Features

Lawyer couples

February 16, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
While some couples prefer to keep their work and personal lives separate, it’s not unheard of for lawyers to pair up. Four couples shared their stories with Indiana Lawyer.
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Supreme Court interactive event rescheduled

February 14, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has rescheduled its interactive drama “Bound for Freedom: The Case of Polly Strong,” which was postponed after a winter storm hit central Indiana earlier this month.
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CASA group to receive national diversity award

February 4, 2011
IL Staff
The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association announced Thursday afternoon that it will honor Indianapolis-based Child Advocates Inc. with the National CASA Inclusion Award at their 30th Annual National CASA Conference in Chicago on March 20.
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Many courts shut down due to weather

February 2, 2011
IL Staff
Several courts around the state are closed today after heavy snow and ice hit Indiana this week. The weather has even caused the Indiana General Assembly to postpone hearings for a second day.
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Attorney helps senior citizens stay in their homes

February 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Orville Copsey Jr. works for Indianapolis Legal Aid Society as a liaison between the elderly with housing issues and the Marion County Health Department’s attorneys and inspectors.
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Lawyer practiced realty, construction law

February 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana legal community has lost a former prosecutor and private attorney who, during his five decades of practice, established himself as a state and national expert in realty and construction law.
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Indiana courts to host judicial independence panel discussion

February 1, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court is hosting a panel discussion in mid-February to discuss the broad topic of judicial independence and how courts operate in our democracy, and it’s turning to the online and social media world to help shape how the event unfolds.
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Weather causes closures, cancellations

February 1, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The ice and snow falling in central Indiana has led to cancellations of two court events and closed the Indiana General Assembly.
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Greenwood attorney Joe Van Valer dies

January 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana legal community has lost a former prosecutor and private attorney who, during his five decades of practice, established himself as a state and national expert in realty and development law.
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SCOTUS history on display

January 19, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Attorneys and history buffs alike may want to consider a detour to the law library at Indiana University Maurer School of Law next time they are in or near Bloomington.
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Elkhart remembers two longtime attorneys

January 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Attorneys in northern Indiana are remembering two in the legal profession who died within a day of each other, including a longtime public defender who many say was one of the best in the state.
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Civil rights lawyer worked on suit to desegregate school system

January 5, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indianapolis lawyer who worked on several notable cases in Indianapolis history, including a lawsuit which led to the desegregation of Indianapolis Public Schools, died Dec. 26, 2010.
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Indianapolis attorney 'trailblazer' for civil rights

December 27, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indianapolis lawyer who worked on several notable cases in Indianapolis history, including a lawsuit which led to the desegregation of Indianapolis Public Schools, died Sunday.
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Judge Mathias recognized for civics education

December 15, 2010
IL Staff
Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Paul D. Mathias received the Indiana Bar Foundation’s William G. Baker Award Dec. 12 for his work with civics education. Judge Mathias was cited for his work with the We the People program at the state level and in the 3rd Congressional District in Northeast Indiana.
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Judge and his wife use son's death to discuss prescription drug abuseRestricted Content

December 8, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The scream that pierced the silence one morning almost two years ago is one that haunts Marion Superior Judge Bill Nelson every day, and it likely will for the rest of his life.
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Attorneys help wounded warriors

December 8, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Since June, a number of Indiana-based Army Reservists have been helping American soldiers in their greatest hour of need.
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Judge's collection inspired military museum in Vincennes

December 8, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
After starting his collection of World War II memorabilia as a child, almost three decades ago a judge in southern Indiana had amassed enough artifacts, including jets and tanks, to open a museum in Vincennes.
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Human rights focus of law school events

December 8, 2010
IL Staff
To celebrate the anniversary of the United Nations’ adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, various human rights organizations based in Central Indiana hosted the program, “Human Rights Defenders: Voices from the Community,” at Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis.
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Annual law school event to celebrate human rights

December 1, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
To celebrate the anniversary of the United Nations’ adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, various human rights organizations based in Central Indiana will host the program, “Human Rights Defenders: Voices from the Community,” at Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis.
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Human trafficking cases on the rise in IndianaRestricted Content

November 10, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
While it may still be an issue under the radar of many Hoosiers, human trafficking seems to be thriving in Indiana.
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Giving a gift of life

November 10, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
For some, when a family member needs something, there’s no doubt that the right thing to do is step up and give. That was the case with two members of the legal community.
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Pipeline programs to improve diversityRestricted Content

November 10, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
When high school students don’t know attorneys or judges, it’s less likely they’ll know how to become attorneys or judges. This is particularly true in urban neighborhoods. To counter that, diversity pipeline programs are being created to encourage more ethnic and racial diversity in the legal profession.
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'Greening Statehouse' event at IU-Indy

November 3, 2010
IL Staff
The Hoosier Environmental Council’s third annual “Greening the Statehouse” happens Saturday at Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis.
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Federal courthouse to celebrate new, old murals

October 27, 2010
IL Staff
An event Friday at the Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Indianapolis will celebrate the recent installation of new murals on the third floor of the building as well as recognize the 75th anniversary of murals on that floor.
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Adult guardians sworn in

October 27, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
A swearing-in ceremony for the first class of the Wishard Volunteer Advocates Program took place Oct. 18 at Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis.
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  1. Am I the only one who sees that the City is essentially giving away the MSA site AND giving millions to build new buildings on the site when this site would be the perfect place for the Justice Complex? Across from City-County, check; keeping it centrally located, check, etc. It's my understanding that the GM site must be purchased by the City from Motors Liquidation Company. STOP WASTING WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE AND OUR TAX DOLLARS! The Ballard Administration has not been known for it's common sense...never voted for him and never will!

  2. This guy sounds like the classic molester/manipulator.

  3. Louis D. Brandeis was born in 1856. At 9 years of age it would have been 1865. The Brandeis family did not own slaves. My source Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, by Melvin L. Urofsky.

  4. My name is Matthew Lucas Major, I recently went through a jury trial in Bloomington , In. It was the week of Feb 19-21. Although I have been incarcerated since August 5, 2014. The reason I 'am writing to you sir is on the 21 of February the jury came in with a very excessive and wrongful verdict of guilty on 6 child molesting charges against my daughter who was 9 at the time I was accused. I also had 2 other Felonies one of Intimidation and 1 of Sexual Vicarious Gratification. Judge Marc Kellam on the second day of trial gave me a not guilty on those 2 felonies. The jury was sent out during that time and when brought back Judge Kellam told them to not concern themselves with the 2 Felonies that he ruled on them. They were told to not let evidence they had already heard influence there verdicts. I never in my life touched any child sexually and definitely not with my own daughter. When I was arrested Detective Shawn Karr told me I would be convicted guilty just on my daughters word even without evidence. That's just what happened. my public defender did me so wrong he never once proved to the court and jury all the lies the child told, and Jeremy Noel my public defender could of proven the lies easily. The stories in Serenity's depositions and Forensic interview changed and were not consistent as Prosecutor Darcie Fawcett claimed they were. Yet my attorney never mentioned that. The facts that the child accused me of full penetration in her vagina and rectum was proven lies. Doctor Roberta Hibbard of Riley hospital in Indianapolis confirmed Serenity's hymen intact, no scars, no tearing, no signs of rape to her. Yet my attorney didn't use that knowledge . the DNA was all in my favor. I tell you I will spend my entire life in prison going through rape and beatings etc. even Judge Kellam abused his authority by telling the jurors to listen and believe what the prosecutors side in evidence like my daughters testimony. In one interview with the detectives my daughter got flustered with her mom and said on camera " I'm saying what you told me to mom"!! Yet Mr. Noel said nor did anything to even resemble a defense attorney. Judge Kellam allowed edited version of a taped conversation between the child and her mother. Also Judge Kellam allowed the Prosecutor too bring in to my case a knife found under my seat, the knife wasn't part of my case. She was allowed by my attorney and the judge to put a huge picture of it on the screen and huge picture of my naked privates in a full courtroom and open court. Ms. Fawcett says to jury see how easy Mr. Major could reach the knife and cut his Childs throat. Even though I had no weapons charge against these cases. This gave the jurors prejudice thought against me thinking I threatened her with that knife and how scared she would of been knowing i could get it and kill her. On my sentencing court March 19, 2014 my public defender told Judge Kellam he wish to resign from being my attorney and wished for the court to give me outside council to file a error to trial or appeal. We were denied. Now after openly knowing my public defender don't want to represent me he has to. Well when as parents we make our kids clean a room when they really don't wish to, well the child will but don't mean she will do a good job, that's where I'm at with Mr. Noel. please dont ignore mine and my families pleas for your help . we have all the legal proof you could need to prove Im innocent. Please dont make my spend years in prison innocent when you can fix this wrong. Im not saying Im a perfect man or that I was a perfect dad to my 2 children none of us are. Ive made some bad choices in life and I paid for them. But I didnt ever touch or rape my daughter . I love my children with all my heart. And now through needing attention and a ex-wife who told my granny several times she wish she could put me in prison to get me out of their lives. Well my ex finally accomplished her goal. Sad part is she is destroying our daughter with all this horrific lies and things she taught my daughter to say. My daughter will need therapist to ever hope for a chance of a normal life after what she had done to her by her mom and their side of the family. My daughter told everyone even on stand she had a dream months before i supposedly molested her in this dream I was molesting her and when I finally did it matched her dream perfectly. She admitted to watching movies about little girls being molested and watching U-Tube videos about child molesting all before it happened supposedly to her. Doesn't that sound very unusual that a non molested 9 yr old would need to know so much about being molested? The only reason I could think a 9 year old would need so much information is to be prepared to know what to say and be able to say how it felt what took place etc.. So when questioned by authorities she would be prepared. And there again sir if a parent is pre grooming a 9 year old child she would need intimate details . Like telling her daughter about a couple moles on my private area. The child admitted to sneaking my cell and looking many many times at nudes of me and my girlfriend even one where my penis was entering my girlfriends vagina. In that picture my moles are obvious. Yet when prosecutor showed everyone in court my privates and pictures of the moles she said the only way the child would know about them is if she saw them for herself. My attorney once again said nothing about the pictures my child saw. Or could a ex-wife be able to describe my moles to help her case against getting rid of me? I beg you help me. This is my very existence. Ive lost everything , a good job, a wonderful girlfriend, my freedom, but worse thing Ive lost is my children. They were my reason to get up every morning and strive to be better. The wonderful bond I had with my Serenity is gone. After this I would be afraid to even hug her for fear of what next can they do to me. I'm not afraid to tell you I sit here in this cell and try to hold back my tears. Everyone knows you cant show weakness in prison. My life has already been threatened here at Wabash Valley Prison. After only 3 days of arrival. I was tricked into signing a waiver now Im in G Block General Population with 6 child molesting felony charges. Mrs. Hart as a 18 year old I almost died hooked to machines in hospital almost 1 month and now I know that fear was childish compared to this . I cant help but put emotions in this, after all Mrs. Hart Im human and God help Me I never been more afraid in my life. I didnt hurt my little girl I didnt touch her sexually. As much as it shreds me and fills my mind what Im facing I worry more about my mom and granny because of their great love for me mam they are suffering so deeply. I aint done this things but my loved ones suffering right along beside me and If you take my case you will be in essence freeing them also. I sent momma this letter and asked her to email it to you. I'm scared I have been done so unjustly by our legal system and I need you to fix this and give me freedom. I ask you please don't just ignore my pleas. Here in America its nice to be able to trust our legal justice system, well they destroyed my and my loved ones trust in our justice system . And I'm trusting in You !!! My entire family is suffering this nightmare with me. My 77 year old granny had a stroke and isn't doing so well. My single mother that raised 3 kids alone is dying from Lupus and since my arrest has stayed so sick and weary. Our lives torn to peices by a government I was taught I could trust in. my momma has tried so many innocent project and wrongfully accused and cant get anywhere. please please help me. A quote from the late Nelson Mandela: To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, But to live in a way that respects and enhances The Freedom Of Others. I have Faith in you and your clinic to cast my chains off and give me freedom I do deserve as a wrongfully accused Man, son, brother, father, friend. Matthew Major DOC# 246179 Cause # : 53c02-1308-FA-000779 God Bless you. Please contact me with your decision so I know you made a life changing decision for me , just please at least write me so I know you care enough about your citizens to respond to cries for your help. You can speak openly with my mother Charlotte Spain (828) 476-0406: 71 Lakeview Dr. Canton, NC 28716 Thank You Matthew Major I know yall get thousands of request and inmates claiming innocence, and each person who are innocent deserve to have organizations like yours willing to fight for them and I give yall so much Thanks and I thank God everyday yall are out there caring enough to help free the innocents. Since discovering firsthand how easily lives and families can be destroyed by Poor Defense attorneys not doing their job . And Prosecutors allowed to do as they please in court

  5. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

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