Courts

Zachary's Law case could go to SCOTUS

January 30, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Attorney General's Office wants the nation's highest court to review the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling from last summer on a death-penalty case, which inspired Zachary's Law that requires convicted child molesters to register their addresses in a statewide public database.
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7th Circuit orders new defense counselRestricted Content

January 29, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
In an order handed down late Monday afternoon, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals relieved a court-appointed defense counsel from representing his client and will appoint new counsel in a future order.
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7th Circuit: Stop using specialist jargonRestricted Content

January 16, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a District Court ruling in a complex reinsurance case and asked attorneys to be mindful of the language they use in these types of cases.
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7th Circuit won't rehear prayer suit

January 15, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals won't rehear en banc Indiana's statehouse prayer suit.
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Court affirms stepfather's visitation rights

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals April 23 affirmed a trial court's decision that a stepfather may continue to have visitation rights with his stepdaughter even though the mother wanted his visitation rights terminated. In Nicole A. Shaffer v. Robert J. Schaffer, No. 22A04-0709-CV-513, Nicole requested Robert's third-party stepparent visitation rights with her daughter, M.S., be terminated because it was in her daughter's best interest to not have any more contact with Robert. Nicole and Robert were married when she had a child...
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Court grants transfer in prisoner suit

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case involving whether a man's request challenging his prison detainment should have been treated as post-conviction relief or a writ of habeas corpus.Justices granted transfer late last week in Floyd Tewell v. State of Indiana, No. 48A02-0701-PC-118, which comes after a Nov. 5, 2007, decision from the Court of Appeals that had affirmed a ruling from Madison Superior Judge Thomas Newman Jr.The appeal stems from the court's denial of Tewell's petition for writ...
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COA: insurer owed duty to defend

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
After nearly 10 years of litigation, the Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a grant of summary judgment in favor of an insurance company because the company couldn't show it was prejudiced by a late notice from its insured as a matter of law. In the unanimous 27-page opinion, Tri-Etch Inc., et al v. Cincinnati Insurance Co., No. 49A02-0709-CV-827, the appellate court ruled in favor of the appellants-plaintiffs in this appeal - Tri-Etch, which provides security services; the estate of Michael Young;...
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Court rules on out-of-state marriages

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Even if a marriage is questionable in another state, Indiana will recognize that marriage if it complies with Hoosier law.An Indiana Supreme Court ruling late Tuesday gave that answer in Emma McPeek, et al. v. Charles McCardle, No. 58S01-0708-CV-305, which hails from Ohio Circuit Court and involves a technical issue regarding a couple not having an official out-of-state marriage license when they wed in Ohio, even though they'd had one from Indiana.The plaintiff-appellants in this case sued following their mother's death in...
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Justices: State must prove loaded gun

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The state has the burden to prove a gun was loaded when charging a defendant with pointing a firearm as a Class D felony, but it is up to the defendant to raise the issue when the state's evidence has not done so, the Indiana Supreme Court has decided. In Henry J. Adkins v. State of Indiana, No. 20S03-0709-CR-374, the Supreme Court Wednesday upheld Henry Adkins' conviction of pointing a firearm as a Class D felony because during the trial he failed...
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Courts must ID trade secrets

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a northern Indiana judge's order to protect certain information and trade secrets, holding the District Court judge didn't adequately distinguish what shouldn't be released in a copyright and trade secrets dispute between two competing modular home builders.A unanimous three-judge panel ruled today in Patriot Homes, Inc. and Patriot Manufacturing, Inc. v. Forest River Housing, Inc., d/b/a Sterling Homes, No. 06-3012.The case involved Patriot Homes and Forest River Housing, who'd been competing contentiously for years,...
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New judicial speech rights suit filed

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A federal lawsuit challenging Indiana's rules prohibiting judicial candidates from responding to a survey about their views is picking up where a similar suit left off late last year.The nonprofit Indiana Right to Life Inc. filed a suit April 18 on behalf of Marion Superior Judge David Certo, who is running for the court for the first time after being appointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels to fill a vacancy last year, and Torrey Bauer, a candidate for Kosciusko Superior Court. The...
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Federal court rules in favor of Indy company

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A federal appeals court in Florida has upheld an Indianapolis-based company's right to sell distant networking programming to its customers, finding the company was acting in accordance with the Satellite Home Viewer Act (SHVA). The unanimous opinion from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Monday, CBS Broadcasting Inc., et al. v. EchoStar Communications d.b.a. DISH Network, et al. No. 07-10020, ruled National Programming Service (NPS), a proposed intervenor-cross-appellant on the case, has the right to lease satellite equipment from EchoStar Communications Corp....
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COA: Court has personal jurisdiction over CIDs

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana trial courts can assert personal jurisdiction over out-of-state companies for the purposes of enforcing an Indiana Attorney General's petition to enforce a civil investigative demand, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals today. In a case of first impression, the appellate court was asked to determine whether a trial court lacked personal jurisdiction over an Ohio company that had franchises located in but not registered in Indiana, and thus erred by granting the Attorney General's petition to enforce a civil investigative...
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Court rules on annexation, land dispute

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A county was able to establish an economic development area in unincorporated land that was also in the process of being annexed by a town because the annexation process hadn't been completed yet, ruled the Indiana Supreme Court. When the Boone County Redevelopment Commission (RDC) initiated proceedings to create an economic development area (EDA), the area included land on which Whitestown had initiated annexation proceedings just one week earlier in July 2006. In October 2006, the Boone County Board of Commissioners...
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Judge, attorneys to get national, state awards

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
A judge and two attorneys from Indiana will receive awards for their work in the legal community and media law.Dearborn Superior Judge G. Michael Witte will receive the Franklin N. Flaschner Award given by the National Conference on Specialized Court Judges Aug. 7 at the American Bar Association's annual meeting. The award recognizes a judge in a court of limited jurisdiction who has an excellent reputation, commitment to high ideals, and exemplary character, leadership, and competence in performing legal duties. Judge...
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Court: amended charges not allowed

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reinstated one conviction and reversed two others for a man charged with resisting law enforcement, auto theft, and battery. At issue in Donyea Fowler v. State of Indiana, No. 71A05-0704-CR-200, is whether the trial court properly reversed Fowler's conviction of resisting law enforcement. Fowler also appealed his convictions of auto theft and battery, arguing the charges were added after the time allowed by Indiana statutes. Police officers from several departments showed up to the home where Fowler...
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Inmates' child support orders can be modified

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
  In a decision that may affect child support modification orders, the Indiana Court of Appeals held today an earlier Indiana Supreme Court decision also applies to a request for a modification because of incarceration. In Todd Allen Clark v. Michelle D. Clark, No. 35A05-0801-CV-26, the appellate court used the Indiana Supreme Court's decision in Lambert v. Lambert, 861 N.E.2d 1176 (Ind. 2007), to determine whether Todd Clark's verified petition for abatement and/or modification of child support order should have been granted. ...
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COA: Parental rights termination set aside

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a juvenile court's termination of parental rights of both parents of an infant, finding evidence presented to support the termination wasn't clear or convincing. In In the matter of the termination of the parent-child relationship of A.B., and Angela B. and Brian J. v. Lake County Department of Child Services, No. 45A03-0712-JV-567, the appellate court ruled the court's judgment terminating the parental rights of Angela and Brian over A.B. was erroneous because the Lake County Department...
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Third-party settlement ends fund liability

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court held in a case of first impression in worker's compensation that when a settlement with a third-party ends an employer's liability, the liability of the Second Injury Fund will also be terminated. However, when the Indiana Worker's Compensation Board approves an agreement by the employer to continue paying worker's comp benefits after the settlement, the injured employee may make a claim to the Second Injury Fund. In Ronald Mayes v. Second Injury Fund, No. 93S02-0802-EX-0107, Ronald Mayes...
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Appeal likely in post-deadlocked capital case

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court may be asked to determine whether an Evansville judge correctly decided to uphold a death sentence after a jury's indecision regarding the penalty.Attorneys for death row inmate Daniel Ray Wilkes aren't taking issue with how Vanderburgh Circuit Judge Carl Heldt applied the law but rather the nature and constitutionality of the statute itself.Judge Heldt in late January decided on the death sentence for Wilkes, who was convicted in December on three murder counts for the April 2006...
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Court rules on marital estate divisions

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A trial court should assume that when a divorcing couple divides part of their marital assets on its own, that division is done justly and reasonably and the court should divvy up the remainder of their estate as the entire balance.The Indiana Court of Appeals made that holding in today's ruling on Thelma M. Nornes v. Raymond M. Nornes, No. 46A03-0712-CV-564, a divorce case out of LaPorte County. The two were married in 1998 and started the dissolution process in 2006.Prior...
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Court reverses grandparent visitation

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a father that his due process rights were violated when a trial court ordered grandparent visitation over his objection. The majority reversed the petition for grandparent visitation filed by the children's maternal grandparents, with one judge dissenting and writing the ruling would give parents a carte blanche to deny visitation for any reason. In James M. Hicks v. Gary Larson and Judy Larson, No. 26A01-0707-CV-302, Hicks had two children with Geri Hicks, the daughter of...
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Court chooses 'lesser of two evils'

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was forced to choose between the lesser of two evils in a case in which an ex-husband appealed a trial court's nunc pro tunc order granting his ex-wife's motion to correct error regarding their marriage dissolution decree. In James E. Johnson Jr. v. Marcia Johnson, No. 02A03-0710-CV-496, the appellate court had to decide whether the trial court erred in granting the nunc pro tunc order. James argued the trial court didn't rule on Marcia's motion to correct...
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SCOTUS rules on patent exhaustion case

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The U.S. Supreme Court has limited the ability of companies to collect royalties after the first sale of a patented product. The case tackled an issue of patent exhaustion that hasn't been ruled on in 66 years.In a unanimous opinion this morning in Quanta Computer, et al. v. LG Electronics, No. 06-937, the nation's highest court said that longstanding patent law precedent extends to method patents that are often part of high-technology components and products. "For over 150 years this Court...
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Ministers not protected under labor act

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a District Court's decision to toss out a case because the plaintiffs were not entitled to minimum wage and overtime under the "ministerial exception," although the Circuit Court modified the reason for dismissing the case. In Steve and Lorrie Schleicher v. The Salvation Army, No. 07-1333, the Schleichers appealed the decision of U.S. District Judge Richard Young of the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, to dismiss the case for lack of federal jurisdiction. The...
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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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