Legal Issues

Feds putting Comcast-Time Warner deal under close scrutiny

July 11, 2014
Bloomberg News
The Justice Department has reached out to several major companies as it investigates whether the cable-industry merger is anticompetitive. The deal, if approved, would have big implications in central Indiana.
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UPDATE: Bennett accepts $5,000 fine in ethics settlement

July 10, 2014
Associated Press
Former Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett has agreed to pay $5,000 as part of a settlement in which he admits to using state resources for campaign work but is cleared of formal ethics violations in a grade-change scandal.
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Indiana agencies told to ignore gay marriages

July 9, 2014
Associated Press
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's office is telling state agencies act as if no gay marriages had been performed last month during three days following a federal court order that found the state's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.
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INDOT staffer in ethics case seeks new work

July 7, 2014
Associated Press
A top Indiana transportation official who is under investigation for land sales that benefited his family is considering taking an executive job at an engineering firm that bids for state work.
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Kokomo doctor gets 2 years for overprescribing

July 3, 2014
Associated Press
Don Wagoner, his wife and two other doctors were arrested last year on narcotics charges connected to clinics in Kokomo and Burlington. State officials say at least a dozen patients died from drug-related complications.
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Good Earth avoids $1M judgment over Broad Ripple project

July 2, 2014
Scott Olson
Browning Investments had sought to make the health food store and a Broad Ripple resident post a $925,000 bond to cover costs related to construction delays stemming from an appeal related to the apartment-and-retail project.
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Kentucky same-sex marriage ban tossed by federal judge

July 1, 2014
Bloomberg News
Kentucky’s gay-marriage ban was thrown out Tuesday by a federal judge who derided the government’s arguments as “bewildering."
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Ex-Center Township trustee official charged with theft

July 1, 2014
Scott Olson
Federal prosecutors on Tuesday charged former CFO Alan S. Mizen, 59, of Zionsville with theft and embezzlement of federal program funds. If found guilty, he faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
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Supreme Court lets other birth-control cases stand

July 1, 2014
Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday confirmed that its decision a day earlier extending religious rights to closely held corporations applies broadly to the contraceptive coverage requirement in the new health care law.
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Ex-Center Township Trustee official faces charges

July 1, 2014
 IBJ Staff
U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett has scheduled a Tuesday afternoon press conference to announce the arrest of a former public official from the Center Township Trustee’s Office.
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Justices: Some employers don't have to cover birth control

June 30, 2014
Associated Press
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that some corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women.
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Appeals court stops gay marriage in Indiana

June 27, 2014
 IBJ Staff,  The Statehouse File
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday night stopped county clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, a move that throws hundreds of unions performed over the past two days into limbo.
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High court sides with Fifth Third employees in dispute

June 26, 2014
Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday sided with bank employees in a lawsuit against Fifth Third Bancorp that accused management of irresponsibly investing employee retirement money in the bank's then-failing stock.
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Gay couples' Indiana celebration could be derailed

June 26, 2014
Associated Press
Attorneys on both sides of the gay marriage debate expect the issue to ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, which last year struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
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Aereo court ruling sidesteps cloud-computing questions

June 26, 2014
Bloomberg News
As Aereo Inc.’s streaming-TV service was dealt a potentially fatal blow Wednesday, the cloud-computing industry was more concerned about what the U.S. Supreme Court didn’t say.
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NFL agrees to remove $675 million cap on head injuries

June 25, 2014
Associated Press
The NFL agreed Wednesday to remove a $675 million cap on damages from thousands of concussion-related claims after a federal judge questioned whether there would be enough money to cover as many as 20,000 retired players.
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Ex-Colt testifies to Senate panel about brain damage

June 25, 2014
Associated Press
Former NFL tight end Ben Utecht told a Senate hearing Wednesday that he fears where his history of brain injuries will leave him in the future.
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Developer requesting $1M over Broad Ripple project delays

June 25, 2014
Scott Olson
Browning Investments Inc. is seeking the damages from opponents of its proposed $30 million apartment-and-retail projects for costs related to construction delays due to a pending appeal.
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Justices limit existing EPA global warming rules

June 23, 2014
Associated Press
The Supreme Court on Monday placed limits on the sole program already in place to deal with power plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming. The decision does not affect EPA proposals for first-time national standards for new and existing power plants.
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Two contractors accused of wage violations accept plea deals

June 23, 2014
Dennis Barbosa
The Marion County Prosecutor's Office has reached plea agreements in two cases in which a contractor was accused of paying workers less than the required wage on publicly financed projects.
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Defendant in Land Bank fraud case pleads guilty

June 20, 2014
Cory Schouten
One of five defendants in an alleged kickback scheme involving the Indy Land Bank has pleaded guilty in a deal with federal prosecutors.
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Ogden receives 30-day suspension for criticizing judge

June 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson / The Indiana Lawyer
Indianapolis attorney and blogger Paul Ogden has been suspended for 30 days by the Indiana Supreme Court based on comments he made regarding a judge who presided over an estate case involving Ogden’s client.
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Trademark board rules against Redskins name

June 18, 2014
Associated Press
The U.S. Patent Office ruled Wednesday that the Washington Redskins nickname is "disparaging of Native Americans" and that the team's federal trademarks for the name must be canceled.
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Judge finds ‘rational’ reasons for restricting cold-beer sales

June 17, 2014
 IBJ Staff and Associated Press
Judge Richard L. Young ruled the state has legitimately drawn a line by only allowing liquor stores to sell cold beer.
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Deposition challenges timing of BMV overcharges

June 15, 2014
Associated Press
A former deputy director at the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles says he told agency leaders as early as 2010 that many BMV fees exceeded what was authorized under Indiana law.
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  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.

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