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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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Justices rule for Muslim denied job over hijab

June 1, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Monday for a Muslim woman who did not get hired after she showed up to a job interview with clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch wearing a black headscarf.
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Trial date set for Indiana man charged with 2 women's deaths

May 29, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana man charged with strangling two women and suspected of killing five others whose bodies were found in abandoned houses last fall faces a June trial unless defense attorneys request a delay.
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COA affirms attempted murder conviction, denial of insanity defense

May 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of attacking and trying to kill his mother’s boyfriend was not prejudiced when a judge denied his request to pursue an insanity defense, a Court of Appeals majority ruled. But a dissenting judge said the man had good cause and would remand for a new trial.
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Judge: Lawyers have responsibility to correct bench errors

May 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man’s appeal of his sentence for marijuana-related convictions was denied in a memorandum decision Friday, but an appellate judge wrote the case wouldn’t have been there had a prosecutor or defense lawyer spoken up when a judge erred.
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Free legal aid program changing lives, but future uncertain

May 29, 2015
 Associated Press
The most common problems people bring involve debts, collections and federal taxes.
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Split COA: 1992 Michigan sex offender required to register in Indiana

May 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who committed a sex crime in Michigan in 1992 and moved to Indiana in 2012 must put his name in the Indiana Sex Offender Registry created two years after his initial offense, a divided Court of Appeals panel ruled.
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Legislature turns to attorney to lead new ethics office

May 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A longtime legislative attorney has been tapped to lead the state’s new Office of Legislative Ethics.
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Southern District seeks comment on proposed rule changes

May 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is currently seeking comments on proposed revisions to two local rules dealing with filing records under seal.
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Court rejects Meyers’ claims his trial counsel was ineffective

May 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
John R. Myers II, the man convicted of killing Indiana University student Jill Behrman in 2000, was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his father-son trial counsel team was ineffective during his murder trial.
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There’s a new kind of lateral hiring going on

May 28, 2015
 Bloomberg News
A number of partners are moving to new roles as law firms begin to emulate their corporate clients. C-suite jobs like chief talent officer and chief innovation officer are popping up, filled by partners asked to try something new.
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Where the clients ‘are no stoned-out hippies’

May 28, 2015
 Bloomberg News
Small firms, like  Brian Vicente’s in Denver, have been advising clients on marijuana law issues for several years. Now even some bigger corporate firms are tiptoeing into the business.
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Boston Marathon bomber to be sentenced June 24

May 28, 2015
 Associated Press
Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will be formally sentenced to death on June 24.
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Parties’ oral modification of land agreement unenforceable

May 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the decision by a trial court finding an oral agreement between a buyer and seller that modified a written land contract had to be in writing based on the Statute of Frauds and that the buyer defaulted on the terms of the agreement.
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No abuse in giving jury instruction, but COA still reverses 1 conviction

May 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it gave a jury instruction during an invasion of privacy trial, the Court of Appeals ruled, but the appeals court sua sponte did reverse one of two convictions because of double jeopardy.
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Lawsuit says Mourdock gave chief deputy 3-year contract

May 28, 2015
 Associated Press
A lawsuit by former Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock's chief deputy challenging his firing claims the official gave him a three-year, $300,000 contract before he resigned from office last year.
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COA affirms admission of gun and photographs into evidence

May 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted as evidence a handgun and photographs of the gun found in a car being impounded after police discovered the driver did not own the car and believed it was unsafe to operate, the Court of Appeals held.
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Judge concerned about doctor’s contradictory affidavit

May 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge found it troubling that a member of a medical review panel that unanimously found defendants breached their duty of care to a patient could later issue an affidavit in which he changed his mind relating to a doctor accused of medical malpractice.
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  1. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  2. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

  3. She must be a great lawyer

  4. Ind. Courts - "Illinois ranks 49th for how court system serves disadvantaged" What about Indiana? A story today from Dave Collins of the AP, here published in the Benton Illinois Evening News, begins: Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public, according to new rankings. Illinois' "Justice Index" score of 34.5 out of 100, determined by the nonprofit National Center for Access to Justice, is based on how states serve people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, how much free legal help is available and how states help increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, among other issues. Connecticut led all states with a score of 73.4 and was followed by Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Delaware, respectively. Local courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest overall score at 80.9. At the bottom was Oklahoma at 23.7, followed by Kentucky, Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana. ILB: That puts Indiana at 46th worse. More from the story: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee and Maine had perfect 100 scores in serving people with disabilities, while Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri and Idaho had the lowest scores. Those rankings were based on issues such as whether interpretation services are offered free to the deaf and hearing-impaired and whether there are laws or rules allowing service animals in courthouses. The index also reviewed how many civil legal aid lawyers were available to provide free legal help. Washington, D.C., had nearly nine civil legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty, the highest rate in the country. Texas had the lowest rate, 0.43 legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty. http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2014/11/ind_courts_illi_1.html

  5. A very thorough opinion by the federal court. The Rooker-Feldman analysis, in particular, helps clear up muddy water as to the entanglement issue. Looks like the Seventh Circuit is willing to let its district courts cruise much closer to the Indiana Supreme Court's shorelines than most thought likely, at least when the ADA on the docket. Some could argue that this case and Praekel, taken together, paint a rather unflattering picture of how the lower courts are being advised as to their duties under the ADA. A read of the DOJ amicus in Praekel seems to demonstrate a less-than-congenial view toward the higher echelons in the bureaucracy.

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