Criminal case

COA: lawyer-client privilege protects information

January 28, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant's belief that his right to seek exculpatory evidence trumps the attorney-client privilege is incorrect, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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COA reverses 4 attempted robbery convictions

January 27, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed four convictions of attempted robbery after finding the evidence didn't support a reasonable inference that the defendant intended to rob each of the alleged victims.
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Justices abandon 'mere possession' rule

January 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court's decision Thursday abandoned the "mere possession rule" when it comes to convictions of theft and receiving stolen property and restored the state's original view that the possession of recently stolen property should be considered with other evidence in the case.
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7th Circuit addresses digital media searchesRestricted Content

January 21, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Despite being troubled by some aspects of a police officer's search of computers of a man charged with voyeurism - during which the officer discovered child pornography - the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found the search didn't exceed the scope of the original warrant.
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Majority: No double jeopardy in enhancement

January 20, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals was divided about whether a man's sentence enhancement based on his use of a deadly weapon violated the application of double-jeopardy principals.
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Justices decide statute, court rule issue

January 15, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Even if a court rule is no longer relevant and an underlying state statute has been removed from the books, the Indiana Supreme Court says it still applies and must be followed until the justices revisit it themselves or say otherwise.
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Justices overturn man's registration requirement

January 7, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A Grant Superior judge erred in sentencing a man to register as a sex offender because that requirement wasn't in place at the time he committed his crime, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled.
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Supreme Court rules on police traffic stops

December 21, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has held that police don't have to verify whether the description of someone driving a vehicle matches the physical description of the registered owner obtained from a license plate check.
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Trial judge's comments spur COA reversal

December 15, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Because of a trial judge's statements following the conviction of a man for having a gun in a controlled area of an airport, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the conviction for insufficient evidence.
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Judges uphold molestation convictions

December 14, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man's convictions of child molesting because it agreed the victim's recantation of the allegations weren't worthy of credit.
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Indiana Supreme Court upholds death penalty

December 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court today upheld the death penalty for a man convicted of killing a woman and her two daughters. In doing so, the high court re-evaluated its stance on what it means when a jury fails to recommend a sentence.
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Supreme Court reverses rape conviction

December 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court overturned a man's rape conviction because evidence of his 10-year-old conviction of attempted rape of another woman shouldn't have been admitted at trial.
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Prosecutor misconduct leads to reversal

November 23, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a defendant's conviction of intimidation because several acts of misconduct constituted fundamental error. The appellate court also ruled the man could be retried on the charge.
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Judges disagree as how to review sentence

November 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges affirmed today that a defendant's sentence following a guilty plea wasn't inappropriate, but the judges didn't agree as to how to reach that conclusion.
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COA splits, reverses probation revocation

November 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was split today in its decision to reverse the revocation of a defendant's probation. The judges didn't agree that the probation revocation hearing comported with due process.
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7th Circuit rules en banc on mezuzah caseRestricted Content

November 13, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that condominium owners prevented from hanging religious objects on their home can in some cases sue their association under the Fair Housing Act for alleged religious and racial discrimination, after they've bought the residence and moved in.
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Good-faith exception not applicable

November 13, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana trial court erred when it denied a defendant's motion to suppress evidence because the good-faith exception doesn't apply in this case, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today.
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High court takes post-conviction case

November 13, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer Thursday to a post-conviction case in which the defendant, who spoke only Spanish, claimed he didn't enter his plea knowingly or intelligently.
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Officer didn't conduct investigatory stop

November 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court didn't abuse its discretion in admitting evidence that a juvenile possessed marijuana because the seizure of the drug didn't violate the teen's constitutional rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Court clarifies responses under T.R. 56(I)

November 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals used a decision today to clarify that when a nonmoving party has received an enlargement of time pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 56(I), any response must be made within the additional time period granted by the trial court.
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Officer safety justified opening ajar car door

November 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The opening of an ajar car door by a police officer during a foot chase with a suspected robber didn't violate the man's federal or state constitutional rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today.
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Trial court didn't err in denying mistrial

November 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court didn't abuse its discretion in denying a mistrial after learning a juror asked the state's firearms expert a question outside the courtroom during a recess in the trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA: Man didn't personally waive right to jury

November 6, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Because the trial court erred in finding a defendant waived his right to have a jury hear the enhancement aspects of his drunk-driving case, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed his elevated conviction.
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Prior conviction doesn't fall under exception

November 5, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a defendant's argument that his felon-in-possession indictment was insufficient because his previous conviction of stealing cable doesn't meet the definition of a "crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year" under 18 U.S.C. Section 921(a)(20)(A).
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7th Circuit: conviction can't enhance sentenceRestricted Content

November 4, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant's conviction of possession of a firearm by a felon stands because police had reasonable suspicion to stop the car he was riding in, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded today.
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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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