Courts

Updated instructions aim to prevent social media use during trial

August 24, 2012
IL Staff
Federal judges have new guidelines for keeping Twitter and Facebook out of the jury box.
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Steak ’n Shake loses appeal over franchisee’s independent pricing

August 24, 2012
Dave Stafford
A longtime Steak ’n Shake franchisee who sued the chain after it insisted on setting prices for menu items prevailed again Friday as the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an Illinois federal court’s ruling in the franchisee’s favor.
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Judges disagree over use of summary judgment to pierce corporate veil

August 23, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
One Court of Appeals judge believed the “only reasonable inference” that could be drawn from the evidence in a collections case is that a former company was a “sham corporation,” so the trial court properly pierced the corporate veil on summary judgment.
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7th Circuit rules trial attorneys not ineffective

August 23, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to find a defendant's trial attorneys' representation objectively deficient or ineffective pertaining to how they handled a man’s sentencing hearing.
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Bunch freed after 16 years in prison

August 23, 2012
IL Staff
Kristine Bunch, the woman who claimed she was wrongfully convicted of killing her son in a fire in 1995, was released from prison following a bond hearing Wednesday in Decatur County. The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed her convictions and ordered a new trial on the murder charge.
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Alternate juror’s comment doesn’t entitle man to new trial

August 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court properly determined an alternate juror’s alleged conduct posed only a remote risk of prejudice, and the judge’s admonishment of that juror was not an error, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Father’s confession shouldn’t have been admitted at trial

August 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a father’s conviction of child molesting related to his daughter, finding his confession, which was admitted into evidence at trial, was obtained in violation of Miranda protocol.
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Court addresses use of epidemiological evidence in med mal cases

August 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held that the trial court ruled correctly when it did not allow certain epidemiological evidence by a plaintiff’s expert witness in a medical malpractice lawsuit, but the court stopped short of saying this type of evidence could never be admitted in a medical malpractice case.
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Indiana pleased with decision to vacate EPA Transport Rule

August 22, 2012
IL Staff
The split decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to vacate the Environmental Protection Agency’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule because of federal law violations is “great news” for Indiana, Gov. Mitch Daniels said.
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Pyle to join Court of Appeals Aug. 27

August 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals announced Tuesday that its newest judge, Rudolph Pyle III, will take the oath of office in a private ceremony Aug. 27.
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State moves forward with IBM appeal

August 21, 2012
Dave Stafford
Attorneys for the state of Indiana have begun the formal appeal process after a Marion County court in July awarded a $52 million judgment to IBM over cancellation of the company’s contract to privatize social service claims processing.
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Judge did not modify jury instructions

August 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Lawrence County man was unable to prove to the Court of Appeals that the trial court abused its discretion when it denied his motion for a mistrial. He argued the judge modified the jury instructions when he answered a question from the jury in mid-deliberations.
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Justices take 1 case, deny 7

August 21, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court took a post-conviction case Aug. 13 and sent it back to the Court of Appeals for consideration.
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Pyle leaving Circuit Court Aug. 26

August 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Madison Circuit Judge Rudolph Pyle III has told the Indiana Supreme Court he will resign from Circuit Court Aug. 26 to take his spot on the Indiana Court of Appeals. Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed Pyle an appellate judge Aug. 7.
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DCS, criminal law study committees meet this week

August 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Department of Child Services Interim Study Committee will meet for the first time Wednesday afternoon to discuss various matters including funding and child in need of services cases.
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Tax judge declines to require attorneys represent LLCs in court

August 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of State Revenue asked the Indiana Tax Court to create a rule requiring limited liability companies be represented by attorneys in court, similar to a rule pertaining to corporations, but Judge Martha Wentworth declined to “invent such a rule where one does not currently exist.”
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Man had no constitutional right to counsel

August 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claims in support of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, finding his motion to correct sentence wasn’t a motion pursuant to Indiana Code, but was a collateral attack on his sentence.
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Judges uphold insurers’ share of settlement liability

August 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A District judge did not err in how he apportioned liability among three insurers for payment of a settlement between an injured worker and a contractor, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Friday.
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AT&T technicians file lawsuit over lunch policy

August 17, 2012
Chris O'Malley
Eleven AT&T technicians have filed a federal lawsuit seeking class-action status to collect unpaid wages and overtime, alleging the company compels them to work during unpaid lunch breaks.
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Federal Rules website revamped, accepting comment on rule changes

August 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The United States Courts’ Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Appellate, Bankruptcy, Criminal, and Evidence Rules announced Friday that it is seeking comment on several proposed changes to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, as well as changes made to its website. Officials hope the revamped website will be more user-friendly.
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Trial court has no authority to alter man’s conviction

August 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Elkhart Superior judge was correct in determining that he couldn’t reduce a man’s Class D felony conviction to a Class A misdemeanor a year after the original judgment was made, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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7th Circuit rules in favor of attorneys in failed business investment

August 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A group of investors suing attorneys who worked on the establishment of two business entities – which later failed – were unable to show the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that the attorneys owed the investors any legal duty.
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JNC’s justice candidate evaluation letter sent to governor

August 16, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission sent its letter to Gov. Mitch Daniels Wednesday explaining the qualifications of justice finalists Hamilton Superior Judge Steven Nation, Tippecanoe Superior Judge Loretta Rush, and Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP partner Geoffrey Slaughter.
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State fair settlement fails

August 16, 2012
IL Staff
Mid-America Sound Corp., one of two companies that offered an additional $7.2 million to victims of the Indiana State Fair stage collapse, announced it will not proceed with its offer after deciding not enough claimants accepted the settlement arrangement.
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LSC says funding cuts will reduce staff, close offices

August 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Legal Services Corporation offices around the country will have to lay off staff – including 350 attorneys – due to funding cuts, according to a survey released Wednesday by the legal aid program.
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  1. Falk said “At this point, at this minute, we’ll savor this particular victory.” “It certainly is a historic week on this front,” Cockrum said. “What a delight ... “Happy Independence Day to the women of the state of Indiana,” WOW. So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)

  2. congratulations on such balanced journalism; I also love how fetus disposal affects women's health protection, as covered by Roe...

  3. It truly sickens me every time a case is compared to mine. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld my convictions based on a finding of “hidden threats.” The term “hidden threat” never appeared until the opinion in Brewington so I had no way of knowing I was on trial for making hidden threats because Dearborn County Prosecutor F Aaron Negangard argued the First Amendment didn't protect lies. Negangard convened a grand jury to investigate me for making “over the top” and “unsubstantiated” statements about court officials, not hidden threats of violence. My indictments and convictions were so vague, the Indiana Court of Appeals made no mention of hidden threats when they upheld my convictions. Despite my public defender’s closing arguments stating he was unsure of exactly what conduct the prosecution deemed to be unlawful, Rush found that my lawyer’s trial strategy waived my right to the fundamental error of being tried for criminal defamation because my lawyer employed a strategy that attempted to take advantage of Negangard's unconstitutional criminal defamation prosecution against me. Rush’s opinion stated the prosecution argued two grounds for conviction one constitutional and one not, however the constitutional true threat “argument” consistently of only a blanket reading of subsection 1 of the intimidation statute during closing arguments, making it impossible to build any kind of defense. Of course intent was impossible for my attorney to argue because my attorney, Rush County Chief Public Defender Bryan Barrett refused to meet with me prior to trial. The record is littered with examples of where I made my concerns known to the trial judge that I didn’t know the charges against me, I did not have access to evidence, all while my public defender refused to meet with me. Special Judge Brian Hill, from Rush Superior Court, refused to address the issue with my public defender and marched me to trial without access to evidence or an understanding of the indictments against me. Just recently the Indiana Public Access Counselor found that four over four years Judge Hill has erroneously denied access to the grand jury audio from my case, the most likely reason being the transcription of the grand jury proceedings omitted portions of the official audio record. The bottom line is any intimidation case involves an action or statement that is debatably a threat of physical violence. There were no such statements in my case. The Indiana Supreme Court took partial statements I made over a period of 41 months and literally connected them with dots… to give the appearance that the statements were made within the same timeframe and then claimed a person similarly situated would find the statements intimidating while intentionally leaving out surrounding contextual factors. Even holding the similarly situated test was to be used in my case, the prosecution argued that the only intent of my public writings was to subject the “victims” to ridicule and hatred so a similarly situated jury instruction wouldn't even have applied in my case. Chief Justice Rush wrote the opinion while Rush continued to sit on a committee with one of the alleged victims in my trial and one of the judges in my divorce, just as she'd done for the previous 7+ years. All of this information, including the recent PAC opinion against the Dearborn Superior Court II can be found on my blog www.danbrewington.blogspot.com.

  4. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  5. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

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