Courts

Waterfill: State court vs. federal court: Which venue is best?

May 20, 2015
What are the various considerations when determining between state and federal court?
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Disciplinary Actions - 5/20/15

May 20, 2015
IL Staff
Read who has recently resigned from the Indiana bar.
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Indiana judge weighs fate of BMV overcharges case

May 19, 2015
 Associated Press
A judge is weighing the fate of a lawsuit targeting the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles after he heard arguments Monday in the case alleging that the BMV overcharged motorists by tens of millions of dollars for fees and services.
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Indianapolis bar owners challenge city’s smoking ban

May 19, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Court of Appeals has heard arguments from the owners of two Indianapolis bars who want to overturn the city's 2012 ban on smoking.
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Former Lake County clerk given 4-year suspension

May 19, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The former clerk of Lake County who used federal funds to pay himself bonuses has been suspended from the practice of law after the Indiana Supreme Court found he had betrayed the public’s trust and violated both his oath of office and of attorneys.
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Failure to buckle a seatbelt cannot be used to prove contributory negligence

May 19, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The city of Fort Wayne will not be able to present evidence at trial that an injured passenger in a traffic accident was not wearing a seatbelt. The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a violation of the state's Seatbelt Act may not be used to prove contributory negligence.
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Justices author dissents in appeal denials

May 19, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court won't hear two cases in which justices felt compelled to write dissents arguing why they believed toxic-litigation and marital estate distribution appeals should be heard.
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Justices to determine if ‘Spice law’ void for vagueness

May 19, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will determine whether Indiana’s “Spice law” banning synthetic drugs as new formulations appear is void for vagueness, as separate divided panels of the Court of Appeals ruled in January.
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Justice center developer trying to meet with council members

May 19, 2015
Kathleen McLaughlin
The company that wants to develop a criminal justice center has invited the entire Indianapolis City-County Council to a meeting Tuesday afternoon to discuss lingering concerns about the $1.6 billion project, which died in committee last month.
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Supreme Court voids Maryland tax similar to Indiana tax

May 18, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday struck down a Maryland tax that has the effect of double-taxing income residents earned in other states.
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Police immune from lawsuit over arrest of mentally ill woman

May 18, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Monday that police are immune from a lawsuit arising from the arrest and shooting of a mentally ill woman in San Francisco.
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Property owners have no duty for tenant’s free-running dog

May 18, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the landlords provided the means to restrain the tenant's dog, they are not responsible for the injuries a motorcyclist sustained when the pooch dashed into the road and caused an accident.
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Justices make it easier to sue over 401(k) plans

May 18, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled unanimously Monday in favor of participants in employee retirement plans who object to companies' investment decisions that eat into retirement savings.
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SCOTUS: Convicted felons can sell their guns

May 18, 2015
 Associated Press
A unanimous Supreme Court of the United States ruled Monday that the government can’t prevent a convicted felon who is barred from possessing firearms from trying to sell his guns after they are confiscated by authorities.
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6 selected for ICLEO internships

May 18, 2015
IL Staff
Six law school students have been chosen to participate in the 2015 Carr L. Darden Conference for Legal Education Opportunity internship program.
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Court of Appeals interviews to be held June 10

May 18, 2015
IL Staff
Eight judges and lawyers vying for appointment to the Indiana Court of Appeals will be interviewed June 10 by the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission. The commission will recommend three finalists to Gov. Mike Pence, who will select the person to succeed Judge Ezra Friedlander, who is retiring at the end of August.
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Boston Marathon bomber sentenced to death

May 15, 2015
 Associated Press
A jury sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death Friday for the Boston Marathon bombing, sweeping aside pleas that he was just a "kid" who fell under the influence of his fanatical older brother.
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Southern District New Albany magistrate takes oath

May 15, 2015
IL Staff
New Albany attorney Van T. Willis, a senior partner with Kightlinger & Gray LLP, was sworn in Friday as a new part-time magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana by Chief Judge Richard L. Young.
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Admission of recording is harmless error

May 15, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A recording of a victim’s conversation with friends should not have been admitted into evidence at trial, but the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled it was a harmless error.
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Tax Court affirms Zionsville office assessment

May 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Tax Court on Thursday affirmed the real estate assessment of an office building on Zionsville’s Main Street in Boone County.
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COA: Rapper’s brokered peace treaty irrelevant in murder case

May 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
A rapper convicted as an accomplice in the murder of Indianapolis disc jockey Thomas Keys failed on appeal to show his brokering of a peace treaty between rival rap groups was wrongly excluded from evidence in his trial.
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Justices acquit two involved in fistfight turned fatal

May 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis teen and another man convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for their roles in a planned beatdown that ended with a fatal gunshot will be freed after the Indiana Supreme Court reversed their convictions and ordered them acquitted.
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Brownsburg annexation opponents win on appeal

May 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
Opponents of the Town of Brownsburg's planned annexation of 4,461 acres to its north prevailed before the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday. The court ruled the trial judge erred in determining he lacked subject matter jurisdiction to determine whether the residents' remonstrance petition was valid.
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Anderson Speedway attorney argues against track death lawsuit

May 15, 2015
 Associated Press
Anderson Speedway's attorney has asked a judge to grant summary judgment in a lawsuit accusing the track's owners of negligence in a driver's death in a 2011 crash.
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Divided Supreme Court declines to take med mal case

May 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court by a vote of 3-2 decided this week to not take the case of a man who sued for medical malpractice those who treated his now-deceased wife. The lower court and Court of Appeals found no existence of a physician-patient relationship between the on-call hospital specialist and the wife, the issue that caused two justices to dissent.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

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