Courts

Appeals panel: Trust’s real property bequeath by later writing invalid

July 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
A panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that a mother’s specific gift of real property incorporated into trust documents was an invalid method of willing it to heirs.
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Absence of a plan foils development proposal

July 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A plan commission did not overstep its authority when it turned down a proposal to build a 300-unit apartment complex, in part, because the developer did not submit a preliminary plan for the project.
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Asset forfeiture dispute divides appeals panel

July 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
An order transferring to the federal government money seized from a criminal defendant was deemed proper by the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday, though a dissenting judge said the defendant didn’t even know the order had been issued until nearly two years later.
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7th Circuit remands denial of request for crack cocaine sentence reduction

July 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for his role as a Gary gang member who sold large quantities of crack cocaine will have a new shot at a sentence modification, as will the judge who wrote that the defendant may have been linked to several gang-related murders.
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COA tosses in absentia conviction of Army private

July 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A 20-year-old U.S. Army private had his conviction for underage drinking overturned because Hendricks Superior Court denied his motion for a continuance and held the trial while he was deployed in Afghanistan.
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Former Marion Superior court administrator takes UIndy post

July 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
The former administrator of Marion Superior Courts has taken a key position directing the growth of the University of Indianapolis.
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Venue change granted for Indy house blast suspect

July 31, 2014
 Associated Press
A judge granted a change of venue Wednesday for the trial of one defendant in a deadly Indianapolis house explosion after prosecutors dropped their objection.
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Insurance dispute divides Court of Appeals

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A split Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s finding that a landlord was not covered by the tenant’s insurance policy.
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Order to demolish home reversed by Court of Appeals

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A couple whose lakeside house was built at a different elevation than specified in the site development plan will not be able to call the wrecking crew yet.
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Requiring deaf mom to sign doesn’t violate due process

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A mother whose parental rights were terminated was not denied due process when a judge who couldn’t understand her spoken testimony required her to sign to an interpreter who then spoke her responses aloud.
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Hamilton County clerk voluntary dismissed from same-sex marriage appeal

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
One Indiana county clerk has withdrawn from the state’s fight to maintain its ban on same-sex marriage.
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Court affirms judgment for NIPSCO in easement dispute

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court was correct in awarding a northern Indiana utility company $245,858 for the cost of reconstructing power lines on a new easement after prior owners had mined sand on the prior easement, making servicing poles difficult.
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Court affirms denial of post-conviction relief

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
An Elkhart County man twice convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison on drug convictions was not improperly denied post-conviction relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Denial of summary judgment affirmed in wrongful death case

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A doctor and a South Bend healthcare facility must stand trial on a wrongful death claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday, affirming a trial court’s denial of summary judgment.
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Law firm sued over med-mal fees prevails on appeal

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis law firm was properly granted summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by a former client in a medical malpractice lawsuit, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Soldiers get $92M in debt relief under settlement

July 30, 2014
 Associated Press
Thirteen states, including Indiana, have settled an investigation into improper lending with a court agreement that is expected to provide $92 million in debt relief for 17,800 U.S. military personnel.
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Same-sex couples tell 7th Circuit Indiana’s marriage ban is discriminatory

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Plaintiffs challenging Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage filed their appellate brief with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals July 29, making their argument that the state’s marriage law violates their constitutional rights.
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Deputy’s ‘playful’ groin shot not cause for termination, COA affirms

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A longtime Bartholomew County merit deputy disciplined after he “playfully shot a fellow officer in the groin with non-lethal training ammunition” was not fired for cause, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in affirming an administrative law judge’s determination the deputy was entitled to unemployment benefits.
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Decision against travel bureau over domain name draws sharp dissent on appeal

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge recently wrote that her colleagues who formed the majority to rule against a local tourism board were “out of touch,” and she suggested a case over an Internet domain name presented a novel issue that no court in the country has addressed.
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ABA releases tool to assess cognitive impairment

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
To help attorneys who are concerned about the intellectual fitness of another lawyer or judge, the American Bar Association has recently released a cognitive assessment tool. The “Working Paper on Cognitive Impairment and Cognitive Decline” is a questionnaire designed to give attorneys guidance in determining whether a partner or friend is just having a bad month or is suffering from something more serious. It also provides recommendations for talking to a colleague who is exhibiting troublesome behavior.
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Supreme Court committee studying alternatives to bail

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Committee to Study Evidence-Based Pretrial Release was established by Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson in December 2013. The Supreme Court wants a study and evaluation of the risk-assessment tools that are available to determine when pretrial release is appropriate and under what conditions.
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State agencies claim information protected by deliberative process privilege

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
An acrimonious fight between an Indiana businessman and the Indiana Department of Revenue has not only forced the Indiana Tax Court to take the unusual step of getting involved in the discovery process but also created a case of first impression.
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Video depositions can be a more compelling tool to use at trial

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The ability to catch the nonverbal messages and vocal inflections made by witnesses and experts are the biggest benefits to videotaping depositions, attorneys say. A slouch, a gulp, a snide tone of voice can bring added meaning to the testimony that cannot be conveyed through a cold reading of the transcript.
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Disciplinary Actions - 7/30/14

July 30, 2014
IL Staff
Read who's recently resigned or been suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Police questioning gets conviction booted a second time

July 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The child molesting conviction of a Lafayette man has again been overturned by the Indiana Court of Appeals because of problems with statements he made to police.
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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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