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The Star asks Supreme Court to review order to name online commenter

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Editor's note: This story has been corrected regarding action taken by the Court of Appeals.

The Indianapolis Star has asked the Indiana Supreme Court to hear its appeal of an order that it identify an anonymous commenter who posted messages on its website that became part of a defamation suit.

A divided panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals last week rejected The Star’s petition for an emergency rehearing in Jeffrey M. Miller, et al. v. Junior Achievement, et al., 49A02-1211-PL-898. The Star on Monday petitioned the Supreme Court to accept jurisdiction.

After granting an emergency stay of a Marion Superior Court order that The Star name an online commenter, an appellate panel heard oral arguments last month before dismissing the appeal for lack of jurisdiction in a 2-1 decision.

At the center of the appeal is whether The Star must reveal the identity of a commenter whose screen name on Indystar.com was DownWithTheColts. Jeffrey Miller, former CEO of Junior Achievement of Indiana, sued multiple parties for defamation and sought to add people, including DownWithTheColts, who made anonymous comments on news organization websites that ran stories about Miller and JA.

Presiding COA Judge Edward Najam and Judge Elaine Brown dismissed the appeal and rejected The Star’s request for an emergency rehearing before the appeals court. Judge Rudy Pyle III dissented in both instances.

There was no immediate indication Tuesday whether the Supreme Court would intervene.

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  1. File under the Sociology of Hoosier Discipline ... “We will be answering the complaint in due course and defending against the commission’s allegations,” said Indianapolis attorney Don Lundberg, who’s representing Hudson in her disciplinary case. FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW ... Lundberg ran the statist attorney disciplinary machinery in Indy for decades, and is now the "go to guy" for those who can afford him .... the ultimate insider for the well-to-do and/or connected who find themselves in the crosshairs. It would appear that this former prosecutor knows how the game is played in Circle City ... and is sacrificing accordingly. See more on that here ... http://www.theindianalawyer.com/supreme-court-reprimands-attorney-for-falsifying-hours-worked/PARAMS/article/43757 Legal sociologists could have a field day here ... I wonder why such things are never studied? Is a sacrifice to the well connected former regulators a de facto bribe? Such questions, if probed, could bring about a more just world, a more equal playing field, less Stalinist governance. All of the things that our preambles tell us to value could be advanced if only sunshine reached into such dark worlds. As a great jurist once wrote: "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman." Other People's Money—and How Bankers Use It (1914). Ah, but I am certifiable, according to the Indiana authorities, according to the ISC it can be read, for believing such trite things and for advancing such unwanted thoughts. As a great albeit fictional and broken resistance leaders once wrote: "I am the dead." Winston Smith Let us all be dead to the idea of maintaining a patently unjust legal order.

  2. The Department of Education still has over $100 million of ITT Education Services money in the form of $100+ million Letters of Credit. That money was supposed to be used by The DOE to help students. The DOE did nothing to help students. The DOE essentially stole the money from ITT Tech and still has the money. The trustee should be going after the DOE to get the money back for people who are owed that money, including shareholders.

  3. Do you know who the sponsor of the last-minute amendment was?

  4. Law firms of over 50 don't deliver good value, thats what this survey really tells you. Anybody that has seen what they bill for compared to what they deliver knows that already, however.

  5. As one of the many consumers affected by this breach, I found my bank data had been lifted and used to buy over $200 of various merchandise in New York. I did a pretty good job of tracing the purchases to stores around a college campus just from the info on my bank statement. Hm. Mr. Hill, I would like my $200 back! It doesn't belong to the state, in my opinion. Give it back to the consumers affected. I had to freeze my credit and take out data protection, order a new debit card and wait until it arrived. I deserve something for my trouble!

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