Last UpdatedMON., OCTOBER 12, 2015 - 3:21 PM
Johnson County Courthouse

Johnson County judges, public defenders sued for ‘systemic’ problems

People who’ve been arrested in Johnson County are taking the unusual step of filing a class-action lawsuit against the county, judges and public defenders there, claiming they have not been represented by an underfunded and overburdened public defender system.More.

Man charged after shooting outside federal courthouse

A man who is accused of firing a handgun in front of the Birch Bayh Federal Courthouse in Indianapolis has been charged with firearm and drug offenses.  More.

Indiana lawyers says they're not bound to report child abuse

Some child welfare officials say there could be dangerous fallout from an Indiana State Bar Association committee's opinion that lawyers aren't bound by a state law requiring anyone who suspects child abuse to immediately report it.More.

Billboard company suing city over digital sign ban

Scott Olson
A local billboard firm is suing the city of Indianapolis, claiming a recent Supreme Court of the United States decision makes the city's sign ordinance unconstitutional.More.

In This Issue

OCT. 7-20, 2015
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Lawyers who’ve taken a stab at fencing say there’s no other sport quite like it. When reason leaves the room, an analytical approach can lead a path to dispute resolution. A first impression ruling that a bicyclist's death in a car crash is not covered under insurance policy is "harsh and unfair," according to one appellate judge.

Top Stories

The waiting game delays medical malpractice claims going to court

Lawmakers recently received conflicting diagnoses for review panels that evaluate medical malpractice claims. Some see them as broken, while others say they represent an ideal system that just needs some TLC.More.

Remonstrators’ victories are short-lived

In a string of reversals from the Indiana Court of Appeals, the judiciary seems to be saying that if a municipality indicates it will need the additional territory at some point in the future, then that is enough to allow an annexation to move forward.More.

Clark County drug court wrongly jailed 63, order says

A southern Indiana drug treatment court unjustly jailed scores of program participants for an average time of almost seven weeks. The detentions are detailed in a magistrate judge’s proposed order to certify classes in a federal civil rights lawsuit former drug court participants filed against an ex-judge and other officials.More.

Insurance policy v. public policy

A starkly divided Indiana Court of Appeals opinion over whether insurance should be in play after a bicyclist was killed by an unauthorized motorist may be appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court.More.

Indiana Bar Foundation celebrates 65th anniversary

The Indiana Bar Foundation, started in 1950, has grown over the years but its mission has always been the same – promoting civic education and improving access to justice.More.

Journalist Bob Woodward finds new piece to Nixon puzzle

Journalist Bob Woodward's new book, history, and the lessons of leadership will all be part of Woodward’s talk when he comes to Indianapolis Nov. 6. Woodward is the keynote speaker at the Indiana Bar Foundation’s 65th anniversary benefit dinner.More.

Justices: Survivors cannot recover attorney fees

The ambiguous phrase, “including but not limited to” in the state’s wrongful death statutes has again caught the attention of the Indiana Supreme Court, but this time the justices cautioned against broad interpretation.More.

Attorneys en garde!

Lawyers who’ve taken a stab at fencing say there’s no other sport quite like it. More to the point, they say competing with the blade sharpens their legal acumen and attacks the stresses of the profession.More.


Method to the mediation

When "reason leaves the room," an analytical approach can lead a path to dispute resolution.More.

Terzo: Arbitration is viable alternative in family law disputes

It wasn’t until the 1990s that arbitration began to be seriously considered for family law cases. At that time there was no statute specifically directed to family law arbitration, and Indiana had no caselaw regarding family law arbitration. Our current statute, I.C. 34-57-5-1, et seq, was enacted in 2005. It answered many of the questions attorneys had.More.

Brown: Can the gladiator make peace?

It is the concept of the peacemaker that so clearly expresses the role of the mediator.More.


Inside the Criminal Case: New playbook for prosecuting white collar crime

There is a theme that permeates the news reporting of the 2008 financial crisis: no one went to jail as a consequence. In possible reaction to this theme, the U.S. Department of Justice recently issued a bulletin that has since been referred to as the “Yates Memo.”More.

Neutral Corner: Mediation communications in legal malpractice actions

The legal malpractice case of Cassel v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, 244 P. 3d 1080 (2011), continues to ricochet through the California mediation community and court system, and the issue it raised is now headed to the Legislature.More.

Indiana Judges Association: The online life of judges requires prudence

We legal professionals have a unique role to translate ancient theorems into optic fiber. Along with that obligation arises a longstanding devotion to ensuring the world understands what law is and has always been: an imperfect process to determine “facts” and apply the rules.More.

Hammerle On … 'Grandma,''Black Mass'

Bob Hammerle writes that "Black Mass" demonstrates the downside of our national character.More.

Dean's Desk: Surveys give insight on graduates’ careers

Lately I have been spending some fruitful hours reviewing a treasure trove of data collected by a 12-year-long longitudinal study of law graduates who passed the bar in the year 2000. The survey results are available in a publication called “After the JD.” I commend it to your attention.More.

DTCI: Second chair is not second fiddle

I had the privilege of being the second chair at my first jury trial in March of this year. As I begin preparations for my next trial as second chair, I have been reflecting on what I learned the first go-round. I share my thoughts here with the hope that they will help other young attorneys – or even a seasoned attorney when he or she mentors young attorneys.More.

In Brief

Conour ‘American Greed’ episode airdate set

The true-crime documentary series “American Greed” next month will air an episode featuring convicted fraudster and former high-powered Indiana attorney William Conour.More.

7th Circuit mourns death of Judge Cudahy

Judge Richard Cudahy, an active senior judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, died Tuesday at his Illinois home.More.

Longest-serving COA judge dies Thursday

Patrick D. Sullivan, the longest-serving Indiana Court of Appeals judge in the court’s history, died Thursday after a brief illness, the court announced. He was 83.More.

Special Sections

Indiana Court Decisions - Sept. 16 to 29, 2015

Read recent appellate opinions.More.

Disciplinary Actions

Disciplinary Actions - 10/7/15

Read who's been suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court.More.

Bar Associations

IndyBar: Pandemic Preparedness CLE Stays Ahead of Flu Season

Last fall, the country dealt with the Ebola crisis, and flu season will be here before you know it. When IndyBar attorneys recognized the guidance organizations needed in order to deal with these outbreaks, they did something about it. Members of the Health Care & Life Sciences Section and the Labor & Employment Law Section planned an upcoming CLE addressing Pandemic Preparedness: Legal, Employment and Ethical Considerations on Tuesday, Oct. 13.More.

IndyBar: Peace Learning Center Named 2015 Impact Fund Grant Recipient

With help from the Indianapolis Bar Foundation, more than 2,500 local school children will gain access to critical conflict resolution skills through an innovative Restorative Justice program spearheaded by Peace Learning Center (PLC). PLC was recently named the recipient of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation’s 2015 Impact Fund grant, which will provide $35,000 in funding to make this essential program possible.More.

Herceg: Millennials Unite: Join Up and #SHOWUP for Yourself and Your Community

The number of Millennials joining and participating in bar associations is declining. John Trimble, Terrance Tharpe and others have previously touted the benefits of joining and participating in bar associations, but this guest column (thanks to John for the invitation) is different. This column specifically goes out to my fellow Millennials.More.

Online Extra: Judicial Roundtable 2014

When Loretta Rush was named chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court in August, Indiana hit a milestone. For the first time, all of our state's appellate courts were being led by women. Indiana Lawyer recently invited Rush, Indiana Court of Appeals Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik, Indiana Tax Judge Martha Wentworth and Chief Judge Robyn Moberly of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana's Bankruptcy Court to discuss their career paths as well as opportunities and challenges today's courts and lawyers face.More.
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Indiana makes gains in permanent placement

The state sees improvement, but aims to do better.More.

Views shift on use of executions

What if 1976 hadn’t played out the way it did, and some of the jurists on the U.S. Supreme Court had held the view of capital punishment at that juncture that they did at the end of their judicial careers? The death penalty may never have been reinstated.More.

What's next for Indiana's death penalty?

Unlike other states, Indiana has not abolished or suspended use of executions.More.

State death penalty cases averaged 17 years

When the moment of death finally arrives, it ends what may be described as a long legal journey to justice within the capital punishment system.More.

Balancing philosophical with practical concerns regarding death penalty

Indiana Lawyer takes an in-depth look at the death penalty in the "Cost of Justice" series.More.
Juvenile Justice Juvenile Justice


A last-minute change to a bill during the 2009 special session has stripped judges of their discretion regarding juvenile placements out of state by requiring them to get permission from the Department of Child Services. All three branches are reacting.


Escaping execution

Exoneree joins statewide campaign calling for a death-penalty moratorium.More.

Reforms urged to prevent mistakes

Indiana explores what revisions to make to its criminal justice system.More.

Aiming for exoneration

Inmate awaits court hearingMore.

CJ: Most players in appeals acting responsibly

The Indiana chief justice said in an order that he would "smack down" judicial overreaching or overspending.More.

Bose lays off lawyers

Cuts are state's first announced publiclyMore.

Lawyer lands on feet

Attorney's job loss leads to his own legal consulting businessMore.

Mergers: Are we done yet?

2008 could be record year for law firm consolidationMore.

Tough times drive change

Attorneys see evolving legal work caused by economic woesMore.

System delivers injustice

Exonerated face new, old legal hurdles after release.More.

Counties must pay for juvenile facilities

Indiana counties are responsible to pay a portion of costs to operate juvenile detention facilities.More.

Teens share stories about juvenile justice experience

Two Elkhart County teens say it took incarceration to teach them a lesson.More.

Detaining questions

Funding of youth detention, alternatives draws concern.More.

State slow to achieve juvenile justice reforms

Local successes exist; systematic changes lag.More.
Juvenile Justice Juvenile Justice

Improving a child's access to counsel

A proposed draft rule would change waiver procedures in the juvenile justice system.More.

Early intervention for juveniles

A new law, along with pilot programs, encourage alternatives to keep kids out of courts.More.

The evolution of capital punishment

The Indiana Lawyer takes a historical look at how the death penalty system has evolved during the past 40 years and how Indiana has amended its practices and procedures through the decades.More.

Enduring legal process doesn't change parents' desire for justice

For 11 years, Dale and Connie Sutton’s lives as parents have been about ensuring what they see as justice for their murdered daughter.


Mental aspect of capital cases can be challenging

When it comes to tallying the total price of capital punishment, the cost of those cases for the legal community is more than just expansive legalese and court procedures that span a decade or two.More.

Prosecutors: money doesn't trump other factors when considering death penalty

At a time when capital punishment requests are down and some state officials are questioning the cost and overall effectiveness of seeking a death sentence, the issue of what it’s worth to go after this ultimate punishment is getting more scrutiny in Indiana and nationwide. Read more in Indiana Lawyer's in-depth look at the death penalty and the cost of justice.More.

Recent changes impact state justice system

National and state advocates pushing for wrongful conviction reforms judged that Indiana was behind other jurisdictions in strengthening its justice system, but they emphasized that ongoing discussions were a good starting point for the Hoosier legal community.More.

Clinic argues for man's innocence

the Indiana Supreme Court is considering whether to accept a post-conviction case on an issue some say is an important question of law relating to wrongful convictions.More.

Rising number of exonerees reflects flaws in justice system

Convicts are turning to methods that have freed others who were wrongfully convicted, as well as new issues that continue surfacing in the nation's court system.More.

Teaming up for change

National, local experts meet in Indiana to discuss juvenile justice.More.

Indiana: Better economic climate

State's legal community successfully rising to recession-related challengesMore.

Lawyers challenge imbalance of power

Budget statute affected juvenile codes and gives the Department of Child Services oversight of judicial decision-making.More.

Attorneys squeezing savings

Bar associations offer discounts, cost-cutting options for legal communityMore.

Money woes 'going to get worse'

County courts, prosecutors, public defenders face tight budgetsMore.

Indiana's legal aid in trouble?

3 legal aid providers discuss the economy's effectsMore.

After exoneration

Wrongfully convicted Hoosier settles federal suit for $4.5 million.More.

Marion County a model for juvenile detention reforms

Detention alternatives, Initial Hearing Court draw national praise.More.

What's next for Indiana's juvenile system?

Indiana lags in statewide reform, but builds on localized successes.More.

'Out of the court's hands'

Lake County teen recognizes she is responsible for future in juvenile system.More.

Motor vehicle accident: rear-end collision
Dannis R. Thomas and Luisa Thomas v. Phyllis A. Isenhower  More


Americans with Disabilities Act discrimination
 Kristine R. Rednour v. Wayne Township Fire Department and Wayne Township More


Breach of employment contract/intentional tort
Bradley Scott Montgomery v. Danville Community School Corporation More



More Trial Reports


How do managing partners manage their social media?

Do you have a LinkedIn account? If you are a managing partner, then you most likely do, although your online presence may be begrudgingly, depending on your age.More.


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Opinions Oct. 9, 2015

Indiana Court of Appeals Allen Gray Limited Partnership IV v. Bishop Mumford, Christopher Mumford, Elizabeth B. Mumford, Richardson S. Mumford, Thomas F. Mumford, Jr., and William M. Mumford
Miscellaneous. Affirms summary judgment for the Mumford family. The trial court correctly determined the reservation applied to the surface area of the “drilling unit” and did not restrict the Mumfords from making the reserved wells deeper.
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  1. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  2. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  3. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  4. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  5. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.