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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. It appears the police and prosecutors are allowed to change the rules halfway through the game to suit themselves. I am surprised that the congress has not yet eliminated the right to a trial in cases involving any type of forensic evidence. That would suit their foolish law and order police state views. I say we eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes committed by members of congress and other government employees. Of course they would never do that. They are all corrupt cowards!!!

  2. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  3. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  4. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  5. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

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