Recent Blog Posts

Gamble leads to law suit

July 11, 2008
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Jeff Frazer and three of his buddies took a chance at beating the odds and winning at a Hoosier Lottery scratch-off game, Cash Blast. The top prize was $250,000. Believing the odds were in their favor, the four purchased at least...
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Fun with opinions

July 10, 2008
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Typically court opinions are straight to the point about the merits of the case, the application of laws, and why the judge or judges decided to rule the way they did. That’s why it comes as a refreshing surprise when judges...
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Safety in the legal world

July 9, 2008
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The recent abduction of an Anderson attorney by his client raised an issue I don’t see discussed much – the safety risks of working in the legal field. Attorneys and judges work in a high-stress environment where court decisions can greatly...
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Firm diversity coordinators

July 8, 2008
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Diversity. Law firms know it’s important yet sometimes hesitate to talk about or tackle it because the subject can be overwhelming. Our sister publication, the Indianapolis Business Journal, has an article in its July 7-13 issue regarding diversity managers and coordinators...
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Bad cops, dropped charges

July 7, 2008
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In Indianapolis, there have been five police officers arrested for breaking the law in recent weeks - three narcotics detectives and two patrol officers. As a result of narcotics detectives’ arrests, some of the cases they’ve worked on are now being...
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Still land of the free?

July 3, 2008
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Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, a celebration of America’s birthday and all the freedoms we have as American citizens. The U.S. is the “land of the free,” but it sometimes feels like it’s slowly turning into the “land of the...
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McCain discusses judges

July 2, 2008
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The presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain spoke in Indianapolis Tuesday at the National Sheriff’s Association’s annual conference. Obviously, his speech was geared toward law enforcement and why he is the right candidate for them to elect, but he said...
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July means new laws

July 1, 2008
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Today the majority of bills signed into law by Gov. Mitch Daniels in February and March go into effect. There are a lot of new laws that are of interest to the legal community – judges’ pensions, public records and criminal...
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Opinions jump every June

June 30, 2008
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It’s June 30 – the last day of the Indiana Supreme Court’s fiscal year. That means the mad rush of opinions has been upon us for the last 30 days. It happens every year: the high court releases a deluge of...
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Survey says: Do something about it

June 27, 2008
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Bar associations survey their members to find out everything from salary to time off to satisfaction with the county judges. They publish the results for the world to see and sometimes, news organizations like us report on the findings. But then...
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A victim’s view on death penalty for rape

June 26, 2008
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The media and the general public are still buzzing about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Wednesday to overturn a death sentence for a Louisiana man convicted of raping his 8-year-old stepdaughter. News reports have discussed whether someone can be put to...
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Accelerated law degree

June 26, 2008
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Northwestern University School of Law just announced it’s creating a two-year law program in addition to offering the traditional three-year term. The school – which is only the third in the country to offer an accelerated law degree – believes the...
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Judicial nominations and political war games

June 25, 2008
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Today's post is from IL reporter Michael Hoskins: Indiana hasn’t gotten any news this week so far in the arena of federal judicial nominations. But what’s happened is worth taking a look at. The full U.S. Senate Tuesday evening confirmed a...
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George Carlin’s legal legacy

June 24, 2008
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George Carlin, 71, who died Sunday of heart failure, was a legend in the comedy world, but he also made his mark in the legal world. Carlin’s “seven words” routine is arguably what made him an icon and was the impetus...
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What’s the point of law firm rankings?

June 23, 2008
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We get a lot of e-mails from law firms touting their ranking on a list of “outstanding” firms by a publication or naming them third-largest overall according to some survey. We don’t publish the rankings in our paper because we...
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Higher gas prices, fewer court appearances?

June 20, 2008
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You can’t turn on the television or read a newspaper these days without seeing a story about how the increased cost of oil is affecting people. People are making a more concerted effort to carpool, cut back on extraneous driving, or...
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Familiar names in opinions

June 19, 2008
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As a part of our job duties here at Indiana Lawyer, we read a lot of court opinions. From time to time, a familiar name will catch our attention on an opinion that we may otherwise have skipped. Curious if...
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More law schools, fewer jobs

June 18, 2008
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According to a recent news story, there are now 200 ABA-accredited law schools in the United States, with some states looking to add even more schools. Indiana currently has four, and just a few years ago, two Indiana colleges were looking...
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Shorter and not so sweet?

June 17, 2008
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Short and straight to the point. That describes a not-for-publication opinion from the Court of Appeals Monday, in Evan Erby v. State of Indiana , No. 18A02-0711-CR-977. Two sentences sum up this case, referring to an Indiana Supreme Court ruling last...
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Cheers lead to arrests

June 16, 2008
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Graduation season is wrapping up this month but not without a few arrests. Police near Columbia , S.C. , arrested and charged six people with disorderly conduct for cheering after a student’s name was called during a high school graduation....
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When a spanking is OK

June 13, 2008
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When I acted up as a child, I would be threatened with a spanking. Lucky for me, my parents only delivered on the threat a couple times in my life. A stern look or grounding seemed to do the trick...
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Can’t say “rape” in a rape trial

June 12, 2008
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Correct me if I’m wrong, but if you are involved in a trial dealing with an alleged rape, then the word “rape” should come up in order to describe the purported crime. But one judge in Kansas has made headlines...
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Legal sector cuts 1,100 jobs in May

June 11, 2008
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Looks like the legal profession is starting to feel the effects of the slowing economy. According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. legal sector lost 1,100 jobs in May. That’s the third consecutive month...
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Hate crimes do happen in Indiana

June 10, 2008
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A Muncie man was sentenced June 6 by a federal judge to 121 months in prison for a hate crime. The man burned a cross last year in the lawn of a woman and her three biracial children back in...
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Judges and cell phones in court don’t mix

June 9, 2008
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   Judges have the right to control their courtrooms to maintain civility and safety, but throwing people in jail because of a ringing cell phone is extreme. That’s what Niagara Falls City Court Judge Robert Restaino did when no one...
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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