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Justices grant 2 transfers

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The Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to consider cases that involve a trial court's handling of a mentally ill murder defendant, and whether the First Amendment protects a volunteer firefighter's e-mails about the township department's financial situation.

Justices granted transfer in two cases during its weekly conference on April 1, when it considered a total of 17 cases.

Gregory L. Galloway v. State of Indiana, No. 33A02-0906-CR-280, which involves a murder case out of Henry Circuit Court where the defendant claimed he should have been acquitted because of mental insanity. The Court of Appeals in January affirmed the lower court's finding that he was guilty but mentally ill for the 2007 murder of his grandmother. The appellate court found that Thompson v. State, 804 N.E. 2d 1146 (Ind. 2004), compelled it to leave the judgment in place, despite the appellate judges' sympathy for Galloway's circumstances.

Bradley J. Love v. Robert Rehfus, individually and in his capacity as fire chief of the Sugar Creek Township Fire Department, and Sugar Creek Township, No. 30A01-0905-CV-250, which involves volunteer and part-time firefighter Bradley Love's firing about an e-mail he sent out about the department's financial situation. He won his first round of appeals of the trial court's summary judgment granting in favor of fire chief Robert Rehfus and Sugar Creek Township. The trial court ruled as a matter of law that Love didn't engage in protected First Amendment activity when sending the e-mail. Using precedent from a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1968 and another by the Indiana Court of Appeals in 2006, the appellate court concluded the trial court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The court found that caselaw says if no damage is proven, then the statements may be protected even if they are false.

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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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