Fight may influence jury

August 26, 2008
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Here’s something that doesn’t happen every day – a manslaughter trial is postponed due to fighting between the accused and the victim’s families.

In what sounds like something that would only happen in a television legal drama, the families got into a physical fight in the Allen County Courthouse. Apparently, the commotion was so loud that potential jurors for the manslaughter trial could hear it, even though were two floors below the fight. How is this going to affect the upcoming trial, which has been postponed for five months as a result of the fight? Will the same prospective jurors still be considered or will the attorneys have to start from scratch now?

Imagine if that was your first experience with being considered for a jury! This will make most all other times you are called to serve seem mundane.

Here’s the kicker in the case – the four men involved in the fight were listed as potential witnesses. Don’t tell me that couldn’t influence a potential juror or two when they hear about who was involved in the fight and one of those men takes the stand.
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  1. 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.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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