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David, Massa stake key positions on court

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supreme-justices1-15col.jpg From left, Indiana Justices Robert Rucker and Loretta Rush, Chief Justice Brent Dickson, and Justices Mark Massa and Steven David. (Photo Courtesy Indiana Supreme Court)

A review of the work of the Indiana Supreme Court in 2012 by Barnes & Thornburg LLP attorneys finds Justices Steven David and Mark Massa establishing themselves respectively as swing votes and active dissenters.

Those are among the observations in the annual review, “An Examination of the Indiana Supreme Court Docket, Dispositions and Voting in 2012,” prepared by Barnes partners Mark J. Crandley and P. Jason Stephenson and associate Jeff Peabody.

The paper notes it might be too early to draw conclusions about the court so soon after a year of many changes. Brent Dickson replaced Randall Shepard as chief justice, and Massa and Loretta Rush were appointed. But change didn’t slow the court, according to the report.

“In a year of such great transition, one would expect the Court’s overall workload to be impacted. That proved not to be the case,” the analysis says, noting 103 opinions were handed down in 2012, up from 86 in 2011.

The report noted David sided with Shepard and Dickson in more than 90 percent of cases, while Massa in his first months on the bench wrote nearly as many dissents – five – as majority opinions – seven. Joining the court late in 2012, Rush took part in just nine opinions, all unanimous decisions.

Among other findings:

• David and Shepard voted together in 96 percent of cases; David also agreed with Dickson in 90 percent of cases.

• In the 16 3-2 decisions, David and Dickson were in the majority 12 times and Justice Robert Rucker nine. Rucker and Sullivan each wrote 10 dissents.

• The rate of reversal in criminal cases continued to fall. Just 56 percent of criminal cases the court accepted were reversed, down from 81.6 percent in 2008.

View the report at www.theindianalawyer.com/2012SupremeCourtReview.•
 

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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