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Posts from October 2010.

Slightly more than thirty days have passed since the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (H.R. 5297) (the Act) went into effect. The White House heralded the Act as a benefit to small businesses “on day one,” and the U.S. Small Business Administration called it “the most significant piece of small business legislation in over a decade.”

A month later, and with the November elections ...

Posted in Estate Planning

Last week, the Indiana Court of Appeals held the trial court ruling that a mother’s consent to the adoption of her children is not required if the mother knowingly and intentionally did not pay child support, and was shown to have a serious and ongoing drug addiction. In the Matter of the Adoption of K.F. and T.F.; B.F. v. L.F., the father and mother of the children divorced in 2002. The ...

Following the close of the public comment period and a public hearing on August 24, 2010, the Division for Air Quality (the “Division”) has amended its proposed changes to regulations 401 KAR 51:001 and 401 KAR 52:001.  The “amended after comments” version of the proposed amendments was filed with the Legislative Research Commission (“LRC”) on October 15, 2010. 

Like the ...

On September 3, 2010, the State of Indiana, joined by 11 other states, filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to overturn a recent decision by a federal appeals court which held that five large electric utility companies could be liable for their greenhouse gas emissions.  (See, American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut, U.S., No. 10-174, amicus brief filed on September 3 ...

Posted in Real Estate

In Marshall v. Erie Insurance Exchange, the Indiana Court of Appeals delivered a holding that described the duty of care and potential liability of a landowner to its neighbors for damages caused by trees falling across property lines.  In the case, the Marshalls were the owners of a vacant lot in the City of Elkhart with an old tree located near its boundary with Cindy Cain.  Ms. Cain called ...

The New York Jets and the NFL have once again found themselves at the forefront of sexual harassment discussions in the media. This time the focus is on Brett Favre and former Jets sideline report Jenn Sterger. While the Ines Sainz situation highlighted the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace by non-employers, the Brett Favre scandal is much more complicated and intriguing ...

Indiana University's Hudson & Holland Scholar's Program (HHSP) is an invaluable resource that focuses on recruiting and retaining talented minority undergraduate students and helping them develop into the future leaders of our communities.  Among other things, HHSP aims to increase the number of high achieving students with a commitment to service, social justice and ...

Posted in Estate Planning

On October 12, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that a drafted property settlement agreement prepared in a divorce case could not be enforced because the wife did not sign the agreement before she died. In the case of Dwight Murdock v. Estate of Sharron K. Murdock, the Court of Appeals held that the draft agreement could not be enforced because Sharron Murdock, who passed away, had not ...

The National Broadband Planwill have a major impact on consumers, businesses and telecommunication companies. This Thursday through Saturday, Ball State University is hosting a conference, "Digital Policy in an Information Economy," to discuss the issues surrounding the National Broadband Plan. I will have the privilege of serving on Friday’s panel, “Copyright, Education ...

Is there anything more annoying and intrusive than a phone call during dinner informing you that you have been randomly selected to participate in a survey?  How about receiving a letter from the federal government telling you that you have been randomly selected to provide detailed responses to a 67-page questionnaire and you must do so within 60 days or face fines of $37,500 per day? In ...

  • Did you know that there is no federal or Indiana law that requires a private-sector employer to give an employee (or former employee) access to his personnel file? 
  • In keeping records, does your business make a distinction between true personnel records and other records such as medical records and unemployment compensation records?
  • Did you know that under federal discrimination laws, employers should retain certain records for a period of at least 3 years?
Posted in Real Estate

Two recent Indiana appellate court decisions have addressed the issue of inverse condemnation. The Indiana Supreme Court held in April that inverse condemnation is a landowner’s sole remedy when the government exercises complete dominance and purported ownership over a piece of land.  

In Murray v. City of Lawrenceburg, 925 N.E.2d 728 (Ind. 2010), a landowner who allegedly owned a ...

Posted in Estate Planning

"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated" – Mark Twain 2010 has brought us the revival of 1960s fashion and Betty White’s career. Not bad as comebacks go. While my hopes for the next great comeback involve a Led Zeppelin concert and a Schlitz (a little pep in the stock market wouldn’t hurt either), I’m afraid that’s not in the cards. No, the strongest contender for a ...

On May 13, 2010, the U.S. Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services (Agencies) issued guidance for providing health care coverage to young adult children until age 26. In addition to the Interim Final Regulations, the Department of Labor issued a Fact Sheet and a series of 21 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers. The Internal Revenue Service also issued Notice 2010-38, which provides details on the exclusion from taxable income for the value of employer-provided health care coverage and benefits for an adult child until the end of the taxable year in which the child attains age 26.

Posted in Estate Planning

This week, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that guaranteed future health insurance coverage, offered by an employer to its retired employees, is a marital asset in a divorce, making these benefits subject to valuation and allocation by a divorce court in the overall division of the marital estate. In the case of Anne M. Bingley v. Charles B. Bingley, Charles Bingley’s retirement ...

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