Court opinions

Judges rule on pre-existing condition case

May 21, 2010
Highlighting the highly controversial health care debate that’s played out during the past year, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled on a pretty straightforward case about a pre-existing condition clause that denied a man’s claim for long-term disability benefits.
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COA upholds 125-year child-molesting sentence

May 19, 2010
Michael Hoskins
In upholding multiple child-molesting convictions and a 125-year sentence, the Indiana Court of Appeals has rejected a woman’s argument about why her penalty should be reduced based in part on the very young ages of the victims.
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Court: Police shouldn't have made traffic stop

May 19, 2010
Michael Hoskins
An appellate decision today in a drunk-driving traffic stop case out of Fort Wayne illustrates how a lack of knowledge about a particular road’s layout can derail the prosecution of someone who may have been intoxicated behind the wheel.
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7th Circuit rules against Indianapolis attorney

May 18, 2010
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis attorney has lost a federal appeal that involves his being forced to resign as manager of the title insurance division after writing a memo that criticized his boss.
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Security concerns should be part of record

May 17, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court wants state trial judges to offer written guidance if and when courthouse or jury security concerns come up during trial.
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Court rules on sex offender status decisions

May 17, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Tackling the issue of who determines whether a convicted sex offender is considered a “sexually violent predator,” the Indiana Court of Appeals today issued the latest ruling in a line of cases about the state’s sex offender registry and how convicts’ names are removed.
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Indiana justices answer certified question from federal court

May 14, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court says that a person or business that buys and later sells a wrecked vehicle must apply for a salvage title as required by state law, even if that vehicle’s been sold by the time that certificate is received.
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COA affirms resisting police conviction

May 13, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was hesitant to rely on an Indiana Supreme Court case’s definition of “forcibly resist” because that language doesn’t appear to adequately describe the meaning of the phrase as it has been recently applied.
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7th Circuit overrules itself in satellite TV case

May 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals overruled one of its own decisions from 20 years ago, finding that judges have discretion in whether penalties are imposed on those who steal encrypted television satellite signals or help others take them without paying for the service
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Mom may be liable for daughter's accident

May 12, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals judges agreed that a mother may possibly be liable for her daughter’s accident in which she struck a pedestrian with her car after drinking and talking on her cell phone at the time of the accident. The judges didn’t completely agree as to why the mother may be liable.
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7th Circuit to rehear Second Amendment caseRestricted Content

May 12, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Advocates of domestic-violence victims and gun owners have their sights set on an upcoming oral argument at the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. The case of interest raises the issue of whether someone who has been convicted of a domestic-violence misdemeanor should be able to have a gun for hunting purposes.
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No opinions for 3rd day in a row

May 11, 2010
The Indiana Court of Appeals has not had any published or unpublished opinions posted online since May 6.
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Circuit court upholds Section 8 precedent

May 10, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals declined today to overturn precedent on the due process rights of someone rejected from specific Section 8 housing.
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Justices rule on legal malpractice procedural issue

May 7, 2010
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana Supreme Court decision allows an Indianapolis attorney and a local law firm to raise a statute of limitations on legal malpractice claims against them.
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7th Circuit affirms judgment in mining case

May 6, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In a case involving a “richly ambiguous” 1903 deed and a mining company’s claims to “all the coals,” the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a District Court’s judgment for defendant landowners.
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Sex offender may file to take name off registry

May 6, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals determined a convicted sex offender may petition to remove his name from the registry, but he filed his petition in the wrong court.
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Opinion rules on 2 issues of first impression

May 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was faced with two issues of first impression in one opinion – the meaning of Indiana Code Section 27-9-3-34(d) and whether a party is entitled to a jury trial for disputes concerning claims in liquidation proceedings.
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Majority upholds violent sexual predator finding

May 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals panel disagreed as to whether the failure of a defendant’s counsel to press for the statutory requirement for a hearing on a sexually violent predator finding was a procedural default that waived the appellate court’s consideration of the issue.
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Justices approve 'double enhancement'

May 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the use of the same prior conviction to both elevate a defendant’s charge to a felony and find him a habitual substance offender because of explicit legislative direction on the enhancements.
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Justices differ on reasonableness of GAL fees

May 3, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
If two parties in a domestic relations dispute sign a written contract to retain the services of a guardian ad litem, then the trial court must enforce the terms of the agreement unless it is contrary to public policy, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Friday.
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7th Circuit grants writ of habeas corpus

May 3, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a habeas corpus petition, finding the Indiana Court of Appeals unreasonably applied federal law when it determined prior statements of identification by witnesses the government suppressed didn’t create a reasonable probability of a different result at trial.
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Judges affirm juvenile placement in DOC

April 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was sympathetic to a teen’s request to not be placed in the Department of Correction, but it noted that all other remedies for his rehabilitation had been exhausted in his home county.
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Justices rule on sentence modificationRestricted Content

April 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A conviction of a Class D felony that is later reduced to a Class A misdemeanor doesn’t prevent a trial court from modifying a sentence below the statutory minimum, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today in a matter of first impression.
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COA: Judge should have recused himself

April 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a defendant that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel because his attorney should have filed a motion for change of judge. The sentencing judge had worked as a prosecutor in the early stages of the defendant’s case 10 years earlier.
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Judges reverse, reinstate sex-offender conviction

April 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s conviction of failing to register as a sex offender based on a lack of evidence showing the man had a connection to Indiana 90 days after his last registration. The appellate court did reinstate a vacated conviction for failing to notify law enforcement of his move within 72 hours.
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  1. If real money was spent on this study, what a shame. And if some air-head professor tries to use this to advance a career, pity the poor student. I am approaching a time that i (and others around me) should be vigilant. I don't think I'm anywhere near there yet, but seeing the subject I was looking forward to something I might use to look for some benchmarks. When finally finding my way to the hidden questionnaire all I could say to myself was...what a joke. Those are open and obvious signs of any impaired lawyer (or non-lawyer, for that matter), And if one needs a checklist to discern those tell-tale signs of impairment at any age, one shouldn't be practicing law. Another reason I don't regret dropping my ABA membership some number of years ago.

  2. The case should have been spiked. Give the kid a break. He can serve and maybe die for Uncle Sam and can't have a drink? Wow. And they won't even let him defend himself. What a gross lack of prosecutorial oversight and judgment. WOW

  3. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  4. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  5. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

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