Courts

Advocate says Indiana woman's sentence for feticide alarming

April 2, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana woman received a 20-year sentence in the death of her premature infant, a punishment the head of a national advocacy group called cruel and a misuse of the state's feticide law.
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Tax Court affirms ruling in favor of KinderCare on educational exemption

April 1, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Board of Tax Review did not err when it determined property on which a KinderCare Learning Center sits qualified for an educational purposes exemption for the 2009 tax year, the Indiana Tax Court ruled Wednesday.
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7th Circuit affirms Outlaws members’ convictions, remands over suspicionless search condition

April 1, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Three members of the Indianapolis Chapter of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club lost their appeals before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday, however, the judges did decide that one man’s probation condition needs further consideration.
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5 arrested in protest inside US Supreme Court

April 1, 2015
 Associated Press
Protesters disrupted Supreme Court of the United States proceedings Wednesday for the second time this year with shouted criticism of the court's previous rulings on campaign finance.
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Indy could be short $37M on justice center financing, analysis says

April 1, 2015
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard's promise of financing a new justice center through operational savings is overblown, according to an analysis by the Indianapolis City-County Council.
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Federal court rejects Dearborn judges' immunity defense

March 31, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A deaf man’s discrimination lawsuit against three judges in Dearborn County can proceed according to a March 30 ruling in federal court.
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COA reverses ruling in favor of couple who kept alpacas in residential area

March 31, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday that a Lake County court erred when it denied the county’s request for an injunction to prevent a couple from keeping alpacas on their property to raise for business purposes.
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SCOTUS sides with Idaho in Medicaid pay dispute

March 31, 2015
 Associated Press
Private health care providers cannot sue to force states to raise their Medicaid reimbursement rates to keep up with rising medical costs, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled Tuesday.
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Court finds railroad’s arguments over dam don’t hold water

March 31, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because a railroad company failed to prove there are no genuine issues of material fact regarding its defense to a breach of covenant claim against it concerning the maintenance of a dam, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in its favor and remanded for further proceedings.
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Indiana man convicted in 2 killings to get life in prison

March 31, 2015
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana man is set to spend the rest of his life in prison without parole for the killings of his brother and sister-in-law.
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Questions exist as to whether fiduciary duty was breached

March 31, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
There is sufficient evidence to create genuine issues of material fact as to whether a shareholder breached its fiduciary duty owed to other shareholders and whether it committed constructive fraud by remaining silent about two businesses’ financial states, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Ambiguous probation condition leads to reversal of violation finding

March 31, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the revocation of a woman’s probation after two judges ruled the probation condition at issue is ambiguous regarding whether and when she had to report an arrest while on probation for a charge that allegedly occurred before the probation began.
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Court upholds convictions from controlled drug buys

March 31, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that his two Class B felonies for dealing in cocaine should be reversed based on prosecutorial misconduct and his limited cross-examination of the state’s confidential informant.
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COA orders man resentenced with credit time considered

March 31, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although the Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed with a defendant’s argument on appeal, it still found the trial court erred when it ordered him to serve the entirety of his original sentence without any credit time for time spent on home detention.
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SCOTUS says lawyer’s brief absence doesn’t merit retrial

March 30, 2015
 Associated Press
The  Supreme Court of the United States says a Michigan man convicted of murder and armed robbery does not deserve a new trial even though his lawyer was absent for 10 minutes during the original trial.
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High court to hear Kansas plea to reinstate death sentences

March 30, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States agreed Monday to hear Kansas' appeal to reinstate death sentences for two brothers in the fatal shootings of four people and for another man convicted of killing a couple.
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Divided court lets stand suppression of pat-down evidence

March 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
Three of Indiana’s five Supreme Court justices vacated transfer on a suppression-of-evidence case, letting stand a divided Court of Appeals ruling that a trial court abused its discretion by admitting evidence obtained in a questionable pat-down search.
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Similar entrapment argument brings different COA ruling

March 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Again faced with the question of whether a defendant had been entrapped by an undercover detective posing as a prostitute, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court, reaching a different conclusion than they had in a similar case a year earlier.
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Split COA reinstates State Fair stage collapse suit

March 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
The company that leased a temporary stage that collapsed in a windstorm killing seven and injuring dozens prevailed in overturning a trial court ruling in favor of the Indiana State Fair Commission. A dissenting appellate judge wrote that the majority placed form over substance in shifting liability to the state.
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Judge OKs $725K settlement against Whitley County sheriff

March 27, 2015
Dave Stafford
Defendants jailed in Whitley County more than 48 hours without a probable cause hearing in violation of U.S. Supreme Court caselaw will share a $725,000 settlement, a federal judge ruled.
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Panther Racing suit against IndyCar, Rahal Letterman tossed

March 27, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal breach-of-contract lawsuit alleging damages of more than $17 million resulting from an IndyCar sponsorship dispute has been dismissed.
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COA splits over jury instruction, affirms conviction

March 27, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the Indiana Court of Appeals split over whether the jury instruction was erroneous, the panel was unanimous in upholding the defendant’s conviction for theft from Walmart.
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Bartholomew juvenile detentions plummet under JDAI

March 27, 2015
 Associated Press
The number of local juvenile offenders detained each year in Bartholomew County has been decreasing dramatically during the past decade, the Columbus Republic reports.
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Dispute over beach ownership heading back to trial court

March 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Property owners along Lake Michigan will have another chance to make their arguments in a dispute over which part of the beach belongs to them and which belongs to the public.
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Driving 91 mph in 55 zone supports reckless driving verdict

March 26, 2015
Dave Stafford
A driver’s argument that his speed of 91 mph on a 55-mph country road was insufficient evidence of endangerment cut no ice with the trial court, and the Indiana Court of Appeals agreed Thursday.
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  1. 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)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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