Indiana Lawyer’s top story of 2018 began inside an Indianapolis bar in the cool early-morning hours of Thursday, March 15. Attorney General Curtis Hill had had a few drinks. A few too many, several witnesses would later claim.
Newly-minted Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Elizabeth Tavitas has done a little bit of everything throughout her legal career. She’s been a prosecutor, a public defender, a private practitioner, a referee, a trial court judge and now, a judge on the state’s second-highest court.
It’s not uncommon for the Indiana Department of Child Services to hear it doesn’t have enough evidence to support its child welfare cases. Children in need of services cases that enter the court often leave shredded by judges for lack of a sufficient reasoning as to why they came before the bench without enough evidence to back up the claims.
Since a memo was released detailing Curtis Hill’s alleged sexual misconduct at a party celebrating the end of the 2018 legislative session, the Indiana Attorney General has continued to fight back, even as calls for his resignation persist. This week, a nonprofit for his legal defense was announced.
Lake Superior Judge Elizabeth Tavitas was on the bench on July 18 when her phone rang with a message that would change her career. It was a call from Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, informing her that she had been selected as Indiana’s next Court of Appeals judge.
Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb brandished his front-runner status Saturday as he kicked off his re-election campaign with a rally extolling the state’s economy while brushing off any criticism of his record.
John Westercamp, an attorney with Bose McKinney & Evans LLP, is the first announced candidate for next year’s Republican nomination to become the Indiana Attorney General as the political prospects for embattled AG Curtis Hill remain unclear.
In the same day a federal judge blocked an Indiana law that would have banned a second-trimester abortion procedure, a conservative United States Supreme Court justice agreed not to hear a similar case from another state.
Claiming outside advocates were relying on “an inflammatory and outdated account,” Indiana Department of Child Services director Terry Stigdon released a video statement Monday in response to the lawsuit filed last week charging the state agency with inflicting further harm on children entering the foster care system.
Indianapolis attorney Bryce Bennett, a founding partner with Riley Bennett & Egloff, has resigned as chair of the Indiana Election Commission effective Monday, according to a statement from the firm. Bennett has served two four-year terms under his appointments from Govs. Mitch Daniels, Mike Pence and Eric Holcomb.
A federal judge late Friday issued an injunction blocking a new Indiana law from taking effect that would have prohibited the most common procedure used to perform second-trimester abortions. Senior Judge Sarah Evans Barker’s 53-page order blocks enactment of House Enrolled Act 1211, which she noted banned “an abortion procedure known to medicine as ‘dilation and evacuation’… and referred to by its political opponents as ‘dismemberment abortion.’”
Although the $34 billion budget dominated the session, legislators introduced and considered more than 600 bills each in both the Senate and the House. The ones they passed covered a variety of matters, including hate crimes, hemp, gambling, foster parents, electricity generation and, of course, electric scooters.