7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Presence of alternate juror in deliberation room not reversible error

April 4, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man’s conviction of methamphetamine and firearms crimes in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana was not prejudiced by the presence of an alternate juror in the deliberation room, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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7th Circuit affirms defense verdict in motorcycle crash

April 4, 2013
Dave Stafford
A woman who lost her legs after an Indianapolis motorcycle crash isn’t entitled to a new trial even though hearsay evidence was improperly admitted, including her statements that the crash was her fault.
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7th Circuit: no liability insurance coverage for associate’s error

April 2, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a Northern District judge’s conclusion that a Dyer law firm’s professional liability insurer did not have to cover a mistake by an associate in a client’s failed business deal because the firm didn’t timely notify its insurer of a potential malpractice claim.
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Judge allows Corcoran to appeal denial of habeas corpus

April 1, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Joseph Corcoran, who has been sentenced to death for killing four men in 1997, will be allowed to appeal the denial of his petition for habeas corpus to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Man may not have drug sentence reduced after pleading guilty

March 29, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a defendant’s request to reduce his sentence after he pleaded guilty to distributing crack cocaine. The judges also pointed out concerns with the use of a form order in his case.
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7th Circuit rules against homeowners on quiet title action

March 29, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Hamilton County couple who went into default on their home mortgage loan had the dismissal of their action to quiet title and claims of negligence and unconscionability upheld Friday by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Appeals court tackles sex offender use of social media

March 27, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Two months after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the state’s law prohibiting sex offenders from using certain social media sites, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that Indiana Code 35-42-4-12 violates an Elkhart County man’s First Amendment rights.
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Durham, other guarantors must post collateral on bond

March 19, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that Tim Durham and two other men who promised to indemnify and post collateral on a surety bond issued by Frontier Insurance Co. must post collateral on that bond.
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Judges deny prisoner’s request to appeal without paying fees

March 13, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that he and other prisoners do not need to pay appellate filing and docketing fees, and so a District Court’s certification of appeal is irrelevant.
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7th Circuit again reverses drug sentence for minor role reduction

March 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of a federal charge that he transported drug money will be sentenced a third time after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in a nonprecedential opinion that a resentencing the court ordered in 2010 did not sufficiently consider his minor role compared with conspirators.
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Judges uphold $600k sanction for contempt

March 1, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
After initially vacating a District judge’s $600,000 sanction against SonCo Holdings for contempt of court and remanding it to the lower court for more proceedings, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the sanction Friday. 
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7th Circuit affirms kidnapping and extortion convictions, sentence

March 1, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding no error in the admittance of three photo identifications of a defendant following charges of kidnapping and extortion, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Lamar Sanders’ convictions and 25-year sentence Thursday.
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5 sitting jurists to judge moot court competition Friday

March 1, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of distinguished judges, including one from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, will be on hand Friday evening to hear final arguments in a case involving judicial recusal and eminent domain as part of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law Sherman Minton Moot Court Competition.
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Bankruptcy ruling locks out insiders

February 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
A recent bankruptcy appeal tossing an Indianapolis shopping center’s reorganization plan further establishes that the control of equity in Chapter 11 cases will be subject to competitive bidding and that insiders might be out of luck.
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Circuit Court rules utility contract falls in state jurisdiction

February 22, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A dispute between a power generator and an electricity wholesaler should be heard in the state court, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled after finding the central issues did not arise under federal law.
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High-priced Chicago firm handling Durham’s appeal pro bono

February 21, 2013
Scott Olson
Just because Tim Durham isn’t paying a lawyer to handle the appeal of his 50-year federal prison sentence doesn’t mean he’s getting shortchanged.
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7th Circuit rejects hospital's claims for $20M more in federal aid

February 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Columbus Regional Hospital, which was flooded following heavy rains in southern Indiana in 2008, is not entitled to an additional $20 million in disaster relief funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in addition to the $70 million it already received, the 7th Circuit concluded Wednesday.
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7th Circuit Bar seeks Indiana attorneys to honor

February 18, 2013
IL Staff
Each year, the 7th Circuit Bar Association honors members of the legal profession for their pro bono and public service work who are from the host state of the association’s annual meeting. Indiana is hosting the meeting May 5-7 in Indianapolis.
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7th Circuit orders proposed plan of reorganization open to competitive bidding

February 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a Southern District Bankruptcy judge Thursday, finding the judge incorrectly ruled that competition was unnecessary in a plan of reorganization involving a shopping center.
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7th Circuit revises Pattern Criminal Jury Instructions

February 13, 2013
IL Staff
In light of the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Smith v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 714 (2013), the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals’ Pattern Jury Instruction Committee has revised the withdrawal instructions.
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Car’s color alone doesn’t support traffic stop

February 13, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and federal courts, the judges were asked to consider whether a discrepancy between the observed color of a car and the color listed on its registration alone gives rise to reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
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7th Circuit affirms District Court in long-running nursing home litigation

February 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
More than a decade’s worth of litigation was tied up in a 21-page opinion from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, which affirmed decisions in favor of a landowner against the owners of a nursing home lessee.
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Judges uphold man’s 151-month sentence

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals believed a defendant was entitled to resentencing because the District judge could only view him through “career-offender tinted glasses” even though the career offender distinction did not ultimately apply to him.
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District judge incorrectly dismissed prisoner’s suit for length and unintelligibility

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered U.S. Judge William T. Lawrence to take another look at a federal prisoner’s Bivens lawsuit against prison staff and other unnamed defendants, finding that the lawsuit is actually written clearly and not as long as the judge believed when dismissing it.
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Defendant entitled to resentencing under Fair Sentencing Act

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a northern Indiana man’s convictions of distributing crack cocaine and conspiracy to distribute the drug, but found that he is entitled to resentencing under the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010.
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  3. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

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