Court opinions

Prosecutor misconduct leads to reversal

November 23, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a defendant's conviction of intimidation because several acts of misconduct constituted fundamental error. The appellate court also ruled the man could be retried on the charge.
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Worker didn't prove discrimination, retaliationRestricted Content

November 20, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court ruling that a company's elimination of a worker's position, along with not rehiring her after restructuring, didn't constitute retaliation or a hostile work environment.
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7th Circuit offers alternatives to destroying gunsRestricted Content

November 19, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a District judge's order that a defendant's guns be destroyed instead of returned to him, ruling that there were other alternatives than what the District Court considered.
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Reimbursement to estate should be proportional

November 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled today that a proportional allocation of proceeds from a pre-trial settlement would be best way to reimburse an estate for funeral and burial expenses.
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Judges disagree as how to review sentence

November 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges affirmed today that a defendant's sentence following a guilty plea wasn't inappropriate, but the judges didn't agree as to how to reach that conclusion.
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COA splits, reverses probation revocation

November 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was split today in its decision to reverse the revocation of a defendant's probation. The judges didn't agree that the probation revocation hearing comported with due process.
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COA: Insurance funds aren't a money judgment

November 16, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided today that a summary judgment granting insurance policies isn't equivalent to a money judgment that would allow for 8 percent post-judgment interest.
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7th Circuit rules en banc on mezuzah caseRestricted Content

November 13, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that condominium owners prevented from hanging religious objects on their home can in some cases sue their association under the Fair Housing Act for alleged religious and racial discrimination, after they've bought the residence and moved in.
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Good-faith exception not applicable

November 13, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana trial court erred when it denied a defendant's motion to suppress evidence because the good-faith exception doesn't apply in this case, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today.
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COA: Obama, McCain eligible to be president

November 12, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
More than a year after the 2008 presidential election, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama were eligible to run for the office.
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Officer didn't conduct investigatory stop

November 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court didn't abuse its discretion in admitting evidence that a juvenile possessed marijuana because the seizure of the drug didn't violate the teen's constitutional rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Court clarifies responses under T.R. 56(I)

November 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals used a decision today to clarify that when a nonmoving party has received an enlargement of time pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 56(I), any response must be made within the additional time period granted by the trial court.
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Officer safety justified opening ajar car door

November 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The opening of an ajar car door by a police officer during a foot chase with a suspected robber didn't violate the man's federal or state constitutional rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today.
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Trial court didn't err in denying mistrial

November 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court didn't abuse its discretion in denying a mistrial after learning a juror asked the state's firearms expert a question outside the courtroom during a recess in the trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA: Man didn't personally waive right to jury

November 6, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Because the trial court erred in finding a defendant waived his right to have a jury hear the enhancement aspects of his drunk-driving case, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed his elevated conviction.
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Agency erred in taxing certain money

November 6, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Department of State Revenue erred when it concluded certain money collected from customers of a small, rural telecommunications company were subject to Indiana's utility receipts tax, the Indiana Tax Court ruled Thursday.
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7th Circuit: conviction can't enhance sentenceRestricted Content

November 4, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant's conviction of possession of a firearm by a felon stands because police had reasonable suspicion to stop the car he was riding in, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded today.
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State didn't prove man used car to keep drug

November 4, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals overturned a conviction of maintaining a common nuisance because the state failed to prove the defendant used his car to keep marijuana.
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Improper venue doesn't require acquittal

November 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Even though the Hamilton Superior Court erred in concluding it was the proper venue for a felony child solicitation charge, the error doesn't warrant an acquittal of the conviction, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today. The case was remanded for retrial in the proper venue of Madison County.
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YouTube video prejudiced juryRestricted Content

October 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The use of a YouTube video during closing arguments as a demonstrative aid by the state warrants a reversal of a robbery conviction because it may have prejudiced the jury, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Insurance presents first-impression issue

October 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals determined today for the first time that post-retirement health insurance premiums paid by a former employer aren't a marital asset subject to a division.
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COA: Casinos can't ban card counters

October 30, 2009
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana casino cannot stop someone from playing regulated blackjack simply because he counts cards, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Insurer not allowed to substitute party name

October 29, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An insurance company isn't allowed to substitute another party's name in a suit filed by a driver for her underinsured motorist benefits because there's no authority for substitution of a non-party before a jury in a contract case, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided today. Doing so would create a "legal fiction" before the jury.
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No error in sanctions against state

October 28, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court didn't clearly err when it dismissed drunk driving charges against a defendant as sanctions for the state's discovery violations, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today.
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COA: Insurers have no duty to defend Cinergy

October 28, 2009
Jennifer NelsonMore
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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