Last UpdatedTUE., JULY 22, 2014 - 4:33 PM
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Task force: Keep pro bono hours anonymous

A task force at the recommendation of the Indiana Supreme Court recently looked at five areas concerning pro bono work and the reporting of hours, including whether attorneys' reported pro bono hours should be disclosed publicly.More.

COA: drug court participant not entitled to credit time for electronic monitoring

Jennifer Nelson
The trial court properly denied awarding credit time to a drug court participant on electronic monitoring who violated the conditions of his agreement four times, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.More.

Illinois law applies to accident in that state involving Hoosiers

Jennifer Nelson
A trial court properly held that Illinois substantive law is applicable to a collision that occurred in Illinois between two Indiana residents, the Court of Appeals concluded Tuesday.More.

Court erred in denying nursing home’s motion to compel arbitration

Jennifer Nelson
A trial court incorrectly concluded that an arbitration agreement contained in a nursing home’s facility admission agreement was ambiguous because the parties bound by the agreement are not clearly named, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.More.

In This Issue

JULY 16-29, 2014
thisissue1-071614.jpg 071614 cover

The increased amount in registration fees attorneys will pay starting Aug. 1 will cover shortfalls in the Disciplinary Commission, the Commission on Continuing Legal Education and the Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program. A portion of the increased fees will also provide revenue for the state’s pro bono districts. A report issued by a task force commissioned at the request of the Indiana Supreme Court recommends reported attorney pro bono hours only be public in an aggregate manner. A recent 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision may expedite the demise of Marion County township courts.

Top Stories

New Indiana criminal code being implemented in courtrooms

Prosecutors, public defenders and judges around the state have been attending special seminars, updating computer programs and reading through the new criminal code in preparation for the switch. Many say they will need about six months before they feel comfortable with the new code, and they expect they will be juggling cases charged under the old code for at least another 12 to 18 months.More.

Ruling may expedite demise of Marion County township venues

Marion County’s unique township small claims courts may be on the verge of extinction, hastened by a game-changing ruling this month by the full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.More.

Personal, practical reasons guide adult adoptions

Children become consenting adults when they turn 18, but that’s also the age at which a few will seek to legally become someone’s son or daughter. Adult adoptions are fairly rare, but they’re sought for a host of reasons from the sentimental to the sensible, family law attorneys say.More.

Lawyer registration fee increase to cover program shortfalls, aid pro bono districts

Attorney registration fees set to increase nearly 25 percent will cover shortfalls in the judiciary programs they fund and give a temporary emergency boost to the state’s pro bono districts.More.

Ice cold beer? Not here

The challenge to Indiana cold beer regulation continues in state court and 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.More.

IU Maurer's Austen Parrish builds relationships beyond the law school

Austen Parrish was happy at Southwestern Law School where he taught and served as an administrator for 11 years. He liked the school and his work so much that he was never tempted to apply for the dean vacancies that open every year – until he learned Indiana University Maurer School of Law was looking.More.

Task force: Keep pro bono hours anonymous

A task force at the recommendation of the Indiana Supreme Court recently looked at five areas concerning pro bono work and the reporting of hours, including whether attorneys' reported pro bono hours should be disclosed publicly.More.

Focus

Advocates: Suit over unpaid subsidies emblematic of DCS' shortcomings

Adoptive families who’ve sued the state and likened the Department of Child Services to deadbeat parents for failing to pay promised subsidies to people who adopt foster children aren’t alone in feeling slighted, child and adoption advocates say.More.

Reed: ‘Gray divorce revolution’ alters traditional estate planning

Estate planning for “gray divorcees” presents unique challenges for their legal and financial planning professionals.More.

Andrews: Can you protect the stepparent bond after a divorce?

A subsequent divorce between a biological parent and stepparent can have a devastating impact on the stepparent/stepchild relationship that often rivals that of a biological parent and child. This relationship is so significant that nine of our states recognize stepparents as having a right to seek visitation of a child.More.

Opinion

Janzen: 4 tips for starting a law blog and finding your voice

Blogging is a great communication tool for lawyers. For other attorneys who are considering launching their career into the blogosphere, here are four tips.More.

Sidebars: Bloomington eatery’s Cajun food leaves diners satisfied

We give Uptown Café 4 gavels!More.

Living Fit: Tips for those who are or will be in the 50 and Over Club

Congratulations! You made it to the Fifty and Over Club – or hope to someday. After all, not making it means you’re a member of the Six Feet Under Club, a dirty place to be. As a bonafide member of the elite 50 and over team, you know the joys of waking up with more creaks than your wood floors.More.

Technology Untangled: Regain some Internet privacy and anonymity

While no one should operate under the illusion that total Internet privacy is obtainable, there are at least a few things you can do to keep from being a complete open book when using the Internet.More.

Zoeller: State’s lawyer has duty to represent state in marriage suit

Not since my office had to represent the state in lawsuits arising from the State Fair disaster has a dispute been so seemingly impossible to address in a way that the public would accept as being fair to all concerned.More.

Hammerle On… 'Obvious Child,' 'How to Train Your Dragon 2'

Bob Hammerle says "How to Train Your Dragon 2" is a sequel with meaning and is an animated film that you should hunt down.More.

Indiana Judges Association: Officiating same-sex marriages leaves judge optimistic

On June 25, 2014, and the next day, I officiated over 50 same-sex marriages. For reasons I did not expect, it may have changed my life.More.

In Brief

IU Maurer to begin offering scholarships to Wabash College grads

Indiana University Maurer School of Law and Wabash College have entered into an agreement establishing a scholarship and mentorship program for Wabash students interested in going to law school.More.

Thomas to resign as Indiana's inspector general

The only person to serve as Indiana's top ethics watchdog since the position of inspector general was created in 2005 is planning to leave.More.

Director of northeast Indiana pro bono organization died July 3

Terry McCaffrey, the executive director of the Volunteer Lawyer Program of Northeast Indiana, died July 3. He was 55.More.

Judges, prosecutor at odds over 12-hour rule for Indy arrestees

Marion Superior judges Friday delayed enacting a policy opposed by Prosecutor Terry Curry that would ensure major felony suspects a probable cause determination within 12 hours of arrest.More.

Justices to answer whether fund can pursue claim against an insurer

The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted a certified question from a federal court in northern Indiana in a case filed by the Indiana Patient Compensation Fund against a professional liability insurance provider involving claims against former doctor Mark Weinberger.More.

Ex-prosecutor to check Ball State investment fraud

A former federal prosecutor is being hired by Ball State University to review the handling of fraudulent investments that cost the school $13.1 million.More.

New chief justice to be selected Aug. 6

The next chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court will be chosen by the Judicial Nominating Commission Aug. 6, the court announced Friday.More.

On The Move

On the Move - 7/16/14

Read who's recently joined Indiana firms, been honored or been appointed to a board.More.

Bar Associations

DTCI: Independent contractors under the Worker’s Compensation Act

Independent contractors are usually excluded from coverage under the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act. Accordingly, an individual’s status as an independent contractor may serve as a defense to an otherwise compensable claim. While this general principle – that independent contractors are not covered by the Act – seems simple enough, the provisions of the Act addressing independent contractors can give rise to some complex legal and factual issues.More.

DTCI: Awards nominations invited

The Defense Trial Counsel’s Annual Meeting will be held Nov. 20-21 at French Lick Resort. One of the highlights of the meeting is the presentation of the Defense Lawyer of the Year, the Diplomat of the Indiana Defense Trial Counsel, and the Outstanding Young Lawyer awards.More.

Abrams: SUMMERTIME - Fun in the Sun and With the IndyBar

Summertime is a wonderful time of the year. Not only are there so many things to do outside (when it finally stops raining), but there are also lots of great events with the IndyBar and Indianapolis Bar Foundation.More.

IndyBar: Moberly Appointed Chief Bankruptcy Judge

The Hon. Robyn L. Moberly of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana will replace Judge James K. Coachys as the chief judge of the court Aug. 1.More.

IndyBar: Together We are Making a Difference

It is a good time of the year to highlight the significant impact that your financial contributions to the Indianapolis Bar Foundation (IBF) are having on the community.More.

IndyBar: Jodie L. Bergeron Named IndyBar Paralegal of the Year

The Indianapolis Bar Association is proud to recognize Jodie L. Bergeron of Cohen & Malad LLP as the association’s Paralegal of the Year for 2014.More.

IndyBar: Honor the Best of the Best

The IndyBar Professionalism Committee is soliciting nominations for the 2014 IndyBar Professionalism Award (Attorney) and IndyBar Silver Gavel Award (Judge).More.

IndyBar: Indy Legal Community to ‘Stock the Schools’ for Teachers’ Treasures

With over half of the children in Marion County unable to afford school lunch, it shouldn’t be a surprise that there are little funds available for these students to purchase the supplies they need to succeed in the classroom. That’s why the Indianapolis legal community is once again “Stocking the Schools” before the school buses roll out for a new year.More.

IndyBar: Attorney Volunteers Needed for IndyBar Homeless Shelter Project

Want to make an impact? The IndyBar Homeless Shelter Project is looking for attorney volunteers. Through this project, IndyBar volunteers visit four local homeless shelters each month, giving legal advice and occasionally offering limited representation.More.

IndyBar: Green by Example – Going Green Starts at the Top

Going green isn’t something that happens overnight – but Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor David Stippler says it doesn’t take much longer than a night to see the changes adding up.More.
Juvenile Justice Juvenile Justice

Improving a child's access to counselRestricted Content

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

Early intervention for juvenilesRestricted Content

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

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.

More.

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 penaltyRestricted Content

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.

Teaming up for change

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

Aiming for exoneration

Inmate awaits court hearingMore.

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.
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Indiana makes gains in permanent placementRestricted Content

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

What's next for Indiana's death penalty?Restricted Content

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

The evolution of capital punishmentRestricted Content

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.

State death penalty cases averaged 17 yearsRestricted Content

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 penaltyRestricted Content

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

Tug-of-war

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.

More.

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.

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.

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.

Motorcycle Accident
Garrett Minniear v. Chase King d/b/a King Masonry LLC

More

 

Medical malpractice
Resa v. Greathouse-Williams, et al.

More

 

Trucking accident
Willetter Morrison-Johnson and Steven Johnson v. Republic Services of Indiana, L.P. and Jason Stanley
More

 

More Trial Reports

Blogs

Americans aren’t impressed with US Supreme Court

A recent national phone survey has found that a little more than a quarter of likely U.S. voters think the Supreme Court of the United States is doing a good or excellent job. The same amount rated the justices’ performance as poor.More.
 


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Opinions July 22, 2014

Indiana Supreme Court
Kenyatta Erkins v. State of Indiana
58S01-1309-CR-586
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony conspiracy to commit robbery resulting in serious bodily injury. Presents first impression issue of whether the state must establish the existence of serious bodily injury for Erkins’ conviction to stand. Because conspiracy is a crime consisting of intent to commit an underlying crime, an agreement between or among conspirators to commit the underlying crime, and an overt act by one of the conspirators in furtherance of the agreement, the state needed only to prove these elements beyond a reasonable doubt to support his conviction. Justice Rucker concurs in part and dissents in part to which Chief Justice Dickson joins.More.
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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.