By: Arend J. Abel, Attorney
The Supreme Court entered an order last week that should cause every attorney to pause before hitting “Send” on that nasty email targeted at opposing counsel, and before filing a motion that vents frustration at a trial court’s ruling. They could get you suspended.
Last week, an attorney in northern Indiana was suspended for, among other things, sending an email to opposing counsel saying the opposing parties were “possibly homophobic, racist, [and] sexist” and accusing the judge in a parenting time dispute of displaying a “stubbornly injudicious attitude” and “taking off on detours and frolics that ignore the fact that there are laws in Indiana that the court is supposed to follow and uphold.”
By: Casandra L. Ringlespaugh, Attorney
Every 9 seconds in the US, a woman is assaulted or beaten, according to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice. Although intimate partner physical violence affects both men and women, women are much more likely be severely physically abused, with statistically 1 in 3 women as compared to 1 in 7 men who have been reported to be victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Moreover, battery is the single major cause of injury to women, exceeding rapes, muggings, and auto accidents combined. In the United States, intimate partner violence accounts for approximately 15% of all violent crime according to a U.S. Department of Justice special report on nonfatal domestic violence. In a staggering statistic, 2 out of every 3 female homicides in the U.S. were at the hand of an intimate partner between 1980 and 2008.
By: Jonathan A. Knoll, Attorney
Two recent studies published by the British Journal of Medicine (BJM) raise concerns about the speed with which the Food and Drug Administration approves drugs for market in the United States. According to the FDA the stages of drug development and review necessary to gain marketing approval include:
By: Lynn A. Toops, Attorney
So much attention has been focused on cybersecurity and data breaches that consumers are focused now more than ever about the privacy of their personal information. Forbes Magazine recently reported on the 20 major consumer data breaches of 2014. Many of the companies on the list were retailers whose customer payment systems were compromised. Customers took action by having credit accounts frozen and cards reissued.
Catholic Pope Amends Religious Annulment Process — What is the difference between a religious and civil annulment?
By: Elizabeth A. Eichholtz, Attorney
Pope Francis announced on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 that the Catholic Church is changing the religious annulment process . The amendments make the process easier and cheaper for individuals seeking an annulment. What does this mean for Indiana couples who were married in the Catholic Church and are now seeking a divorce? While this change is intended to make the religious annulment process easier, it has no actual bearing on the divorce process. To better understand the implications of the new process, it’s important to note the difference between a civil divorce and a religious annulment and how those are treated within the context of civil and canon law.
by: Edward B. Mulligan V, Attorney
Child injuries associated with bounce houses and inflatable moonwalks are growing at an alarming rate. In 2010 alone, more than 11,000 children were rushed to an emergency room because of bounce house injuries. A recent study by American Academy of Pediatrics suggests inflatable bouncer-related injuries are growing at a faster rate than trampoline-related injuries, which have been thought to be one of the most dangerous pieces of recreational equipment for children. The report published in November 2012 is the first study of its kind to use nationally representative data regarding injury rates, types, and risk factors in assessing inflatable bouncer-related injuries.
By: Elizabeth A. Eichholtz, Attorney
In any dissolution of marriage case, a question frequently posed by potential clients is: “Will he/she/I be ordered to pay alimony?” In Indiana, what was historically referred to as alimony is now termed “spousal maintenance.” There are two (2) categories of spousal maintenance: (1) temporary spousal maintenance, which may be ordered to be paid by one party during the pendency of the divorce; and (2) spousal maintenance paid once the divorce has been made final by the court.
By: Lynn A. Toops, Attorney
It’s an unfortunate circumstance that we need to have a discussion about medical identity theft. Media reports about computer hackers and data breaches are on the rise and millions of unsuspecting consumers are finding themselves as victims of identity theft and dealing with the resulting hassle.
Consumer data breaches on the rise
Earlier this year, Forbes Magazine reported on 20 of the major consumer data breaches of 2014. Most of these breaches involved consumer credit and debit card information. Businesses including Neiman Marcus, Target Stores, Michael’s Craft Stores, and many others announced data breaches that exposed to cyber thieves sensitive customer information that often included names, payment card information, and in some cases, addresses and email addresses. Hackers sell this stolen information to others who use it to obtain fraudulent credit accounts.
By: Michael W. McBride, Attorney
The Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of residential housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability. Although the non-discrimination concept embodied within the FHA is relatively straight forward, application of the law to real world situations is not always as clear cut. This article discusses the interplay between the FHA and service animals by examining a few of the more commonly raised questions when a potential tenant with a disability seeks housing along with his/her furry (or not so furry) companion.
What questions can be asked by a housing provider to a potential tenant with a service animal?
People can have disabilities that are not readily apparent to outside observers and different species and breeds of service animals often provide disability assistance that would not be readily understood or expected. Given these uncertainties, housing providers, especially those that do not regularly allow pets, can be hesitant to accept a potential tenant’s word that he/she needs the presence of a service animal in his/her rental unit without additional confirmation.
By: TaKeena M. Thompson, Attorney
Last month, I had the opportunity to chat with some phenomenal business women at NAWBO’s (National Association of Women Business Owners) quarterly luncheon. I remember one conversation in particular where a business owner and I discussed the types of litigation matters I could handle for her small business. What we did NOT discuss, however, was how she, as a small business owner, could try to avoid litigation. Litigation can be a small business owner’s worst nightmare. It can tarnish the reputation of the business in the community. It is also costly and time-consuming. While all litigation cannot be avoided, businesses can employ good practices to mitigate the risk of being sued by their employees and clients. Below are some helpful tips and reminders for small businesses to reduce the chance of being sued.