Court opinions

COA splits on reversing convictions for Batson violation

June 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a defendant’s convictions, including attempted battery with a deadly weapon, finding the state’s explanations for striking the only African-American from the jury were pretextual and purposeful discrimination.
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Justices uphold admitting juvenile's confession

June 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has found that a juvenile court didn’t err in admitting a teen’s confession, finding the boy was given the opportunity for meaningful consultation with his mother and that he knowingly waived his rights. The justices did also emphasize that the waiver used should be altered to make it more clear.
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Annual Supreme Court review shows more agreement, shifts in alignment

June 22, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Welcoming a new justice was undeniably the most notable moment for the Indiana Supreme Court in 2010. That lineup change captured the headlines, but it’s not the only item of interest for Indiana court-watchers.
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Justices rule vehicular flight from police is 'violent' felony

June 22, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court affirmed 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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High court questions whether transactions are leases or security interest sales

June 21, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Examining whether a transaction between two businesses is a lease or a sale subject to security interest, the Indiana Supreme Court has adopted an approach used in Colorado. The court held that various factors, such as the economy, must be considered in each situation to decide that question.
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Court won't recognize non-fiduciary liability

June 21, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Indiana doesn’t allow people to sue when they’ve had corporate opportunities taken away by business partners who’ve gone off and formed new partnerships with others, and the state Court of Appeals declined to decide whether non-fiduciaries can be held liable for usurping corporate opportunity.
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Justices rule on lawyer liablity coverage case

June 21, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Questions exist as to whether the professional liability coverage carrier for a disbarred attorney misled two former clients about helping them collect on legal malpractice claims.
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Supreme Court aligns with trial court in dog-attack case

June 21, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed a trial court judge’s finding that the city of Evansville and its animal control division are not liable in a dog attack that seriously injured a boy.
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SCOTUS rules on Wal-Mart class-certification case

June 20, 2011
Michael Hoskins
With a ruling from the nation’s highest court, an Indianapolis federal judge and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals learned they were correct in how they decided a sex-bias suit involving Rolls Royce.
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Court hears appeal over state's objections

June 17, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
A man who appealed his burglary conviction over the state’s objection did not fully understand the terms of his plea agreement, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday.
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COA vacates conviction on double jeopardy grounds

June 17, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a man who helped participate in a robbery that left the victim blind must be cleared of a criminal confinement conviction because the same evidence may have been used to convict him on another charge.
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Judge: video games don't infringe on Dillinger trademark

June 17, 2011
Cory Schouten
A federal judge has shot down a lawsuit brought by heirs of notorious bank robber John Dillinger over the depiction of the Dillinger name in video games based on the classic movie "The Godfather."
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Ex-prosecutor gets 4-month suspension

June 16, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Former Delaware County Prosecutor Mark McKinney has been suspended for 120 days, the Indiana Supreme Court announced Thursday. The suspension begins July 28, with automatic reinstatement upon its conclusion, subject to the conditions of Admission and Discipline Rule 23(4)(c).
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Federal judge decertifies class in hail-damage suit

June 15, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
On order from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, an Indiana judge has decertified the class in a lawsuit against State Farm following a 2006 hail storm in central Indiana.
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Justices address incompetent defendants in 2 cases

June 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court handed down two opinions Tuesday in which the defendants, who were found to be incompetent at some point, argued that pending charges violated their rights to due process on fundamental-fairness grounds.
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Appellate court upholds motion to suppress after traffic stop

June 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a trial judge that a police officer didn’t have reasonable suspicion to stop a driver believed to be intoxicated.
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COA reverses worker's comp board on prescription drug denial

June 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a finding by the state Worker’s Compensation Board that a woman’s employer isn’t responsible for providing a specific prescription drug to her, noting that the board only focused on one possible reason why the drug is prescribed.
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Judges affirm motion to suppress after illegal police entry

June 10, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge wrote a separate opinion in an unlawful arrest case, emphasizing that the facts before the court differ from those before the Indiana Supreme Court justices in Barnes v. State.
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COA reverses judgment for apartment manager in negligence case

June 10, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In ruling on a slip-and-fall case involving injury occurring in an apartment complex parking lot during the winter, the Indiana Court of Appeals noted that there are not any Indiana cases with an identical fact pattern, so they looked to a similar Missouri case for guidance.
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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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COA rules on public utility issues

June 9, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part the decision by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission finding United States Steel Corp. acted as a public utility when it delivered electricity and natural gas to another steel producer in northwestern Indiana.
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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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SCOTUS rules on Indiana 'crime of violence' case

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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Man’s Sixth Amendment right not violated

June 8, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The failure of a judge to inquire into a defendant’s written complaint about his public defender didn’t violate the defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel, the Indiana Supreme Court held Wednesday. However, the justices explained if a trial judge finds him or herself in a situation similar to the one presented, that judge should at least receive assurances from the public defender’s office that the complaint has been adequately addressed.
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Judges rule on legal malpractice action

June 8, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a man has standing to pursue his legal malpractice action, although issues of material fact preclude him from summary judgment as to the attorney’s liability for malpractice.
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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. 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)

  4. "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.

  5. 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.

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