Courts

COA reverses piercing of corporate veil, but upholds slander of title finding

February 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Hendricks County storage facility’s claims of breach of contract and slander of title were affirmed on appeal against a contractor hired by the facility to provide excavation services. The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the piercing of Country Contractors Inc.’s corporate veil to find its two shareholders personally liable.
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Justices: Facts don’t justify subjecting family to CHINS proceeding

February 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court reversed the finding that a child with special needs is a child in need of services after ruling that the circumstances of this case don’t support that the mother needed the court’s coercive intervention to address concerns in the CHINS petition.
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Ex-IMPD officer pleads guilty to drunken driving

February 12, 2014
IL Staff
Former Indianapolis Metropolitan Police officer David Bisard has pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated as a Class A misdemeanor. The sentence will be served consecutively to the 16-year sentence he is currently serving for a 2010 crash that killed one motorcyclist and injured two others.
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Proposed criminal justice complex draws 5 bidders

February 12, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
Five groups of developers have responded to Indianapolis' call for candidates to build a new criminal justice complex.
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Indy attorney: airport site 'cannot' work for justice complex

February 12, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis International Airport may be officials’ preferred location for a proposed Criminal Justice Complex, but some attorneys who work in the system are critical of the idea.
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Drug court lawsuits in the works

February 12, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Clark County judge and his staff are accused of wrongful jailings, arrests and searches of drug court participants.
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Why I love the law

February 12, 2014
IL Staff
In honor of Valentine’s Day, we asked Indiana Lawyer readers to tell us why they love the law. The responses contain a common theme – people – whether it’s working with talented colleagues, teaching others about the law or helping people navigate through the legal waters.
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Biomet settles hip-replacement litigation

February 12, 2014
Dave Stafford
The most serious cases from among more than 950 patients around the nation who claim they were harmed by a Warsaw company’s implanted hip-replacement devices will share in a settlement expected to exceed $100 million, according to an attorney involved in the case.
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Explanation as to the spirit of the law was harmless error

February 11, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a trial court’s words to a jury about the spirit of Indiana’s criminal law was improper and an error, it was harmless and could not overturn a defendant’s sentence of life without parole.
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Supreme Court, split 3-2, snuffs Evansville casino smoking exception

February 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A divided Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday rejected Evansville’s amended smoking ban that exempted the former Aztar riverboat casino, now known as Tropicana Evansville.
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James Dean estate sues Twitter over ‘@JamesDean’

February 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
The estate of legendary Indiana film star James Dean has sued Twitter, claiming the Internet giant permitted the unauthorized personal Twitter account @JamesDean.
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Justices to review whether sewer lien can trigger tax sale

February 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will review the question of whether a sewer lien placed on a property for unpaid bills is by itself sufficient for the property to be sold at tax sale to satisfy the debt.
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Recent SCOTUS decision trims identity-theft sentence

February 7, 2014
Dave Stafford
An Indiana man convicted of stealing the Social Security numbers of more than 10 people must be sentenced to less time in prison because of a recent Supreme Court of the United States decision, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a five-page opinion Friday.
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21st Amendment again shut out of federal cold-beer suit

February 7, 2014
Dave Stafford
A federal judge Thursday affirmed a ruling that the Indianapolis-based 21st Amendment package liquor store chain is not entitled to intervene in a federal lawsuit challenging Indiana’s law prohibiting convenience and grocery stores from selling cold beer.
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Courts warn of fake jury duty calls seeking financial data

February 7, 2014
IL Staff
State courts are warning of phone scams in which callers allege a penalty for missing jury duty can be resolved by providing financial information to pay a fine.
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Performance of desegregation, busing case to celebrate Black History Month

February 7, 2014
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana will host a dramatic interpretation performance of the Indianapolis Public Schools’ historic desegregation and busing case as part of February’s Black History Month Celebration.
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7th Circuit: Gunman’s reach for weapon nullifies excessive force claim

February 7, 2014
Dave Stafford
A federal court in South Bend rightfully rejected a civil rights claim brought by a man shot by state troopers trying to serve a warrant who found themselves in a six-hour armed standoff, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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For-profit Veolia Water not entitled to common law sovereign immunity

February 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court held Thursday that for-profit, private company Veolia Water is not entitled to common law sovereign immunity from liability for damages resulting from a fire that destroyed an Indianapolis Texas Roadhouse restaurant in 2010.
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Southern District local rules changing Feb. 10

February 6, 2014
IL Staff
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana has amended its local rules and those changes will take effect Feb. 10.
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Court finds interview is not a violation of professional conduct rules

February 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A federal magistrate in Hammond has ruled there were no violations of the Indiana Professional Rules of Conduct when defense counsel interviewed a potential witness in preparation for trial after discovery had closed.
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Reprimand issued for ALJ in IURC-Duke scandal

February 6, 2014
Dave Stafford
A former administrative law judge with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has been reprimanded by the Indiana Supreme Court, which ruled this week that a harsher sanction was unwarranted because he’d already been punished enough for seeking a job with Duke Energy while making rulings concerning the utility.
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COA: Lifetime suspension of driving privileges is not a punishment

February 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claim that his lifetime suspension of driving privileges is cruel and unusual punishment, upholding the suspension. They held the suspension is not punitive.
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Special prosecutor sought in Clark County Drug Court matter

February 5, 2014
Dave Stafford
Problems in a southern Indiana drug court – including the jailing of multiple people for months without due process – have led to a formal request for a special prosecutor.
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Senator steers clear of beer wholesaler legal battle

February 5, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
The Indiana Legislature won't interfere with beer wholesaler Monarch Beverage Co.'s quest in federal court for the right to distribute liquor.
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COA replaces opinion on post-conviction ruling with corrected version

February 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Acknowledging that the state is correct when it claims the Indiana Court of Appeals relied on the wrong Supreme Court decision in affirming the denial of a petition for post-conviction relief, the appellate court issued a new opinion Wednesday.
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