7th Circuit Court of Appeals

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

May 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins

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

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State death penalty cases averaged 17 yearsRestricted Content

May 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
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.
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Mental aspect of capital cases can be challenging

May 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
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.
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7th Circuit addresses sex offender registration law

May 3, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has joined a majority of other circuits nationwide in finding that the federal sex offender registration law is not a retroactive punishment on those who were convicted prior to 2006 and traveled after the law was enacted.
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Judges split on District Court’s use of Colorado River abstention doctrine

May 3, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that a homeowners’ citizen suit under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act against a solid waste dump should be allowed despite two similar suits pending in state court filed by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. However, the court split when determining whether the District Court erred by dismissing the homeowners’ suit based on the Colorado River abstention doctrine.
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SCOTUS denies cert, upholding Indiana's judicial canons

May 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
It’s official: Indiana’s judicial canons are constitutional and the rules don’t infringe upon a judge or candidate’s free speech rights.
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SCOTUS denies Indiana judicial canons case

May 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States has refused to take a case asking whether Indiana’s judicial canons constitutionally infringe on the free speech rights of those on or vying for seats on the bench.
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7th Circuit rejects ineffective trial assistance claim

April 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the denial of a defendant’s motion to vacate his guilty plea, claiming ineffective assistance of trial counsel. The judges found the record foreclosed any claim that the man’s attorney was constitutionally ineffective or that the man didn’t otherwise knowingly and voluntarily plead guilty.
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SCOTUS denies case between Indiana agencies on 11th Amendment

April 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States won’t take an Indiana case which delved into whether the 11th Amendment prohibits an independent state agency from suing a traditional state agency in federal court.
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Judges uphold identity thief's sentence

April 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a decision Friday, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals repeated its holding that a District judge can satisfy the review standards under 18 U.S.C. Section 3553(a) without having to list every possible sentencing factor or detail of every argument raised for the federal appellate court to find that the sentence was proper.
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Lawsuit to take bar exam goes to 7th Circuit

April 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The man who believes he should be able to sit for the bar exam even though he didn’t go to law school has asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider the dismissal of his lawsuit.
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NCAA championship ticket distribution not a lottery

April 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s ticket-distribution plan for championship games doesn’t constitute a “lottery” under Indiana law, the Indiana Supreme Court decided Thursday. The issue was before the justices as certified questions from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Government shutdown would have little impact on federal legal system

April 8, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Even if the U.S. Congress fails to pass a short-term budget measure and prevent a government shutdown before midnight Friday, the various arms of the Indiana federal legal community will remain operating mostly as usual – at least for the time being.
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Court tackles 'sexual activity' meaning in statute

April 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals addressed Thursday the term “sexual activity” – an issue in which there is scant law – and ordered a man be acquitted. The man was convicted under federal statute for attempting to entice a girl he believed to be less than 18 years old to engage in any sexual activity while they chatted online.
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Coroner's office loses 2nd reverse-discrimination appeal

April 5, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a reverse-discrimination case against Marion County should be able to proceed in federal court in Indianapolis because evidence shows the former county coroner’s decision to terminate a forensic pathology company’s contract may have been based on race.
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Circuit Court orders new trial on Rule 404(b) grounds

April 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has found an Indiana federal court should not have allowed evidence of a defendant’s prior drug convictions under Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b). As a result of the violation, the judges reversed the man’s drug conviction and ordered a new trial.
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7th Circuit rules on Rolls-Royce job-bias case

March 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A day after the nation’s highest court heard arguments on the largest female gender-discrimination case in history, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has delved into that same territory and upheld a federal judge’s decision denying class certification in a sex discrimination suit in which a group of female Rolls-Royce employees accused the manufacturer of paying women less than men for the same or similar work.
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Judges: defendant should be able to confront witness

March 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered the District Court to grant a convicted murderer’s habeas petition, finding the admission of out-of-court statements at his trial violated the man’s Sixth Amendment right of confrontation.
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SCOTUS asked to take Indiana stun belt case

March 30, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States is being asked to consider an Indiana case about a convicted murderer’s claim that he was improperly restrained with a stun belt during his trial and that led to a wrongful conviction.
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7th Circuit upholds tax, fraud conviction against attorney, wife

March 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the finding that a Brownsburg attorney and his wife fraudulently withheld their 2001 income from the Internal Revenue Service through an elaborate shell game.
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7th Circuit judge to speak at rescheduled event

March 22, 2011
IL Staff
The Southern District of Indiana has rescheduled a Black History Month event that had been postponed because of inclement weather in February.
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Circuit Court affirms judgments against 2 ex-IMPD narcotics officers

March 22, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has found nothing wrong with the convictions or sentence of two former Indianapolis narcotics detectives brought down by their involvement in an illegal drug scheme to supplement their income as police officers.
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7th Circuit upholds qualified immunity for DCS workers

March 16, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Although sympathetic to a couple whose child was temporarily removed from the family’s home on child abuse concerns – a removal that was subsequently found not to be supported by probable cause –  the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for Department of Child Services employees on qualified immunity grounds.
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Lawmaker asks General Assembly to study creation of state patent law

March 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana lawmaker wants to explore whether the state should create its own patent law, focusing on specific business method processes that aren’t covered by the federal patent system.
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7th Circuit reverses on relation back issue

March 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A plaintiff attempting to sue his employer for breach of contract should have been able to file an amended complaint with relation back to the date of the original complaint in order to correct the defendant even though the statute of limitations had expired, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded today.
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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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