Last UpdatedWED., APRIL 23, 2014 - 3:34 PM
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Rise of the zombie house

When a bank files a motion to set aside a foreclosure judgment, often the courts consider the filing good news, assuming the lender and the homeowner have reached a settlement. But things aren’t always what they seem, and courts can be at risk of being duped.More.

Justice Department outlines new clemency initiative

The U.S. Department of Justice Wednesday announced its initiative to encourage qualified federal inmates to petition to have their sentences commuted or reduced by the president of the United States.More.

Judges uphold man’s conspiracy conviction

Jennifer Nelson
Although the state charged a man with the non-existent crime of “conspiracy to commit attempted armed robbery,” the record shows Matthew Wilhoite was actually convicted of conspiring to commit armed robbery. As such, the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected his claim he was convicted of a crime that doesn’t exist.More.

COA adopts rule allowing for partial subordination of 1st lienholder’s interest

Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday decided the state should follow the majority rule on agreements to modify the priority of liens securing interests in a borrower’s assets.More.

In This Issue

APRIL 23-MAY 6, 2014
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A Notre Dame Law School professor says courts should ask more questions when a bank files a motion to set aside a foreclosure judgment. The bank’s decision to “un-foreclose” on a property can negatively impacts the homeowners, communities and the courts. Attorneys say using audio/video transcripts under a court pilot project is time-consuming and costly for clients. Some say a federal judge's recent ruling may hint at the future of Indiana's marriage law that bans same-sex marraige.

Top Stories

Improvisation enhances lawyer’s skill set

Katrina Gossett says the collaborative, reactive nature of the ComedySportz experience complements her work as a litigatorMore.

Court video project exposes problems

The Supreme Court wanted feedback on a pilot project using an audio-video record as the official appellate transcript in three Indiana courts. Lawyers at a recent discussion on the topic appear to favor pulling the plug.More.

From the principal’s office to the courtroom

Stakeholders want educators and courts to collaborate to end the school-to-prison pipeline.More.

Ruling may hint at future of Indiana's marriage law

Although the plaintiffs’ attorneys and the Indiana attorney general both emphasize a federal judge’s temporary order that the state recognize the marriage of one same-sex couple is short-term and limited, the ruling has given gay marriage proponents hope that Indiana’s marriage statute will ultimately be ruled unconstitutional.More.

Rise of the zombie house

When a bank files a motion to set aside a foreclosure judgment, often the courts consider the filing good news, assuming the lender and the homeowner have reached a settlement. But things aren’t always what they seem, and courts can be at risk of being duped.More.

Focus

Reaching an agreement at the round table

Attorneys find collaborative law allows families to craft their own future.More.

Trimble: Avoiding and dealing with pessimism in mediation

Mediation by monitor

The rise of online dispute resolution is seen as both a challenge and an opportunity for alternative dispute resolution.More.

Opinion

Whaley: 'Multi-jurisdictional' cases complicate attorney-client privilege analysis

Litigators in discovery practice are certainly used to wrestling with attorney-client privilege decisions, which are interesting and challenging enough even when the case involves parties and a court that all share the same “citizenship.” But how is the analysis affected when the parties, the court and perhaps the source of the requested information (such as a non-party) are in different states?More.

Hammerle On … 'Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1,' 'Nymphomaniac: Vol. 2'

Bob Hammerle writes that despite these films being dominated by sex, they are not erotic in any fashion.More.

Inbox - 4/23/14

A reader asks the legal community to stop using the term "homosexual" because of its history.More.

Indiana Judges Association: Judging from the mountaintop

If judges wore wigs in the United States, there might be a marked increase, I say, in public confidence in our courts. Hopefully, it would not be outweighed by any marked increase in public satire, but it could not be any worse than the judge shows now on daytime TV. The public always needs to understand that courts are serious and judges are different. More importantly, it is necessary to understand why.More.

Dean's Desk: IU Maurer alumni, students exemplify hard work, integrity

IU Maurer Dean Austen Parrish writes in his first Dean's Desk column about recent inductees into the school's Academy of Law Alumni Fellows and how their successes can inspire current students.More.

Technology Untangled: Google Chromecast designed for entertainment, not business

Today we will look at an inexpensive device from Google designed to facilitate video streaming.More.

In Brief

Body shops sue insurers, allege push to drive down prices

In a federal lawsuit, 14 Indiana shops accuse State Farm Insurance and competitors of extracting “unreasonable and onerous” concessions on vehicle repair costs.More.

8 more claim abuses in suspended Clark County drug court

Eight new plaintiffs have been added to a federal civil-rights lawsuit claiming officials involved in Clark County’s suspended drug court program jailed participants for months without due process, conducted improper searches and made unauthorized arrests.More.

Special Sections

Indiana Court Decisions - April 2 to 15, 2014

Read decisions from Indiana's appellate courts.More.

On The Move

On the Move - 4/23/14

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

Disciplinary Actions

Disciplinary Actions - 4/23/14

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

Bar Associations

DTCI: Mediation for defense lawyers

Patrick Reilly writes to help defense lawyers develop strategies to achieving the best possible results in selecting, conducting and winning mediations.More.

Abrams: A New Justice Center ? ! ? !

he offices of the Indianapolis Bar Association first learned of the city’s interest in pursuing a Justice Center several months ago when they expressed interest in learning more about our task force work over the last 10 years.More.

IndyBar: Matthew Maples Selected as IndyBar Law Student of the Year

The importance of pro bono service is a theme that is routinely emphasized to practicing attorneys. For one law student, no encouragement will be necessary. The Indianapolis Bar Association’s 2014 Law Student of the Year, Matthew Maples of the Robert H. McKinney School of Law, has completed close to 2,000 hours of pro bono service during his law school career.More.

IndyBar: A Proposal to Allow Citations of All Indiana Appellate Opinions

The Rules Committee of the Indiana Supreme Court has proposed changing the rules to allow citation of memorandum (non-for-publication) decisions as persuasive precedent.More.

IndyBar Frontlines - 4/23/14

Read news from around the IndyBar!More.

IndyBar: More than 700 Helped at Ask a Lawyer

Tuesday, April 8 was a record-breaking day as 705 Hoosiers were provided with free legal advice through the IndyBar’s Ask a Lawyer event.More.

IndyBar: IBF Scholarship Recipients: Where Are They Now?

While many are aware of the good the Indianapolis Bar Foundation does for the Indianapolis legal community, some might not be aware that the IBF has been responsible for awarding more than 75 scholarships to law students since 1983. These scholarships help alleviate the high cost of law school and provide students more affordable access to post-graduate education.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.

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.

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.

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.

Detaining questions

Funding of youth detention, alternatives draws concern.More.
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Indiana makes gains in permanent placementRestricted Content

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?Restricted Content

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

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.

State slow to achieve juvenile justice reforms

Local successes exist; systematic changes lag.More.

'Out of the court's hands'

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

Survey calls law firm benefit changes ‘stealth cost shifting’

Large law firm benefit trends paint a somewhat  “conflicted picture” as firms try to manage plan expenses while at the same time lag behind the broader market’s adaptation of consumerism to save costs, based on results of a national survey.More.
 


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Opinions April 23, 2014

Indiana Court of Appeals
Matthew P. Wilhoite v. State of Indiana
34A04-1303-CR-138
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony “conspiracy to commit attempted armed robbery.” Wilhoite argued his conviction is invalid because a person may not be convicted of “conspiring to attempt” any crime. Although the state referenced a non-existent crime when it listed “conspiracy to commit attempted robbery” on the charging information as the crime committed, Wilhoite has not demonstrated fundamental error.More.
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  1. Am I the only one who sees that the City is essentially giving away the MSA site AND giving millions to build new buildings on the site when this site would be the perfect place for the Justice Complex? Across from City-County, check; keeping it centrally located, check, etc. It's my understanding that the GM site must be purchased by the City from Motors Liquidation Company. STOP WASTING WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE AND OUR TAX DOLLARS! The Ballard Administration has not been known for it's common sense...never voted for him and never will!

  2. This guy sounds like the classic molester/manipulator.

  3. Louis D. Brandeis was born in 1856. At 9 years of age it would have been 1865. The Brandeis family did not own slaves. My source Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, by Melvin L. Urofsky.

  4. My name is Matthew Lucas Major, I recently went through a jury trial in Bloomington , In. It was the week of Feb 19-21. Although I have been incarcerated since August 5, 2014. The reason I 'am writing to you sir is on the 21 of February the jury came in with a very excessive and wrongful verdict of guilty on 6 child molesting charges against my daughter who was 9 at the time I was accused. I also had 2 other Felonies one of Intimidation and 1 of Sexual Vicarious Gratification. Judge Marc Kellam on the second day of trial gave me a not guilty on those 2 felonies. The jury was sent out during that time and when brought back Judge Kellam told them to not concern themselves with the 2 Felonies that he ruled on them. They were told to not let evidence they had already heard influence there verdicts. I never in my life touched any child sexually and definitely not with my own daughter. When I was arrested Detective Shawn Karr told me I would be convicted guilty just on my daughters word even without evidence. That's just what happened. my public defender did me so wrong he never once proved to the court and jury all the lies the child told, and Jeremy Noel my public defender could of proven the lies easily. The stories in Serenity's depositions and Forensic interview changed and were not consistent as Prosecutor Darcie Fawcett claimed they were. Yet my attorney never mentioned that. The facts that the child accused me of full penetration in her vagina and rectum was proven lies. Doctor Roberta Hibbard of Riley hospital in Indianapolis confirmed Serenity's hymen intact, no scars, no tearing, no signs of rape to her. Yet my attorney didn't use that knowledge . the DNA was all in my favor. I tell you I will spend my entire life in prison going through rape and beatings etc. even Judge Kellam abused his authority by telling the jurors to listen and believe what the prosecutors side in evidence like my daughters testimony. In one interview with the detectives my daughter got flustered with her mom and said on camera " I'm saying what you told me to mom"!! Yet Mr. Noel said nor did anything to even resemble a defense attorney. Judge Kellam allowed edited version of a taped conversation between the child and her mother. Also Judge Kellam allowed the Prosecutor too bring in to my case a knife found under my seat, the knife wasn't part of my case. She was allowed by my attorney and the judge to put a huge picture of it on the screen and huge picture of my naked privates in a full courtroom and open court. Ms. Fawcett says to jury see how easy Mr. Major could reach the knife and cut his Childs throat. Even though I had no weapons charge against these cases. This gave the jurors prejudice thought against me thinking I threatened her with that knife and how scared she would of been knowing i could get it and kill her. On my sentencing court March 19, 2014 my public defender told Judge Kellam he wish to resign from being my attorney and wished for the court to give me outside council to file a error to trial or appeal. We were denied. Now after openly knowing my public defender don't want to represent me he has to. Well when as parents we make our kids clean a room when they really don't wish to, well the child will but don't mean she will do a good job, that's where I'm at with Mr. Noel. please dont ignore mine and my families pleas for your help . we have all the legal proof you could need to prove Im innocent. Please dont make my spend years in prison innocent when you can fix this wrong. Im not saying Im a perfect man or that I was a perfect dad to my 2 children none of us are. Ive made some bad choices in life and I paid for them. But I didnt ever touch or rape my daughter . I love my children with all my heart. And now through needing attention and a ex-wife who told my granny several times she wish she could put me in prison to get me out of their lives. Well my ex finally accomplished her goal. Sad part is she is destroying our daughter with all this horrific lies and things she taught my daughter to say. My daughter will need therapist to ever hope for a chance of a normal life after what she had done to her by her mom and their side of the family. My daughter told everyone even on stand she had a dream months before i supposedly molested her in this dream I was molesting her and when I finally did it matched her dream perfectly. She admitted to watching movies about little girls being molested and watching U-Tube videos about child molesting all before it happened supposedly to her. Doesn't that sound very unusual that a non molested 9 yr old would need to know so much about being molested? The only reason I could think a 9 year old would need so much information is to be prepared to know what to say and be able to say how it felt what took place etc.. So when questioned by authorities she would be prepared. And there again sir if a parent is pre grooming a 9 year old child she would need intimate details . Like telling her daughter about a couple moles on my private area. The child admitted to sneaking my cell and looking many many times at nudes of me and my girlfriend even one where my penis was entering my girlfriends vagina. In that picture my moles are obvious. Yet when prosecutor showed everyone in court my privates and pictures of the moles she said the only way the child would know about them is if she saw them for herself. My attorney once again said nothing about the pictures my child saw. Or could a ex-wife be able to describe my moles to help her case against getting rid of me? I beg you help me. This is my very existence. Ive lost everything , a good job, a wonderful girlfriend, my freedom, but worse thing Ive lost is my children. They were my reason to get up every morning and strive to be better. The wonderful bond I had with my Serenity is gone. After this I would be afraid to even hug her for fear of what next can they do to me. I'm not afraid to tell you I sit here in this cell and try to hold back my tears. Everyone knows you cant show weakness in prison. My life has already been threatened here at Wabash Valley Prison. After only 3 days of arrival. I was tricked into signing a waiver now Im in G Block General Population with 6 child molesting felony charges. Mrs. Hart as a 18 year old I almost died hooked to machines in hospital almost 1 month and now I know that fear was childish compared to this . I cant help but put emotions in this, after all Mrs. Hart Im human and God help Me I never been more afraid in my life. I didnt hurt my little girl I didnt touch her sexually. As much as it shreds me and fills my mind what Im facing I worry more about my mom and granny because of their great love for me mam they are suffering so deeply. I aint done this things but my loved ones suffering right along beside me and If you take my case you will be in essence freeing them also. I sent momma this letter and asked her to email it to you. I'm scared I have been done so unjustly by our legal system and I need you to fix this and give me freedom. I ask you please don't just ignore my pleas. Here in America its nice to be able to trust our legal justice system, well they destroyed my and my loved ones trust in our justice system . And I'm trusting in You !!! My entire family is suffering this nightmare with me. My 77 year old granny had a stroke and isn't doing so well. My single mother that raised 3 kids alone is dying from Lupus and since my arrest has stayed so sick and weary. Our lives torn to peices by a government I was taught I could trust in. my momma has tried so many innocent project and wrongfully accused and cant get anywhere. please please help me. A quote from the late Nelson Mandela: To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, But to live in a way that respects and enhances The Freedom Of Others. I have Faith in you and your clinic to cast my chains off and give me freedom I do deserve as a wrongfully accused Man, son, brother, father, friend. Matthew Major DOC# 246179 Cause # : 53c02-1308-FA-000779 God Bless you. Please contact me with your decision so I know you made a life changing decision for me , just please at least write me so I know you care enough about your citizens to respond to cries for your help. You can speak openly with my mother Charlotte Spain (828) 476-0406: 71 Lakeview Dr. Canton, NC 28716 Thank You Matthew Major I know yall get thousands of request and inmates claiming innocence, and each person who are innocent deserve to have organizations like yours willing to fight for them and I give yall so much Thanks and I thank God everyday yall are out there caring enough to help free the innocents. Since discovering firsthand how easily lives and families can be destroyed by Poor Defense attorneys not doing their job . And Prosecutors allowed to do as they please in court

  5. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.