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Federal Bar Update: Removing state-court actions to federal court

June 3, 2015
John Maley
Removal of state-court actions to federal court has provided a seemingly never-ending source of procedural disputes. Fortunately many of those mind-numbing issues have been resolved in the last several years by Congress and the courts, with the Supreme Court of the United States addressing one key issue recently.
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Abeska: St. Joseph County Bar Foundation is hitting its stride

June 3, 2015
The St. Joseph County Bar Foundation's philanthropic efforts are made possible by support from attorneys and law firms, though fundraising remains a challenge for the board.
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Quick: How to get noticed by the media

June 3, 2015
Swallow your pride. Sometimes the media doesn’t believe your law firm is as important as you do.
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New laws shelter attorneys-in-fact from liability in settling estates

June 3, 2015
Dave Stafford
How long heirs have to initiate an action arising from an attorney-in-fact’s final accounting of an estate has been an open question in Indiana, but a recent change in state law settles it. Mostly.
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Open House: Connor Reporting moves up

June 3, 2015
Dave Stafford
Indiana Lawyer is launching an occasional series in this issue titled “Open House.” In it, we will feature law firms, legal service providers, and other law-related entities that have undergone a redesign of their office to improve flow and function or that have repurposed a building or space to fit the needs of today’s legal providers. This issue features Connor Reporting.
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Kissel: Keeping the business in the family

June 3, 2015
Passing the family business to the next generation is likely to be one of the biggest projects of the owner’s lifetime. Family business succession is the process of transitioning the governance and ownership of a closely held business to the next generation.
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Injured man fails to convince COA he was mentally incompetent

June 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A split Indiana Court of Appeals found that affidavits from an injured man’s family members as to his mental competency were not sufficient to overcome his failure to file a complaint before the statute of limitations had expired.
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Plan to establish commercial courts in Indiana moves forward

June 2, 2015
IL Staff
The move to create commercial courts in Indiana, first mentioned by Chief Justice Loretta Rush during her State of the Judiciary address in January, is a step closer to becoming a reality. The Indiana Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it has named a working group to recommend policies and procedures for the courts, which could be hearing cases as early as 2016.
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Death sentence reversed in 2001 slaying of Morgan deputy

June 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
The death sentence imposed on a man for the killing Morgan County Deputy Sheriff Daniel Starnes in 2001 has been reversed by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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COA finds Zionsville has authority to incorporate neighboring township

June 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Describing itself as having a “hybrid status,” Zionsville successfully argued it had the authority to reorganize with Perry Township and convinced the Indiana Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court’s order blocking its efforts to incorporate the township.
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COA widens class-action suit against Lincoln National

June 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
A former policyholder’s class-action lawsuit claiming Lincoln National Life Insurance breached its contract was expanded Tuesday by a Court of Appeals ruling.
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Monroe County wants to bring trained dogs to court

June 2, 2015
 Associated Press
Efforts are underway in Monroe County to bring trained dogs to the courthouse in Bloomington.
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Parents sue Hobart school district over prayers at school events

June 2, 2015
 Associated Press
A Hobart school district faces a lawsuit over prayers that are said before athletic events, graduations and school board meetings from parents who say the prayers violate the First Amendment.
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Proposed rule bans T-shirts, gum-chewing in courtrooms

June 2, 2015
 Associated Press
A new rule being considered by judges in a southwestern Indiana county would prohibit lawyers, litigants and spectators from wearing T-shirts or shorts or chewing gum in courtrooms.
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More than 300 suspended for CLE, fee or IOLTA violations

June 2, 2015
IL Staff
More than 300 lawyers have been suspended for failing to pay registration fees, meet their continuing legal education requirements or submit certification of Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts.
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Justices reinstate med-mal suit against doctor in stillbirth

June 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court reinstated a medical malpractice case against a Richmond doctor accused of failing to meet the standard of care in examining a pregnant woman whose child subsequently was stillborn.
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Justices affirm stabbing conviction in evidence appeal

June 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Anderson man convicted of stabbing his son-in-law lost his appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday. The man claimed the trial court wrongly excluded evidence that the victim told others that he had struck the man with a two-by-four piece of lumber before the knife attack.
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Expected changes to Patriot Act better, says IU Maurer cybersecurity expert

June 1, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The failure of the U.S. Senate to reauthorize parts of the Patriot Act surprised cybersecurity expert Fred Cate, but he hesitated to describe the expiration of the legislation as a major shift in current policy.
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Indiana team gets SCOTUS reversal on deportation case

June 1, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Characterizing the government’s argument as making “scant sense,” the Supreme Court of the United States reversed the deportation order of a lawful permanent resident convicted for carrying a controlled substance in his sock.
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Justices reject Arizona no-bail law; OK immunity in prison suicide

June 1, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday rejected an Arizona county’s attempt to reinstate a state law that denies bail to people in the country illegally who are charged with certain crimes.
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Indiana Supreme Court to review police search struck down by COA

June 1, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will review a drug-possession conviction reversed by the Court of Appeals in February because a police search lacked reasonable suspicion.
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SCOTUS: Bankrupt homeowners can't void second mortgage

June 1, 2015
 Associated Press
A unanimous Supreme Court of the United States ruled homeowners who declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy can't void a second mortgage even if the home isn't worth what they owe on the first mortgage.
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High court throws out conviction for Facebook threats

June 1, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday threw out the conviction of a Pennsylvania man prosecuted for making threats on Facebook but dodged the free-speech issues that had made the case intriguing to First Amendment advocates.
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Indiana justices to weigh Lake County small precinct law

June 1, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments Thursday over a law that requires Lake County officials to study whether to consolidate election precincts with fewer than 500 active voters.
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7th Circuit affirms solitary confinement; cautions against it

June 1, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indiana inmate's 30-day stint in solitary confinement at the Miami Correctional facility didn't violate his civil rights, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday. But the panel cautioned judges and prison officials against wide use of the practice.
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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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