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Court reinstates man's direct appeal

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has reinstated the direct appeal of a LaPorte County man convicted of felony robbery and attempted robbery in 2004, finding that he should not receive a new trial for receiving ineffective assistance of appellate counsel the first time he tried to challenge his convictions and sentence.

In the case of Mario A. Allen v. State of Indiana, No., 46A04-1106-PC-353, the appellate court affirmed and reversed in part a ruling from LaPorte Superior Judge Kathleen B. Lang. Mario Allen appealed the trial court’s denial of his post-conviction relief petition requesting a new trial or release because he was denied appellate counsel assistance. The panel agreed with the state that the proper remedy is to permit Allen to proceed with the direct appeal he was denied.

Finding that the parties didn’t refer to any Indiana case addressing this issue, the three-judge appellate panel looked to other jurisdictions that have ruled on this matter. The 2nd and 7th Circuit courts and Northern District of Indiana have addressed the topic in the past two decades and held the proper remedy is to give the defendant the appeal he or she has been deprived. The appellate panel rejected Allen’s claims that both res judicata and the law of the case doctrine prevent the court from providing him with a direct appeal remedy.

The post-conviction court’s conclusion is affirmed and the appellate panel remanded the case with instructions that the trial court appoint Allen counsel to represent him on appeal.

 

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  1. A sad end to a prolific gadfly. Indiana has suffered a great loss in the journalistic realm.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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