Court erred in not considering subsequent property settlement agreements

October 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a ruling in favor of a woman on her claim that her ex-husband owed her more than $2.4 million based on a 1997 property settlement agreement. The judges found the trial court should have considered subsequent property settlement agreements the two entered into without the court’s approval.
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Allen County judge recognized for jury operations improvements

October 7, 2015
IL Staff
Allen Superior Judge Frances C. Gull, who has spent the past 10 years to electronically upgrading the court’s jury management system, will receive the 2015 G. Thomas Munsterman Award for Jury Innovation from the National Center for State Courts for her efforts.
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Report on pro se litigants presented to Indiana Supreme Court

October 7, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A report and recommendations for addressing the issue of unrepresented litigants has been submitted to the Indiana Supreme Court but the contents are not being made public.
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Lawsuit takes on Indiana's right-to-farm laws

October 7, 2015
Jeff Newman, IBJ Staff
The Hoosier Environmental Council has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a pair of Hendricks County families who say they face “intolerable living conditions” created by odors coming from a nearby 8,000-hog farm that opened two years ago.
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Federal jury rules against DCS, awards family $31.3 million

October 7, 2015
Dave Stafford
The family of a 14-year-old Pulaski County girl who died as a result of prescription error has been awarded $31.3 million in a judgment against state agents who wrongly removed the couple’s children from their home and prosecuted the parents for their daughter’s death.
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Cleveland appeals 'jock tax' ruling to US Supreme Court

October 7, 2015
 Associated Press
The city of Cleveland says it is within its rights to tax visiting professional athletes based on the number of games they play a year because taxation is a matter of local jurisdiction.
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Indiana's high court takes up lawmaker email case

October 7, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear an appeal involving a lawsuit seeking a lawmaker's emails and other correspondence with utility company officials over solar power legislation he sponsored.
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Attorneys en garde!

October 7, 2015
Dave Stafford
Lawyers who’ve taken a stab at fencing say there’s no other sport quite like it. More to the point, they say competing with the blade sharpens their legal acumen and attacks the stresses of the profession.
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The waiting game delays medical malpractice claims going to court

October 7, 2015
Dave Stafford
Lawmakers recently received conflicting diagnoses for review panels that evaluate medical malpractice claims. Some see them as broken, while others say they represent an ideal system that just needs some TLC.
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Indiana Bar Foundation celebrates 65th anniversary

October 7, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Bar Foundation, started in 1950, has grown over the years but its mission has always been the same – promoting civic education and improving access to justice.
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Journalist Bob Woodward finds new piece to Nixon puzzle

October 7, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Journalist Bob Woodward's new book, history, and the lessons of leadership will all be part of Woodward’s talk when he comes to Indianapolis Nov. 6. Woodward is the keynote speaker at the Indiana Bar Foundation’s 65th anniversary benefit dinner.
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Justices: Survivors cannot recover attorney fees

October 7, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The ambiguous phrase, “including but not limited to” in the state’s wrongful death statutes has again caught the attention of the Indiana Supreme Court, but this time the justices cautioned against broad interpretation.
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Dean's Desk: Surveys give insight on graduates’ careers

October 7, 2015
Nell Jessup Netwon
Lately I have been spending some fruitful hours reviewing a treasure trove of data collected by a 12-year-long longitudinal study of law graduates who passed the bar in the year 2000. The survey results are available in a publication called “After the JD.” I commend it to your attention.
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Insurance policy v. public policy

October 7, 2015
Dave Stafford
A starkly divided Indiana Court of Appeals opinion over whether insurance should be in play after a bicyclist was killed by an unauthorized motorist may be appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Method to the mediation

October 7, 2015
Dave Stafford
When "reason leaves the room," an analytical approach can lead a path to dispute resolution.
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Terzo: Arbitration is viable alternative in family law disputes

October 7, 2015
It wasn’t until the 1990s that arbitration began to be seriously considered for family law cases. At that time there was no statute specifically directed to family law arbitration, and Indiana had no caselaw regarding family law arbitration. Our current statute, I.C. 34-57-5-1, et seq, was enacted in 2005. It answered many of the questions attorneys had.
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Brown: Can the gladiator make peace?

October 7, 2015
It is the concept of the peacemaker that so clearly expresses the role of the mediator.
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Indiana Judges Association: The online life of judges requires prudence

October 7, 2015
David Dreyer
We legal professionals have a unique role to translate ancient theorems into optic fiber. Along with that obligation arises a longstanding devotion to ensuring the world understands what law is and has always been: an imperfect process to determine “facts” and apply the rules.
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DTCI: Second chair is not second fiddle

October 7, 2015
From DTCI
I had the privilege of being the second chair at my first jury trial in March of this year. As I begin preparations for my next trial as second chair, I have been reflecting on what I learned the first go-round. I share my thoughts here with the hope that they will help other young attorneys – or even a seasoned attorney when he or she mentors young attorneys.
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Remonstrators’ victories are short-lived

October 7, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
In a string of reversals from the Indiana Court of Appeals, the judiciary seems to be saying that if a municipality indicates it will need the additional territory at some point in the future, then that is enough to allow an annexation to move forward.
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Inside the Criminal Case: New playbook for prosecuting white collar crime

October 7, 2015
James Bell, K. Michael Gaerte
There is a theme that permeates the news reporting of the 2008 financial crisis: no one went to jail as a consequence. In possible reaction to this theme, the U.S. Department of Justice recently issued a bulletin that has since been referred to as the “Yates Memo.”
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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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