Court opinions

Court reverses convictions from robbery due to double jeopardy concerns

April 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Three of a man’s eight convictions stemming from his robbery of acquaintances were reversed or reduced because  the convictions or elevated classes were based on the same elements of the crime, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Attorney did not breach any duty owed to Conour clients

April 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Indianapolis attorney who spent several years working in a firm with attorney William Conour satisfied his legal duty to clients of Conour based on his lack of knowledge of any specific wrongdoing by Conour related to the clients, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. Conour is currently in federal prison for stealing from client settlement funds.
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COA tosses treble damages since access was not denied

April 21, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A feuding neighbor who twice entered the property next to hers to unplug a sump pump will not have to pay treble damages because the Indiana Court of Appeals found she did not commit criminal trespass.
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Appeals court affirms judgment for Valpo frat in student fight

April 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
A fraternity fight between two Valparaiso University students who had clashed before is not grounds to hold the local or national fraternities responsible for one of the student’s injuries.
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Possession of precursors ruled lesser-included offense of greater crime

April 21, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who fled his car and left a “Nazi method” methamphetamine lab behind for police to find was able to get part of his conviction overturned because officers did not find any of the actual illegal drug.
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Disbarment order details lawyer’s profane, intimidating rants

April 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
Suspended Fort Wayne attorney R. Mark Keaton for years left profanity-laced voicemails and emails that threatened and harassed his daughter’s college roommate with whom he had developed an intimate relationship a decade ago. He was disbarred Tuesday.
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Bankruptcy judge’s swearing-in ceremony Wednesday

April 21, 2015
IL Staff
Judge Jeffrey J. Graham of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana will be formally sworn in during a public ceremony at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Birch Bayh Federal Courthouse in Indianapolis.
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Judge delays decision on NCAA concussion settlement

April 20, 2015
 Bloomberg News
A U.S. judge has declined to immediately approve the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s $75 million settlement of a lawsuit by college athletes who’ve suffered head injuries, giving a critic of the accord three weeks to file arguments opposing the revamped deal.
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Landscaper’s attorney fails to explain fee

April 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A landscaping company’s award for attorney fees has been sent back to small claims court for reconsideration after the business and the attorney failed to submit documentation supporting the fee amount.
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Judgment for Planned Parenthood stands, but not for minor’s ID provider

April 17, 2015
Dave Stafford
A woman who gave her son’s 17-year-old girlfriend another person's ID and posed as her mother to help her obtain an abortion was not properly dismissed from a lawsuit brought by the pregnant girl’s mother, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday. Summary judgment in favor of Planned Parenthood of Indiana was proper, the court held.
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Sewer company entitled to attorney fees over frivolous appeal

April 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Three people required to connect their properties to a not-for-profit sewer company – who later were held in contempt for not doing so – must pay appellate attorney fees to the sewer company because the individuals sought to re-litigate the judgments instead of challenge the contempt orders.
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7th Circuit: No plain error in not applying 'safety valve' in sentencing

April 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Whether firearms belonging to co-conspirators in a drug ring attributed to a defendant for purposes of the firearm sentence enhancement can be considered for a two-level reduction in her offense level under the so-called “safety valve” for nonviolent, first-time drug offenders is a matter of first impression for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. But the judges declined to address the issue because the woman failed to raise it at sentencing.
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Murderer’s writ for relief denied by 7th Circuit

April 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
For the fourth time, a northern Indiana man’s appeal of his death sentence for four murders has come before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. This time, the judges affirmed the denial of his writ for habeas corpus.
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COA affirms Evansville police officer’s firing for grabbing teen’s crotch

April 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A longtime Evansville police officer who was fired for rule violations after he grabbed a teen’s crotch at a school where the officer also worked as a security officer lost the appeal of his termination before the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday.
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COA: Company sought to prevent competition, not protect trade secret

April 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of a directed verdict in favor of the defendants in a lawsuit alleging they divulged confidential information and trade secrets after departing a computer systems company and began working for a competitor.
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COA agrees lawsuit may continue in Indiana under Journey’s Account Statute

April 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although a plaintiff in a lawsuit stemming from a car accident in Indiana used bad judgment when he filed the suit in federal court in Illinois, where he lives, there was no error by a Tippecanoe County court to allow the lawsuit to later proceed when filed there based on the Journey’s Account Statute, ruled the Court of Appeals.
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Theft conviction reversed based on lack of evidence

April 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man accused of stealing a rangefinder from a southern Indiana Rural King had his conviction reversed Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The judges concluded there was insufficient evidence to support Jeremy Middleton’s conviction.
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COA revises sentence for molestation of stepson

April 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found sufficient evidence as well as no errors by the trial court in affirming five molestation convictions of a man involving his stepson. But, the judges believed his nearly 100-year sentence needs revised.
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Justices order more proceedings on fees owed to law firm

April 9, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court noted that a trial court did not take into account caselaw when it denied an Indianapolis firm’s request for quantum meruit relief.
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COA: IURC improperly approved utility’s 7-year plan

April 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In the appeal of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s decision to approve rate increases requested by a northern Indiana utility group under a new statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded the commission erred in approving a seven-year plan that only gave specifics about year one.
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Known loss doctrine bars claim against insurers

April 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The insurers of a company that purchased property it knew was contaminated are not required to defend or indemnify the company regarding the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s remediation action, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday.
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New criminal code not applicable to offenses committed prior to enactment

April 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana General Assembly explicitly stated that the revised criminal code does not apply to penalties, crimes or proceedings that began before the effective date of July 1, 2014, so a man is not entitled to be sentenced under the more-favorable criminal code, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Vet: Unjust civil commitment 'takes everything' away

April 8, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Marine Corps veteran is trying to put his life back together after he was wrongly committed when a court found him gravely disabled and dangerous. His case before the Indiana Supreme Court recently reformed the requirements necessary to deprive the liberty of someone with mental illness.
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Enhancements for different offenses are permissible

April 7, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A drunken driver handed a stiff sentence for repeated offenses was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals his penalty was an improper double enhancement.
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Convicted murderer who claims innocence loses PCR appeal

April 7, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of a 1993 murder in southern Indiana was not wrongly denied post-conviction relief on his argument that his lawyer was ineffective for failing to recommend he take a plea deal, among other things.
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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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