Courts

COA split over whether convicted murderer needs new trial

June 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a murder conviction Wednesday after the defendant argued his right to confront witnesses against him was violated. But one judge on the panel agreed with Michael Torres and wrote in his dissent that Torres should have a new trial.
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Order requiring man to participate in sex offender program not unconstitutional

June 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found that the order requiring a man to participate in the Sex Offender Management and Monitoring program does not violate Indiana’s prohibition of ex post facto laws.
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7th Circuit: Attorney provided effective assistance to man facing drug charges

June 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s argument that his trial attorney was ineffective because he failed to object to an interpreter arrangement during a witness’s testimony and chose not to have all of discovery translated into Spanish.
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County treasurer says judge also mishandled money

June 18, 2014
 Associated Press
A central Indiana county treasurer charged with mishandling public money wants the judge overseeing his case to step aside, arguing she did the same thing.
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Debate over historic Brown County courthouse continues

June 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
At one of the state’s most-visited tourist crossroads stands a courthouse at a crossroads of its own.
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Change at the top means new leadership at Supreme Court

June 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
Chief Justice Brent Dickson led the Indiana Supreme Court for just two years, but attorneys who practice before the court said his decision to hand the reins to a colleague is in keeping with the leadership tone he set. Dickson expects to step down from his position as chief justice sometime before Sept. 1.
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Guarding against undue influence

June 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
Changes in a person’s will and estate plan that vary from equal distribution of assets among heirs, as favored by law, should raise red flags, elder law attorneys say.
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Disciplinary Actions - 6/18/14

June 18, 2014
IL Staff
Read who has been disciplined by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Dealership did not abide by contract terms, COA rules

June 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Citing the terms spelled out in the contract, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a car dealer that entrusted a buyer with mailing a title to the lender will have to pay the balance of the auto loan.
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Appeals on Wheels continues to enjoy the open road

June 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals will hit a milestone this week when it convenes at Trine University in Angola.
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14 cases remain for US Supreme Court

June 17, 2014
 Associated Press
The religious rights of corporations, the speech rights of abortion protesters and the privacy rights of people under arrest are among the big issues still unresolved at the Supreme Court of the United States.
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Cold beer lawsuit fails in federal court

June 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A challenge to state law prohibiting convenience, grocery and drug stores from selling cold beer failed Monday when the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana denied the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction and granted the state’s motion for summary judgment.
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Judge gives final OK of recycling settlement

June 16, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal judge has given his final approval to a class-action settlement calling for the operators of a northern Indiana wood-recycling plant to clean up and shutter the site within five years.
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Blogger Brewington seeks rehearing, wants Rush to recuse

June 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
A blogger whose intimidation convictions arising from a child-custody dispute were affirmed by the Indiana Supreme Court is seeking a rehearing in an effort to vacate his convictions.
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County jail officials in Southern Indiana accused of abusing inmates

June 16, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of former inmates accuses officials at the Floyd County jail of forcibly stripping the inmates of their clothing and keeping them naked in a padded cell for prolonged periods of time in violation of their constitutional rights.
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Justices take forfeiture, adoption appeals

June 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court added to its docket a Marion County drug forfeiture case and a Lake County adoption matter.
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National juvenile justice program growing in Indiana

June 16, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Four more counties are being added to Indiana’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative in June, the first step to a significant expansion of the program within Indiana.
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Deposition challenges timing of BMV overcharges

June 16, 2014
 Associated Press
A former deputy director at the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles says he told agency leaders as early as 2010 that many BMV fees exceeded what was authorized under Indiana law but that the agency kept overcharging Hoosiers for at least two years to avoid budget troubles.
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Mother’s argument crushed by precedent

June 13, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld precedent in finding a mother who made sporadic child support payments over several years did fail to provide assistance for one entire year as outlined in state statute.
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Judge asks public defender about Conour money

June 13, 2014
Dave Stafford
A federal judge has ordered the Office of the Federal Defender for the Southern District of Indiana to disclose whether it is holding any property belonging to William Conour, the former attorney who was represented by a public court-appointed lawyer from the agency.
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Insurance credit in criminal restitution case affirmed

June 13, 2014
Dave Stafford
A woman who pleaded guilty to drunken driving and was ordered to pay restitution to a victim hurt as a result of a crash was entitled to use insurance proceeds to pay the court-ordered damages, the Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Odyssey to shut down as Marion County transitions to system

June 13, 2014
Dave Stafford
The state-supported Odyssey case management system and its public online portal mycase.in.gov will go offline Friday evening as Marion County transfers its criminal cases into the system.
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Court upholds man’s conviction for confining wife’s sister

June 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although a prosecutor made an inappropriate comment during a man’s trial for criminal confinement, that comment had little persuasive effect on the jury, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday. The judges affirmed Jonathan Stephens’ conviction of Class C felony criminal confinement.
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Court affirms repeat burglar’s sentence

June 13, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man who broke into the same property repeatedly and another property at a different time could not persuade an appellate panel that his 24-year sentence was inappropriate because the crimes were from a single episode.
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Father entitled to counsel at contempt hearing

June 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County man has made a prima facie showing that the trial court erred by denying his request for counsel at a hearing on contempt. Brian Moore’s ex-wife wanted him found in contempt for not paying the full amount of child support.
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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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