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•


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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues