Court opinions

COA widens class-action suit against Lincoln National

June 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
A former policyholder’s class-action lawsuit claiming Lincoln National Life Insurance breached its contract was expanded Tuesday by a Court of Appeals ruling.
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Justices reinstate med-mal suit against doctor in stillbirth

June 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court reinstated a medical malpractice case against a Richmond doctor accused of failing to meet the standard of care in examining a pregnant woman whose child subsequently was stillborn.
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Justices affirm stabbing conviction in evidence appeal

June 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Anderson man convicted of stabbing his son-in-law lost his appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday. The man claimed the trial court wrongly excluded evidence that the victim told others that he had struck the man with a two-by-four piece of lumber before the knife attack.
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Justices reject Arizona no-bail law; OK immunity in prison suicide

June 1, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday rejected an Arizona county’s attempt to reinstate a state law that denies bail to people in the country illegally who are charged with certain crimes.
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Indiana Supreme Court to review police search struck down by COA

June 1, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will review a drug-possession conviction reversed by the Court of Appeals in February because a police search lacked reasonable suspicion.
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SCOTUS: Bankrupt homeowners can't void second mortgage

June 1, 2015
 Associated Press
A unanimous Supreme Court of the United States ruled homeowners who declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy can't void a second mortgage even if the home isn't worth what they owe on the first mortgage.
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High court throws out conviction for Facebook threats

June 1, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday threw out the conviction of a Pennsylvania man prosecuted for making threats on Facebook but dodged the free-speech issues that had made the case intriguing to First Amendment advocates.
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Indiana justices to weigh Lake County small precinct law

June 1, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments Thursday over a law that requires Lake County officials to study whether to consolidate election precincts with fewer than 500 active voters.
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7th Circuit affirms solitary confinement; cautions against it

June 1, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indiana inmate's 30-day stint in solitary confinement at the Miami Correctional facility didn't violate his civil rights, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday. But the panel cautioned judges and prison officials against wide use of the practice.
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Justices rule for Muslim denied job over hijab

June 1, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Monday for a Muslim woman who did not get hired after she showed up to a job interview with clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch wearing a black headscarf.
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COA affirms attempted murder conviction, denial of insanity defense

May 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of attacking and trying to kill his mother’s boyfriend was not prejudiced when a judge denied his request to pursue an insanity defense, a Court of Appeals majority ruled. But a dissenting judge said the man had good cause and would remand for a new trial.
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Judge: Lawyers have responsibility to correct bench errors

May 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man’s appeal of his sentence for marijuana-related convictions was denied in a memorandum decision Friday, but an appellate judge wrote the case wouldn’t have been there had a prosecutor or defense lawyer spoken up when a judge erred.
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Split COA: 1992 Michigan sex offender required to register in Indiana

May 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who committed a sex crime in Michigan in 1992 and moved to Indiana in 2012 must put his name in the Indiana Sex Offender Registry created two years after his initial offense, a divided Court of Appeals panel ruled.
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Court rejects Meyers’ claims his trial counsel was ineffective

May 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
John R. Myers II, the man convicted of killing Indiana University student Jill Behrman in 2000, was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his father-son trial counsel team was ineffective during his murder trial.
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Parties’ oral modification of land agreement unenforceable

May 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the decision by a trial court finding an oral agreement between a buyer and seller that modified a written land contract had to be in writing based on the Statute of Frauds and that the buyer defaulted on the terms of the agreement.
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No abuse in giving jury instruction, but COA still reverses 1 conviction

May 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it gave a jury instruction during an invasion of privacy trial, the Court of Appeals ruled, but the appeals court sua sponte did reverse one of two convictions because of double jeopardy.
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COA affirms admission of gun and photographs into evidence

May 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted as evidence a handgun and photographs of the gun found in a car being impounded after police discovered the driver did not own the car and believed it was unsafe to operate, the Court of Appeals held.
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Judge concerned about doctor’s contradictory affidavit

May 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge found it troubling that a member of a medical review panel that unanimously found defendants breached their duty of care to a patient could later issue an affidavit in which he changed his mind relating to a doctor accused of medical malpractice.
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Police did not induce woman to commit prostitution, COA rules

May 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who was arrested for prostitution after she agreed to have sex in exchange for money with an undercover detective outside of a strip club was not entrapped by the detective, the Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Probationer’s admission to smoking marijuana supports revocation

May 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man on probation admitted to participating in unlawful conduct during his probationary period, the trial court correctly revoked his probation, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA upholds man’s belated appeal, molestation conviction

May 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Citing the defendant’s limited understanding of English and his timely request for appellate counsel, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the decision by the trial court to grant a man’s belated notice of appeal regarding a child molesting conviction.
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Judge believes lack of victim notification of plea supports vacating agreement

May 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Court of Appeals judge dissented from his colleagues on Tuesday when he voted to support a trial court's decision to throw out a plea agreement on the day of sentencing. The trial court discovered the victim in the case had not been notified of the plea agreement.
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Court declines to rule on constitutionality of statute as it relates to auditors

May 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because the Marion County auditor does not have statutory or common law standing to appeal a property tax assessment board of appeals’ decision under Indiana Code 6-1.1-15-12 to the Indiana Tax Court, its judge, Martha Wentworth, held that the constitutional challenge raised regarding the statute will have to be decided another day.
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Drug conviction reversed because state didn’t prove substance was heroin

May 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because police did not prove the product of a controlled drug buy was heroin, the Court of Appeals reversed a man's conviction of Class A felony dealing in a narcotic within 1,000 feet of a school.
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COA: No evidence employee violated professional conduct rule

May 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Tuesday reversed the denial of a man's application for unemployment benefits, finding the record doesn't support that he was fired for just cause for violating his employer's professional conduct rules. The man kept a mentally disabled client in a hot car, citing his safety and the safety of other riders.
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  1. A sad end to a prolific gadfly. Indiana has suffered a great loss in the journalistic realm.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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