Indiana Court of Appeals

COA reverses felony conviction for lack of evidence

May 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The state did not prove that a St. Joseph County man intimidated another person when the man pulled out a knife after being confronted about stealing water, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday. The dissenting judge believed there to be no distinction between the defendant being “caught” stealing water and “confronting” the defendant about stealing it.
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Man’s appellate arguments challenging misdemeanor convictions waived

May 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with the state that a man waived his arguments on appeal because he did not raise a relevant objection at trial, he did not make a cogent argument on appeal, and because his arguments are otherwise meritless.
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ESPN to appeal Indiana judge's ruling on Notre Dame police

May 21, 2015
 Associated Press
ESPN will appeal a northern Indiana judge's ruling that the University of Notre Dame police department is not subject to the state's open records law.
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Savings clause of 2014 criminal code revision not unconstitutional

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claim that the savings clause of the 2014 criminal code revision violates the Equal Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Indiana Constitution.
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COA: Trial court properly admitted drug evidence

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held that a trial court acted within its discretion when it admitted evidence found after executing a search warrant of a large quantity of marijuana in a defendant’s backpack, which led to the revocation of the defendant’s probation.
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Woman’s theft, check deception convictions affirmed

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday that a defendant did not establish that the trial court abused its discretion by refusing her proffered jury instruction or in the admission of pretrial identification evidence.
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Ruling clarifies, broadens admissibility of social media content as evidence

May 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
Donnell Wilson’s murder convictions for shooting and killing two gang members in Gary relied in part on Twitter posts shown to a jury in which he bragged about having a gun and threatened to shoot rival gang members.
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Indianapolis bar owners challenge city’s smoking ban

May 19, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Court of Appeals has heard arguments from the owners of two Indianapolis bars who want to overturn the city's 2012 ban on smoking.
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Failure to buckle a seatbelt cannot be used to prove contributory negligence

May 19, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The city of Fort Wayne will not be able to present evidence at trial that an injured passenger in a traffic accident was not wearing a seatbelt. The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a violation of the state's Seatbelt Act may not be used to prove contributory negligence.
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Justices author dissents in appeal denials

May 19, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court won't hear two cases in which justices felt compelled to write dissents arguing why they believed toxic-litigation and marital estate distribution appeals should be heard.
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Property owners have no duty for tenant’s free-running dog

May 18, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the landlords provided the means to restrain the tenant's dog, they are not responsible for the injuries a motorcyclist sustained when the pooch dashed into the road and caused an accident.
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6 selected for ICLEO internships

May 18, 2015
IL Staff
Six law school students have been chosen to participate in the 2015 Carr L. Darden Conference for Legal Education Opportunity internship program.
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Court of Appeals interviews to be held June 10

May 18, 2015
IL Staff
Eight judges and lawyers vying for appointment to the Indiana Court of Appeals will be interviewed June 10 by the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission. The commission will recommend three finalists to Gov. Mike Pence, who will select the person to succeed Judge Ezra Friedlander, who is retiring at the end of August.
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Admission of recording is harmless error

May 15, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A recording of a victim’s conversation with friends should not have been admitted into evidence at trial, but the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled it was a harmless error.
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COA: Rapper’s brokered peace treaty irrelevant in murder case

May 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
A rapper convicted as an accomplice in the murder of Indianapolis disc jockey Thomas Keys failed on appeal to show his brokering of a peace treaty between rival rap groups was wrongly excluded from evidence in his trial.
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Justices acquit two involved in fistfight turned fatal

May 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis teen and another man convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for their roles in a planned beatdown that ended with a fatal gunshot will be freed after the Indiana Supreme Court reversed their convictions and ordered them acquitted.
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Brownsburg annexation opponents win on appeal

May 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
Opponents of the Town of Brownsburg's planned annexation of 4,461 acres to its north prevailed before the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday. The court ruled the trial judge erred in determining he lacked subject matter jurisdiction to determine whether the residents' remonstrance petition was valid.
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Divided Supreme Court declines to take med mal case

May 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court by a vote of 3-2 decided this week to not take the case of a man who sued for medical malpractice those who treated his now-deceased wife. The lower court and Court of Appeals found no existence of a physician-patient relationship between the on-call hospital specialist and the wife, the issue that caused two justices to dissent.
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Justices adopt ‘any insurance’ approach in subrogation dispute

May 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Deciding an issue of first impression stemming from a fire that heavily damaged the Jefferson County courthouse in 2009, the Indiana Supreme Court on Wednesday decided Indiana should follow the "any insurance" approach in deciding when property owners waive subrogation rights in certain cases. In doing so, the justices rejected the "work versus non-work" approach that the Court of Appeals has used.
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COA vacancy interviews delayed to June

May 14, 2015
IL Staff
The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission will not be interviewing the eight applicants for a Court of Appeals vacancy next week, as originally announced. The interviews will now take place sometime in June.
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Mother’s battery on teen not protected by parental privilege

May 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld a mother’s misdemeanor battery conviction for hitting her daughter nearly 20 times with a belt after previous discipline did not stop the teen from communicating with boys on social media.
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Teen’s rights not violated by search of sweatshirt

May 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County teen’s constitutional rights were not violated when a police officer responding to a report of a teen in a black hooded sweatshirt with a gun opened a similar sweatshirt next to the teen and found a gun, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Justices order hearing on whether to temporarily admit out-of-state lawyers

May 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Lake County court erred when it relied on a local rule to determine that five out-of-state attorneys should not be granted pro hac vice admission because the party seeking their admission could potentially hire capable Indiana attorneys to provide the franchise law work, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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Man not entitled to separate molestation trials, justices hold

May 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a man's argument that he was entitled to three separate trials on the allegations he molested his three granddaughters. In doing so, two justices said they believe the Supreme Court needs to give more guidance on motions to sever.
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Justices reverse CHINS finding, noting father coerced to admit adjudication

May 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because a Marion Superior Court judge's remarks and conduct in their cumulative effect breached the court's duty of impartiality and amounted to coercion of a 17-year-old girl's father to admit she was a child in need of services, the Indiana Supreme Court reversed the CHINS adjudication.
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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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