Courts

High court ruling opens Medicaid escape hatch for states

June 28, 2012
J.K. Wall
While upholding President Barack Obama’s health care law, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday also opened an escape hatch for states that do not want to take on the project of expanding their Medicaid programs.
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Unreliable evidence weighing reduces Elkhart meth dealing conviction

June 28, 2012
Dave Stafford
Elkhart County prosecutors and state witnesses used dubious methods to weigh methamphetamine during a trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday. The court reversed a man’s Class A felony conviction and ordered the court to resentence him on a lesser charge.
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U.S. justices rule on challenges to health care law

June 28, 2012
IL Staff
The U.S. Supreme Court released its highly anticipated decision on the challenges brought by states and other organizations to the Affordable Care Act.
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7th Circuit dismisses case for mootness

June 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The appeal of an eviction initiated by the Housing Authority of South Bend was dismissed by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals because the woman and her son have already been evicted.
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Appellate courts may consider credit time status

June 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana appellate courts can take into account the potential consequences of an offender’s status as a credit restricted felon when reviewing a sentence, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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NRC may dictate placement of pier

June 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A family that owns property on Bass Lake failed to show that the Natural Resources Commission’s decision that the family must move its pier to accommodate the placement of a group pier was arbitrary and capricious, or unsupported by evidence, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Court upholds former DCS worker’s child molesting convictions

June 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the 24-year sentence imposed on a former Hamilton County Department of Child Services’ case manager found guilty of molesting his cousin’s son.
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LaPorte County prosecutor suspended by Supreme Court

June 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
LaPorte County Prosecutor Bob “Z” Szilagyi has been suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court for forging the names of his ex-wife and secretary on a quitclaim deed on the former couple’s marital home.
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Judges reverse football player’s operating while intoxicated conviction

June 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed with the state’s argument that prosecutorial discretion extends to the determination of which conviction should be vacated after a finding of double jeopardy.
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Judges disagree on applicable child support guideline

June 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Against the advice of their attorneys, a divorcing couple entered into a settlement agreement that included a “true up” provision for calculating child support each year. That provision is now at issue before the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA: exhaust administrative remedies before filing appeal

June 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Because a manufacturer didn’t exhaust its administrative remedies regarding a challenge to a search of its Indianapolis facility by the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed the manufacturer’s appeal.
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Judges find no error in division of marital assets

June 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the equal division of marital assets of a divorcing LaPorte County couple but found the trial court erred in its calculation of how much the ex-husband owes in child support.
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Language of easement allows parking

June 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that the language of an easement dating back to the 1800s allows for a family to park its cars on that easement.
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Indiana justices accept 4 cases

June 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court took four cases last week, including two in which they released opinions the same day they granted transfer.
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Judge orders Durham, Cochran jailed until sentencing

June 26, 2012
Cory Schouten
Convicted Ponzi schemers Tim Durham and James Cochran will be held in a federal prison until sentencing under an order issued Monday afternoon by U.S. District Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson.
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Indiana justices outline ‘improvement to real property’

June 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
For the first time, the Indiana Supreme Court addressed what constitutes an “improvement to real property” as mentioned in the construction statute of repose. In doing so, the justices reversed the trial court’s grant of a contractor’s motion for summary judgment in a wrongful death claim.
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Appeals court affirms breach ruling in truck dispute

June 25, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a Floyd Superior breach of contract ruling for a defendant who made a contract with a purchaser who defaulted after assuming payments on a Freightliner truck.
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SCOTUS rules on immigration case, life sentences for juveniles

June 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The U.S. Supreme Court Monday affirmed in part and reversed in part Arizona’s controversial immigration law. The justices also found that a life sentence without possibility of parole for juveniles violates the Eighth Amendment.
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Judge upholds sex offender ban from Facebook

June 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana’s law banning certain registered sex offenders from using social networking sites that allow minors is not unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled Friday.
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COA: Prosecutor had ability to provide use immunity

June 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals relied on state Supreme Court precedent to find a Shelby County prosecutor could compel parents to testify by providing use immunity. The parents argued the prosecutor couldn’t grant use immunity because there were no grand jury proceedings and they hadn’t been charged with a crime.
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Judges affirm teen’s sentence for robbery, conspiracy

June 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Elkhart teenager convicted in adult court for her role in several armed robberies of gas stations lost her appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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CNO shareholder loses appeal

June 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County court didn’t err when it granted insurance holding company CNO board of directors members’ motion to dismiss a shareholder’s lawsuit for failure to make pre-suit demand, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded.
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Court split on man’s forgery conviction

June 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided over whether a man who used another person’s Social Security number and a false identification should have been convicted of forgery under a 2005 amendment to the law.
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Judges order dispute be arbitrated

June 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A complaint filed by a client against financial services companies and a former employee must be arbitrated per an agreement the client signed when opening an IRA account, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded. The court split over whether one of the companies could compel arbitration.
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Supreme Court affirms death sentence in 2001 rape, murder

June 22, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man whose death sentence and murder and rape convictions previously were reversed on appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court remains condemned after the justices on Thursday affirmed a trial court’s denial of post-conviction relief.
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  1. 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)

  2. "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.

  3. 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.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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