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Friday, April 27, 2012

Environment - "Unwanted, invasive sea lampreys from the Great Lakes ... are protected in England."

"Great Lakes lamprey will be baked into a dish fit for a queen" is the headline to this story by Tina Lam in the Detroit Free Press. The long story, complete with a don't miss photo and even recipes, begins:

Sea lamprey may be one of the most hated species in the Great Lakes, but it's a key ingredient in a traditional English pie that will be given to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II for her Diamond Jubilee in June.

But because the eel-like creatures are now a protected species in England, the City of Gloucester, which has given the pie as a gift to the monarch since the Middle Ages, made a request for the lamprey to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, which was only too happy to supply them. Unfortunately, the English need only a few to make the pie.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Friday, April 27, 2012
Posted to Environment

Ind. Courts - More on: Long-time Indiana Super Lawyer allegedly misappropriated more than $2.5 million in client funds for his own use

Here is the criminal complaint in the case of U.S. v. Conour. It begins:

I, Douglas E. Kasper, being duly sworn on oath, state as follows: 1. I am a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and have been so employed for four years. I am currently assigned to the Indianapolis Division of the FBI.

2. This affidavit is made in support of the issuance of a criminal complaint and arrest warrant for William F. Conour, date of birth 6/21/1947. Based on the information submitted in this affidavit, I believe there is probable cause to believe that Conour has committed the crime of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.s.C. § 1343. This affidavit is based on personal knowledge and reports made to me by and conversations with my FBI agents and employees.

3. According to the "Super Lawyers" internet website (www.superlawyers.com). Conour is an Indiana lawyer who "focuses on serious injuries and death caused by construction site accidents, auto/ trucking collisions, recreational and water sports, premises liability and any accident resulting in traumatic brain injury."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Friday, April 27, 2012
Posted to Indiana Courts

Ind. Courts - Long-time Indiana Super Lawyer allegedly misappropriated more than $2.5 million in client funds for his own use

WRTV 6 has a brief noon story here. They say:

William Conour, 64, turned himself in and made an initial appearance in Indianapolis on Friday morning.

Prosecutors said Conour focused on construction liability cases involving serious injury and death.

"The complaint alleges that Conour engaged in a scheme to defraud his clients from December 2000 to March 2012, using newly obtained settlement funds to pay old settlements and debts," the Department of Justice said in a news release.

The ILB will attempt to obtain the news release and complaint.

Meanwhile, however, you may read this 2009 feature story on Mr. Conour in Super Lawyers. Written by Nancy Henderson, it is titled "Welcome Back, Conour: William Conour loves to teach, whether he's in the courtroom or out."

See also the Super Lawyers biographical page, noting selection to Super Lawyers for the years 2004 though 2012.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Friday, April 27, 2012
Posted to Indiana Courts

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 1 today (and 3 NFP)

For publication opinions today (1):

In In the Matter of V.C., Child Alleged to be in Need of Services v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services, a 10-page opinion, Judge Bradford writes:

Appellant-Respondent V.S. (“Father”) appeals the juvenile court’s determination that V.C. is a Child in Need of Services (“CHINS”). On appeal, Father contends that the juvenile court erroneously denied his procedural due process rights by denying his requests to issue a subpoena to a potential witness and for a continuance of the fact-finding hearing. Father also contends that a CHINS determination was unnecessary because a suitable relative placement existed at the time V.C. was removed from Mother’s care.1 We affirm.
NFP civil opinions today (1):

James J. Hambrock, Individually and as Co-Personal Representative of the Estate of Bob Cromer v. Star Wealth Management, as Co-Personal Representative of the Estate of Bob Cromer (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (2):

Derek Lee Morris v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Lisa J. Kane v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Friday, April 27, 2012
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions

Ind. Law - Two recent stories about Indiana's new "Right to Resist" law

From Governing, a post by Caroline Cournoyer headed "Residents Given Right to Resist Police Under New Indiana Law."

From WSBT South Bend, this story reported by Kelli Stopczynski.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Friday, April 27, 2012
Posted to Indiana Law

Stage Collapse - "Small fairs dread revised state rules" [Updated]

Updating ILB entries from April 23rd and April 24th, Rick Callahan of the AP reports today in a long story that begins:

INDIANAPOLIS – Organizers of some of Indiana’s county fairs and small festivals are anxiously awaiting new rules governing the type of rigging involved in last summer’s deadly State Fair stage collapse.

Details of the proposed temporary rules, which a state commission may vote on next week, have not been released, and that’s stirring up concern among festival organizers who fear they could face new costs to comply with the regulations, said Gale Gerber, vice president of the Indiana State Festivals Association. He said many of the 450 festivals and fairs held across Indiana each year operate on shoestring budgets and cannot afford new costs.

“A lot of these small festivals have budgets under $2,000 or $3,000 to run their festivals. If these rules bring new expenses, there’s no way they can handle that,” Gerber said.

The Indiana Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission will meet Wednesday to consider the proposed rules.

The ILB contacted the FPBS Commission staff to see whether the draft rules would be available for review in advance of Wednesday's meeting. The answer is no, the draft rules that are being reviewed by Commission members are not going to be available to the public before the meeting:
As soon as the Commission does approve rules, they will be available on multiple websites, including the Commission’s website.
[More] It seems the Louisville Courier Journal has a longer version of the AP story than the FWJG. and includes this:
“Our job is to make sure the public is safe, not that the organizers are happy,” [David Hannum, the safety commission’s chairman] said.

If the panel’s members don’t want significant changes to the proposed rules at Wednesday’s meeting, he said they’ll likely go ahead and vote on approval. If that happens, the rules will be posted online the same day, although they won’t take effect until July 1.

The temporary rules are intended to serve as a placeholder until permanent rules are in place. A summer legislative study committee will draft recommendations for permanent rules that the next General Assembly will consider.

[Updated at 11 AM] The item, "Discussion and possible adoption of outdoor stage equipment rules," is now listed as #2 on the Commission's amended May 2nd agenda.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Friday, April 27, 2012
Posted to Stage Collapse

Ind. Courts - More on "Teacher Fired After Receiving Fertility Treatments"

Updating this ILB entry from April 25th, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, in its "First Take" column today, reports:

The Hoagland woman whose lawsuit against the local Catholic Diocese is making national news was on “The Today Show” this morning, and Today correspondent Katy Tur appeared from Fort Wayne with some local scenes in the background.

Emily Herx seemed poised and somewhat demure as she discussed her love of teaching and surprise over being fired. Herx sometimes deferred to her attorney, Kathleen Delaney, who appeared with her along with Brian Herx, Emily’s husband.

Tur stood in front of the Federal Building on Harrison Street, and she also showed footage of Herx’ former school, St. Vincent de Paul.

Herx is a sympathetic figure in this case and certainly does not appear to be someone who would commit “an intrinsic evil,” as Bishop Kevin Rhoades has described in vitro fertilization.

Delaney’s comments suggest the legal case may well be complex. The Supreme Court early this year ruled against a Lutheran school teacher who claimed she was the victim of workplace discrimination, giving the religious school a “ministerial exception” to discrimination laws. But, as Delaney noted, the teacher was ordained as a minister and taught religious classes and performed “important religious functions.” Herx, on the other hand, taught English.

Here is the 6:43 minute segment from yesterday's Today Show, titled "Catholic school teacher says she was fired over fertility treatments." The actual interview begins about 2:56 minutes in.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Friday, April 27, 2012
Posted to Indiana Courts

Law - "Are patent agents entitled to the protection of the attorney-client privilege?

This is interesting, a post this morning from CircuitSplits begins:

Today’s post features a split over the applicability of the attorney-client privilege to patent agents. While patent agents do not have to slog through three years of law school to obtain their license, they share many of the same professional responsibilities as patent attorneys. For example, patent agents, like their counterparts in the legal profession, are permitted to represent clients before the U.S. Patent and Trade Office.

As a federal magistrate in California recently pointed out, the similarity between patent agents and patent attorneys has lead a number of courts to extend the attorney-client privilege to communications with patent agents. See Buyer's Direct, Inc. v. Belk, Inc., SACV 12-00370-DOC (MLGx) (C.D. Cal. Apr. 24, 2012).

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Friday, April 27, 2012
Posted to General Law Related