Friday, April 27, 2018

Winner - First Place - Coverage of Government or Politics (publication circulation below 30,000) - Indiana Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists 2017 Best in Indiana Contest

On April 27, 2018, at the Indiana Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists 2017 Best in Indiana Contest awards ceremony at the Indianapolis Marriott North, I won First Place for Coverage of Government or Politics for publications with a circulation below 30,000. My winning story, “Holcomb doubles Pence's 4-year total of pardons in one day,” was originally published Dec. 13, 2017.
Here are the judges' notes for my winning entry:
“Interesting use of records to compare and contrast pardons by recent governors. Insightful analysis into former Governor Mike Pence's apparent hesitation to exercise the pardoning authority for the sake of political convenience.”

Friday, April 13, 2018

Indiana Lawyer - Managing Editor

From Nov. 6, 2017 to April 13, 2018 I was managing editor of the Indiana Lawyer.
April 27, 2018, at the Indianapolis Marriott North, I was honored with the Indiana Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists' 2017 Best in Indiana Journalism Award for Coverage of Government or Politics (publication circulation below 30,000) for my Dec. 13, 2017 story, "Holcomb doubles Pence’s 4-year total of pardons in one day."
Here was my biography:
"Rob Burgess is managing editor of Indiana Lawyer. Prior to joining Indiana Lawyer, he was city editor for more than five years at the Kokomo Tribune, in Kokomo, Indiana, where he also served as opinion page editor and a member of the editorial board. He holds a degree from Indiana University."

Daily stories
2017-11-08 – “Appeals court affirms mortgage foreclosure decision” (Published: Nov. 29, 2017, Page 21)
A South Bend man had no standing to challenge the assignment of loan documents and therefore was not entitled to relief from judgment in a mortgage foreclosure, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
2017-11-08 – “Attorney fees affirmed in adult guardianship dispute” (Published: Nov. 29, 2017, Page 21)
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Wednesday affirmed an award of attorney fees in a guardianship dispute that involved expert witnesses who testified as to the testamentary capacity of a man diagnosed with dementia.
2017-11-09 – “Post-conviction relief appeal denied”
A Vigo County man’s petition for post-conviction relief was denied by the Indiana Court of Appeals on Thursday.
2017-11-14 – “Minkler appointed to U.S. Attorney advisory committee”
Joshua Minkler, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, is among nine federal prosecutors appointed to serve a two-year term on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday.
2017-12-28 – “COA upholds bar’s partial liability for hit-and-run”
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Friday affirmed judgments of liability against a Lake County bar accused of overserving a patron who drove a vehicle that struck another departing customer.
2018-01-16 – “Notre Dame Law School clinic secures disease detection patent”
Detecting cancers and cardiovascular diseases now may be a bit easier thanks to a new patent secured by the Notre Dame Law School’s Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic.
2018-01-22 – “Federal courts open during government shutdown”
With Congress failing to pass a budget measure by the deadline of midnight Saturday, and the federal government beginning the workweek amid a shutdown, federal judiciary officials sought to assure the public they are still open – for now.
2018-01-24 – “State suspends new assisted living center certifications”
The Family and Social Services Administration has announced a moratorium on the certification of any new assisted living, adult day service or adult family care providers until further notice.
2018-01-25 – “Bankruptcy filings fall at slowest rate since 2010”
In a continuing trend, bankruptcy filings in 2017 continued to fall, but at a slower rate than any time since 2010, a new report issued by the U.S. Courts says.
2018-01-26 – “Holcomb extends CBD oil order through legislative session”
Gov. Eric Holcomb on Friday extended the moratorium on seizures of CBD oil from retailers’ shelves — as well Indiana State Excise Police’s education period on products derived from cannabis — while lawmakers consider bills regulating those products.
2018-01-29 – “Tax Advisory Council has inaugural meeting”
The Indiana Department of Revenue’s Tax Advisory Council convened behind closed doors for its inaugural quarterly meeting today. Created in December, the group’s mission is to “shape the future of tax administration by providing input regarding agency operations, policies and legislative proposals,” according to the department.
2018-01-30 – “Kiritsis film release set for anniversary of hostage crisis”
Dead Man’s Line,” a new documentary about the Feb. 8, 1977 kidnapping of Indianapolis mortgage broker Richard O. “Dick” Hall by Anthony G. “Tony” Kiritsis, is scheduled for release on the 41st anniversary of the event.
2018-01-31 – “Ex-trooper Camm’s $30 million lawsuit dismissed”
A $30 million lawsuit brought by exoneree David Camm was dismissed Monday by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana in New Albany.
2018-02-02 – “IRS: 26 sentenced in Indiana last year on federal tax violations”
A total of 26 people were sentenced for criminal federal tax violations in Indiana in 2017, according to the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division.
2018-02-05 – “Hill speaks at DOJ’s Human Trafficking Summit”
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill spoke Friday at the Department of Justice’s Human Trafficking Summit, where he touted the state’s increased focus on the issue.
2018-02-07 – “Taxpayers urged to beware of identity thieves”
Some taxpayers may be in for a nasty surprise when they file their returns this year, officials say.

2018-02-09 – “McKinney professor testifies on voting case’s lasting effects”
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in a key voting rights case necessitates the Department of Justice take corrective action before the 2020 census, an Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law professor testified.
2018-02-12 – “Public health expert to speak at annual IU McKinney award lecture”
A noted expert in public health law will speak Friday at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law’s annual McDonald-Merrill-Ketcham Award Lecture.
2018-02-13 – “Hill files complaint after body found in bug-infested retirement home”
The discovery last year of the cockroach-covered body of an Indianapolis retirement home resident was the impetus for an administrative complaint against the health facility administrator by Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill.
2018-02-20 – “Hill announces annual Prescription Drug Abuse Symposium”
The office of Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill has announced the ninth annual Prescription Drug Abuse Symposium for later this year.
2018-02-21 – “Child pornography arrest the latest sign in growing trend”
A Scott County man’s arrest on child pornography charges by the Indiana State Police is the latest sign of a growing trend reported by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
2018-02-21 – “Court rules for Amazon worker denied long-term disability”
An insurance company’s denial of a long-term disability claim has been remanded by Jane Magnus-Stinson, chief judge for the U.S. District Court for Southern District of Indiana.
2018-02-23 – “IU Maurer begins JD/MBA scholar program with top Korean college”
The Indiana University Maurer School of Law is currently interviewing candidates for a novel, full-tuition JD/MBA scholarship program.
2018-02-26 – “Inmate found dead at St. Joseph County Jail”
A male inmate at the St. Joseph County Jail was discovered dead in his cell during a routine check Sunday.
2018-02-28 – “State reaches settlement with Takata over defective airbags”
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill announced a settlement Tuesday with TK Holdings Inc. — the U.S. subsidiary of Takata — over allegations that the company concealed deadly safety issues related to airbag systems installed in a wide variety of vehicles.
2018-03-05 – “IU McKinney seeks applicants for summer academy”
Applications are available for the third annual Summer Law and Leadership Academy at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.
2018-03-12 – “Hill supports Sessions’ fight against ‘sanctuary state laws’”
Indiana Attorney Curtis Hill on Friday joined U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the Trump administration’s ongoing legal battle with California over immigration.
2018-03-26 – “7th Circuit proposes document filing rule changes”
Streamlining the process of filing documents with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is the goal of a set of proposed changes to the court’s rules.
2018-03-27 – “ACLU Indiana plans transgender rights Facebook Live event”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana’s Transgender Education and Advocacy Program is organizing an “Ask Me Anything” event starting at noon Wednesday on Facebook Live, featuring advocates Lo Ray and Michelle Young.
2018-04-04 – “Walmart halts anti-shoplifting program AG criticized”
Republished: Indianapolis Business Journal, April 4, 2018:
An anti-shoplifting program that had been implemented by Walmart at 36 Indiana locations — including Beech Grove, Kokomo and Lafayette — has been voluntarily discontinued by the company after Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill issued a critical opinion.

Print stories
2017-11-29 – “In legal gray area, social media use may impact work life” (Page 4)
A Virginia bicyclist’s chance encounter with a presidential motorcade late last month exemplifies the growing complications employers and employees face in the age of social media, local employment law professionals say.
2017-11-29 – “Wagner Reese looks to the future” (Page 4, with photos courtesy by Wagner Reese, Eric Learned and Rob Burgess)
During a grand opening Nov. 9 celebrating the new Wagner Reese headquarters building at 11939 N. Meridian St., Carmel, it wasn’t hard to see how far the law firm had come in a relatively short time.
2017-12-13 – “Holcomb doubles Pence’s 4-year total of pardons in one day” (Page 1, jump to Page 22) *
Gov. Eric Holcomb issued six pardons on Nov. 20 — twice the absolutions granted by his predecessor, now-Vice President Mike Pence, during his four years as governor.
2017-12-13 – “Raines' return to Bingham as COO like homecoming” (Page 4, with photo by Eric Learned)
When Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP announced Oct. 17 that C.W. Raines III had been named the firm’s new chief operating officer, his new role was something of a homecoming. Raines previously worked in the firm’s Indianapolis office as an associate from 2004 to 2006, where his practice focused on corporate services including mergers and acquisitions, startups, and lending transactions.
2017-12-27 – “Rethinking bail: Pretrial release and apps among trends here and nationwide” (Page 4, jump to 22)
The drumbeat to reexamine the practice of cash bail in Indiana and nationally has grown louder in recent years as jails groan under the weight of overpopulation.
2018-01-10 – “Church of Cannabis seeks sanctuary in RFRA; Hill asks court to rule for state” (Promo on Page 1, story starts on Page 3, jumps to Pages 25 and 27)
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill has asked a court to rule in the state’s favor against what he calls “a small group of marijuana enthusiasts operating in Indianapolis under the name ‘First Church of Cannabis.’”
SIDEBAR STORY: 2018-01-10 – “RFRA’s unintended consequences” (Page 25)
Indiana Senate Bill 101, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, was signed by then-Gov. Mike Pence on March 26, 2015. An amendment was then signed the following month. Since, RFRA has been cited in a few unexpected ways.
2018-01-10 – “Indiana eighth to offer state employees parental leave” (Page 8, jump to Page 9)
Gov. Eric Holcomb last month signed an executive order establishing paid parental leave for state employees, effective Jan. 1.
2018-01-24 – “Milk on the move - Benefit helps nursing moms while they travel” (Page 4)
Nursing mothers facing the prospect of a days-long business trip are often presented with a dilemma. They can either switch their baby’s diet to formula for the time being, or store milk ahead of schedule. Such attorneys at Ice Miller, however, no longer must make these choices while traveling for work.
2018-01-24 – “The ups and downs of investing in bitcoin” (Promo on page 1, story on page 7, jump to page 9)
Have the eye-popping gains posted by bitcoin investors in the latter half of 2017 grabbed your attention? Has this made you consider adding cryptocurrencies to your wealth management portfolio? If you said yes, lawyers, investors and accountants say you’re in good company.

2018-02-07 – “‘End of life options’ a nonstarter at Statehouse” (Promo on page 1, story on page 3 and jump on page 21)
Indiana is not among the seven jurisdictions in the country that authorize medical aid in dying. California, Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and Washington, D.C. do, however. For the second year in a row, a legislative push for an End of Life Options Act failed to gain traction.
2018-02-07 – “Emerging smart contracts offer possibilities and risks” (Story on page 7 and jump to page 9)
Smart contracts” soon may change the way many lawyers practice.
2018-02-21 – “McKinney professor instructs Cambodian officials on new laws” (Story on page 3, jump to page 15)
Professor Xuan-Thao Nguyen conducted training workshops for legal professionals from Dec. 25-28 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Nguyen directs the IU McKinney Center for Intellectual Property Law and Innovation.
2018-02-21 – “Advances in big data promise personalization, challenges for insurers” (Promo on page 1, story on page 7, jump to page 23)
The science behind insurance is far from new. Actuarial tables were developed centuries ago, leading to an industry whose core business model has remained relatively stable as times change. But what happens when technology threatens to not only disrupt the market, but completely reshape it?
2018-02-21 – “Kiritsis film recalls insanity defense reform” (Story on page 4, jump to page 16)
Coinciding with the 41st anniversary of the notorious kidnapping, a new documentary, “Dead Man’s Line,” has been released by a pair of local filmmakers. The focus on the Kiritsis case also recalls how it drove change in the way the justice system treats the insanity defense.
2018-03-07 – “Jail chemical addiction programs show promise, but few are offered” (Story on page 1, jump to page 21)
As the opioid crisis continues to ravage the state and nation, Boone County is facing a familiar problem: The jail is bursting at the seams.
2018-03-07 – “Financial advisers encourage lawyers to set goals, diversify for retirement” (Story on page 3, jump to page 21)
Voluntary or not, you will probably have to stop working someday. People like Brian Wright, of Valeo Financial Advisors in Indianapolis, are asking their clients these questions: When do you want that to happen, and what do want retirement to look like when it’s time?
2018-03-21 – “Officials warn flood victims in the state to be wary of disaster opportunists” (Story on page 3, jump to page 21)
Disaster can bring out the best in people — neighbors help neighbors, state and federal agencies spring into action, donations pour in and charities offer immediate aid. But there is a more sinister element that sees the aftermath as an opportunity to extract a few fast dollars from disaster victims. Authorities are now warning those reeling from the floods that ravaged northern and southern Indiana against these scammers.
2018-03-21 – “Current, former ND Law students, professors working for lasting peace, justice in Colombia” (Story on page 4, jump to page 18)
Whether this peace accord stands the test of time remains to be seen. What is clear is the dedication of a small group of current and former Notre Dame Law School students and professors working to seek justice and win the peace.
2018-04-04 – “Autonomous vehicle regulation stalls out in statehouse” (Promo on page 1, story on page 3, jump on page 9)
In the finger-pointing and confusion that marked the end of the most recent legislative session, regulation for autonomous vehicles in the state was one of the issues left on the table. Gov. Eric Holcomb last month called for a special session of the Indiana General Assembly to address some of the unfinished business, but self-driving cars will have to wait.
2018-04-04 – “OpenBeds program seeks to streamline connection between patients, treatment options” (Story on page 3, jump to page 23)
For the past 18 months, the state has been steadily increasing the number of available beds for the treatment of opioid addiction. Despite this, Indiana hospitals and treatment providers were left without a real-time solution to connect individuals seeking treatment to an available bed. To address this, Dr. Jennifer Walthall, Family and Social Services Administration secretary, and Jim McClelland, director for drug prevention, treatment and enforcement, announced OpenBeds, a software platform that manages health services.
2018-04-04 – “As state allows for professional licenses, long-term national DACA solution remains elusive” (Story on page 4)
With all this uncertainty, one thing DACA recipients won’t have to worry about anymore — in Indiana, at least — is obtaining state professional licenses. Gov. Eric Holcomb signed Senate Enrolled Act 419 on March 21, which allowed “Dreamers” to apply for professional certifications.
2018-04-18 - “Cumberland mental health crisis team among first in state” (Promo on page 1, story on page 3, jump on page 22)
The Cumberland Police Department initiated the Cumberland Assertive Response and Engagement Team in January. The CARE Team is designed by Chief Michael Crooke to help those suffering from mental illness and addiction by providing resources to them and their families.
2018-04-18 - “State government confronts sexual harassment” (Story on page 3, jump on page 18)
After the Indiana General Assembly passed legislation this year to expand training and write a sexual harassment prevention policy for the legislature for the first time, the other two branches of state government are taking action.