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In Brief - 7/31/13

IL Staff
July 31, 2013
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The IL Daily delivers legal news to your email inbox. In case you missed it, following is a recap of some of the stories reported online since the last issue of Indiana Lawyer. To subscribe to the IL Daily, visit www.theindianalawyer.com.

Judges formalize reaffirmation of City-County Building firearms ban

Marion County judges on July 19 formally reaffirmed a 2007 policy banning firearms from the City-County Building. Law-enforcement personnel and judicial officers are exempt from the prohibition.The reaffirmation came in response to concerns about the impact of a 2011 law that widely voided local gun regulations. The law allows courthouses to continue to ban weapons. However, Indiana Code 35-47-11-1.4(5) makes an exception for common areas of courthouses or parts used by residential tenants or private businesses.Marion Circuit Judge Louis Rosenberg in May told the Marion Superior Court Executive Committee that allowing guns in common areas of the building would be impractical.“Due to the configuration of courtrooms, penal facilities … and court offices throughout the building, (it) cannot be rendered safe except by the prohibition of weapons in the entire building, including common areas,” reads the reaffirmation the committee officially approved.

2 new magistrates appointedin Hendricks County

The Hendricks Superior Court is welcoming two new judges to the bench.Attorneys Tammy Somers and Michael “Joe” Manning have been appointed as magistrates for the Superior Court. Somers accepted the position effective July 1, 2013. Manning accepted the position effective Aug. 5, 2013.A duel robbing ceremony for both new appointees will be held at noon Aug. 2 in Superior Court 1 in the Hendricks County Courthouse, 51 W. Main St., Danville. All Hendricks County Bar Association members are invited to attend.Somers previously served in the Office of the Indiana Attorney General as deputy attorney general. Prior to joining the attorney general’s office, she served as magistrate for the Lake County Superior Court and deputy prosecutor for the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office.A graduate of Valparaiso University Law School, Somers also recently completed the Indiana State Bar Association’s Leadership Development Academy.Manning previously operated the Manning Law Office, in Danville, where he focused primarily on criminal defense. He also served as deputy prosecutor for both the Hendricks County Prosecutor’s Office and Marion County Prosecutor’s Office before entering private practice.Manning is a graduate of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

ACLU of Indiana to look at civic literacy at August event

The August edition of the ACLU’s First Wednesdays program will ask if democracy can survive given the current state of civic literacy in the United States.Attorney Mickey Maurer, who is chairman of IBJ Media Corp., which publishes Indiana Lawyer, will moderate the panel discussion that features We the People coach Michael Gordon; Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek); and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis professor Sheila Suess Kennedy.The panel will look at the consequences of poor civic education and Indiana’s civic literacy report card. The inaugural Indiana Civic Health Index found the state’s voter turnout and registration are among the lowest in the country.The panel discussion begins at noon Aug. 7 in the WFYI Reuben Community Room, 1630 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis. The First Wednesdays program is free, and attendees are encouraged to bring their lunch. The ACLU of Indiana will provide drinks.

Grants available for family and child permanency projects

The Indiana Court Improvement Program is accepting applications for projects that are designed to improve the safety and permanency of children and families involved in children in need of services and/or termination of parental rights proceedings.Applicants could receive funding from three areas – basic court improvement grant funds; data collection and analysis grant funds; or training and education grant funds. Applicants should demonstrate their efforts as sustaining project operations through identification of goals, outcomes and additional funding resources.More information is available on the court’s website, http://www.in.gov/judiciary/cip/index.htm.  Applications are due July 26 to the Indiana Judicial Center.

ACLU files suit over denial of prisoner’s request to pray in group

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana announced July 22 that it has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a prisoner who practices the African Hebrew Israelite religion because the Pendleton Correctional Facility won’t allow the religious group to congregate for prayer unless a volunteer is present.“The DOC does not have the right to deny prisoners an intrinsic element of their religious beliefs,” said ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk. “Federal law protects people from substantial burdens on their religious free exercise, and the equal protection clause guarantees that laws will be applied equally.”The lawsuit, Paul Veal v. Commissioner, Indiana Department of Correction, et al., 1:13-CV-1167, alleges that the facility, run by the Department of Correction, is in violation of the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.The ACLU of Indiana says the facility doesn’t require volunteers to be present for other religious groups to congregate. The suit was filed in the Indianapolis Division of the U.S. District Court’s Southern District of Indiana.

Lilly, Simon lawyers makebest-paid general counsel list

Attorneys for two Indianapolis-based Fortune 500 companies are among the 50 best-paid general counsel, according to a list published July 22 by Corporate Counsel Magazine.  Retired Eli Lilly and Co. general counsel Robert A. Armitage and Simon Property Group general counsel James Barkley respectively ranked 32nd and 41st on the 2013 General Counsel Compensation Survey.Armitage inched up from 34th on the 2012 rankings that were based on 2011 earnings. The survey said his compensation for 2012 totaled $7,505,514 – about $1.8 million in salary and bonus compensation plus about $5.7 million in stock option earnings. Armitage retired at the beginning of this year and was succeeded by Michael J. Harrington.Barkley didn’t make the Top 100 in the 2012 survey. According to the 2013 list, he earned $2,472,046 in 2012. That included salary and bonus pay of a little more than $1.5 million and stock option income of more than $900,000.

Judge: Continuing current sequestration cuts would be ‘devastating’

A federal judge implored a Senate panel July 23 to provide sufficient funding for U.S. courts, warning that the general public will lose the access to justice that has been a hallmark of this country.Judge Julia S. Gibbons, chair of the Budget Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States, testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Bankruptcy and the Courts.“Our workload does not go away because of budget shortfalls,” Gibbons said. “Deep cuts mean that the judiciary cannot perform adequately its constitutional and statutory responsibilities.”Under sequestration, federal courts will receive 5 percent less funding in the current fiscal year than in fiscal year 2012.The current staffing level of the clerks of court, probation and pretrial services personnel is the lowest since 1999, yet the workload is higher now than 14 years ago.The budget cut $52 million from the federal defender program. Gibbons pointed out that nearly 90 percent of federal criminal defendants require court-appointed counsel. The federal defender offices have downsized about 6 percent since October, and it’s anticipated that staff will be furloughed an average of 15 days for the rest of this year.Gibbons also testified that funding for courthouse security has dropped 30 percent, leading to increased risks in public safety.The judiciary is concerned that continuing at current sequestration levels into fiscal year 2014 would result in the loss of additional court and defender jobs, as well as cuts in services.

Judge issues gag order in Bei Bei Shuai case

The judge in the case of a woman charged with murder and attempted feticide in the death of her newborn daughter on July 25 ordered prosecutors, defense attorneys and others involved in the case not to speak about it outside court.

Marion Superior Criminal Division 3 Judge Sheila Carlisle issued the order during a status hearing ahead of the trial scheduled to begin Sept. 3.

Carlisle’s order cites Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct 3.6(a) and 3.6(d)(1)-(5). The order bars lawyers from making “any judicial statement that a reasonable person would expect to be disseminated by means of public communication if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know, that it will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing a trial in this cause.”

Prosecutors and defense attorneys also are ordered to exercise reasonable care to prevent potential witnesses, law enforcement, investigators or others involved in the case from making statements that attorneys otherwise would be prohibited from making.

Prosecutors said the trial could last three weeks. Carlisle estimated as many as 150 to 200 potential jurors may be called to fill out questionnaires and be considered for a jury she said would consist of 12 jurors and likely six alternates.•

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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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