Articles Posted in General Law


On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress (which was made up of delegates of the 13 original colonies) passed a resolution to become independent from the rule of King George III and Great Britain.  Apparently feeling a need to explain why Congress voted for independence, Congress debated the contents of a document for two days following the July 2 vote.  The document was drafted  by the Committee of Five (John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston.)  On July 4, 1776, Congress approved the wording of the document.  That document, dated July 4, 1776,  was titled “The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America. ”  We now know it as the Declaration of Independence.

The part of America’s Declaration of Independence that is universally recognized is its second sentence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

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(Illustration by © voinsveta)

Remember back in the summer of 2014 when golf pro celebrities began a “the ice bucket challenge” by either pouring a bucket filled with ice water on their heads or paying $100 (or both) to raise awareness of amyotrophic sclerosis (ALS), sometimes known as Lou Gehrig’s disease?  By the end of the summer of 2014, over 2million videos were seen on social medial, especially Facebook, showing ice water being poured onto the heads of millions of people.

ALS is a terrible disease striking about 2 people per 100,000 per year in the U.S. and U.K. alone.  ALS strikes normally when a person is in his or her early sixties.  It attacks the muscle system, making them weak at first and then causing issues with speaking, swallowing and later breathing.  Sadly, the average time which its victims survive is 2 to 4 years from onset.


Photo by © Andrea Izzotti

The U. S Supreme Court back in April 2016 approved three changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  These approved changes are effective December 1, 2016.  The changes are to rule 4 (which deals with the time within which a summons needs to be issued); rule 6 (which deals with counting response time for a due date of a pleading); and rule 82 (which removes reference to a statute which has been repealed).

Rule 82 simply removed the reference to 28 U.S.C. § 1392 when suggesting that admiralty or maritime claims under rule 9(h) are governed by that statute.  28 U.S.C. § 1392 has been repealed.  The new statute which took the place of 28 U.S.C. § 1392 is U.S.C. § 1390. So, 28 U.S.C. § 1390 is now the the statute contained in rule 82.

Daylight Savings Time (DST) officially ends Sunday, November 4 at 2:00 am. This means that clocks in most states in the continental United States must “fall back” by one hour. The state which does not observe is Arizona. Outside of the continental U. S., Hawaii, does not observe DST.

Fotolia_45827557_XS.jpgThe concept of DST is really a ritual of setting clocks forward one hour in the spring so that during the warmer months there is less daylight in the morning and more daylight in the evening. This act is known as “springing forward”. In the fall, the reverse occurs; that is, clocks “fall back” by one hour.

DST actually is a federal law. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 was the last legislative act to become law. This Act was just one of many federal legislative efforts to deal with the concept of national time. During World War I, the U. S. Congress passed the Standard Time Act of 1918. Interestingly, when War World I ended, the Act was abolished. During World War II, President Roosevelt created “war time” which ended in 1945 at the close of the war. Following the close of the war, there was a lack of any federal time regulation for about 20 years. Then in 1966, the Uniform Time Act was passed by the U. S. Congress at the urging of the transportation industry. In 1986, another act, called the Uniform Time Act was passed after input from the National Bureau of Standards which studied the effect of a year long law (in 1974-1975) which mandated national observance of DST.

On September 30, 2010, the Indiana Supreme Court, in the case of Donovan v. Grand Victoria Casino & Resort, L.P. — N.E.2d —, 2010 WL 3823132 (Ind. 2010), affirmed “one of the time-honored principles of property law” which is “the absolute and unconditional right of private property owners to exclude from their domain those entering without permission.” Thomas P. Donovan was an accomplished “card counter” in the game of blackjack. He supplemented his income by successfully using his skill to win in blackjack games in casinos. Apparently the Grand Victoria allowed him to gamble at its blackjack tables. However, the Grand Victoria thought better of its decision and decided not to permit Mr. Donovan at its blackjack tables, although still permitting him access to other games within its casino. Because Ms. Donovan would not agree to be so restricted, the casino evicted Mr. Donovan and placed him on its list of excluded patrons.
Mr. Donovan sued the casino, seeking declaratory judgment that he could not be excluded from playing blackjack. The trial court granted summary judgment for the casino and the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed holding that because Indiana has implemented a comprehensive scheme for regulating riverboat gambling, the casino’s right to exclude patrons was partially abrogated. The Supreme Court reversed the trial court and held that the time-honored principle of an absolute and unconditional right of private property owners to exclude others from its property was not changed by the Indiana legislature permitting gambling. This right is may be exercised arbitrarily and without offering any reason. The only limits on the exclusion right are “statutorily imposed prohibitions on exclusions for characteristics such as race and religion.

Indiana Trial Lawyers Association