7th Circuit Court of Appeals

SCOTUS: Vehicular flight from police is 'violent' felony

June 9, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court has upheld an Indianapolis federal judge's ruling, finding that someone who flees from police in a vehicle is committing a “crime of violence” that justifies a longer sentence.
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7th Circuit affirms ruling against former jail nurses

June 9, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a discrimination and hostile work environment case, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded for the first time that displays of confederate flags in the workplace may support a hostile work environment claim. However, the judges agreed with the District Court that several African-American nurses formerly employed by a Marion County jail could not support their legal claims.
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Local counsel rule found unconstitutional

June 8, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the Northern District of Indiana was essentially creating a built-in appeal issue on ineffective assistance of counsel, and it called out a senior judge for violating a man’s Sixth Amendment right to choose his own lawyer.
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7th Circuit affirms dismissal of hostile work environment claim

June 3, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that a woman failed to prove that she was subject to a hostile work environment at Ball State University.
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7th Circuit: Indiana judge violated man's Sixth Amendment right to counsel

May 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An appellate court has ruled that a senior judge in the Northern District of Indiana violated a man’s Sixth Amendment rights by not allowing him to proceed to trial with the lawyer of his choosing.
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DOC drops kosher meal appeal

May 16, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has granted the Indiana Department of Correction and other appellants’ motion to dismiss their appeal of a case in which a federal judge found the DOC violated prisoners’ rights by denying kosher meals.
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7th Circuit rules in favor of bank in lien dispute

May 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals had to decide whether the relevant property in a dispute between a bank and the Internal Revenue Service was the real estate the bank owned or if it was the rentals of that property. Whether the IRS’ tax lien could take priority over the bank’s lien hinged on the answer.
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Enduring legal process doesn't change parents' desire for justice

May 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins

For 11 years, Dale and Connie Sutton’s lives as parents have been about ensuring what they see as justice for their murdered daughter.

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State death penalty cases averaged 17 yearsRestricted Content

May 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When the moment of death finally arrives, it ends what may be described as a long legal journey to justice within the capital punishment system.
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Mental aspect of capital cases can be challenging

May 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When it comes to tallying the total price of capital punishment, the cost of those cases for the legal community is more than just expansive legalese and court procedures that span a decade or two.
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7th Circuit addresses sex offender registration law

May 3, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has joined a majority of other circuits nationwide in finding that the federal sex offender registration law is not a retroactive punishment on those who were convicted prior to 2006 and traveled after the law was enacted.
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Judges split on District Court’s use of Colorado River abstention doctrine

May 3, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that a homeowners’ citizen suit under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act against a solid waste dump should be allowed despite two similar suits pending in state court filed by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. However, the court split when determining whether the District Court erred by dismissing the homeowners’ suit based on the Colorado River abstention doctrine.
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SCOTUS denies cert, upholding Indiana's judicial canons

May 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
It’s official: Indiana’s judicial canons are constitutional and the rules don’t infringe upon a judge or candidate’s free speech rights.
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SCOTUS denies Indiana judicial canons case

May 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States has refused to take a case asking whether Indiana’s judicial canons constitutionally infringe on the free speech rights of those on or vying for seats on the bench.
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7th Circuit rejects ineffective trial assistance claim

April 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the denial of a defendant’s motion to vacate his guilty plea, claiming ineffective assistance of trial counsel. The judges found the record foreclosed any claim that the man’s attorney was constitutionally ineffective or that the man didn’t otherwise knowingly and voluntarily plead guilty.
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SCOTUS denies case between Indiana agencies on 11th Amendment

April 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States won’t take an Indiana case which delved into whether the 11th Amendment prohibits an independent state agency from suing a traditional state agency in federal court.
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Judges uphold identity thief's sentence

April 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a decision Friday, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals repeated its holding that a District judge can satisfy the review standards under 18 U.S.C. Section 3553(a) without having to list every possible sentencing factor or detail of every argument raised for the federal appellate court to find that the sentence was proper.
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Lawsuit to take bar exam goes to 7th Circuit

April 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The man who believes he should be able to sit for the bar exam even though he didn’t go to law school has asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider the dismissal of his lawsuit.
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NCAA championship ticket distribution not a lottery

April 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s ticket-distribution plan for championship games doesn’t constitute a “lottery” under Indiana law, the Indiana Supreme Court decided Thursday. The issue was before the justices as certified questions from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Government shutdown would have little impact on federal legal system

April 8, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Even if the U.S. Congress fails to pass a short-term budget measure and prevent a government shutdown before midnight Friday, the various arms of the Indiana federal legal community will remain operating mostly as usual – at least for the time being.
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Court tackles 'sexual activity' meaning in statute

April 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals addressed Thursday the term “sexual activity” – an issue in which there is scant law – and ordered a man be acquitted. The man was convicted under federal statute for attempting to entice a girl he believed to be less than 18 years old to engage in any sexual activity while they chatted online.
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Coroner's office loses 2nd reverse-discrimination appeal

April 5, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a reverse-discrimination case against Marion County should be able to proceed in federal court in Indianapolis because evidence shows the former county coroner’s decision to terminate a forensic pathology company’s contract may have been based on race.
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Circuit Court orders new trial on Rule 404(b) grounds

April 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has found an Indiana federal court should not have allowed evidence of a defendant’s prior drug convictions under Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b). As a result of the violation, the judges reversed the man’s drug conviction and ordered a new trial.
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7th Circuit rules on Rolls-Royce job-bias case

March 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A day after the nation’s highest court heard arguments on the largest female gender-discrimination case in history, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has delved into that same territory and upheld a federal judge’s decision denying class certification in a sex discrimination suit in which a group of female Rolls-Royce employees accused the manufacturer of paying women less than men for the same or similar work.
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Judges: defendant should be able to confront witness

March 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered the District Court to grant a convicted murderer’s habeas petition, finding the admission of out-of-court statements at his trial violated the man’s Sixth Amendment right of confrontation.
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  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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