Criminal case

Ticket can't constitute 'testimonial hearsay'

November 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Because a chemical breath-test evidence ticket is a mechanically produced readout that can’t be considered “testimonial hearsay” under U.S. Supreme Court precedent, the Indiana Court of Appeals held a man’s Sixth Amendment rights weren’t violated when the equipment technician didn’t testify at his drunk-driving trial.
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COA upholds denial of post-conviction relief

November 3, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with the post-conviction court that a defendant didn’t receive ineffective assistance of trial counsel, finding the man had no right to the effective assistance of counsel at the time he gave a statement to police in front of the attorney.
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COA finds voyeurism statute not vague

October 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The state’s voyeurism statute is not unconstitutionally vague, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today by rejecting a man’s claims that the statute would prevent taping a surprise birthday party.
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Court splits on public intoxication conviction

October 21, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split today on whether a woman’s conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication should be reversed because she wasn’t in a public place within the meaning of Indiana Code at the time police stopped her car.
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SCOTUS declines Indiana death penalty case

October 18, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court won’t re-consider a ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court late last year that upheld a man’s death sentence and revised its stance on what it means when a jury fails to recommend a unanimous sentence.
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Court reverses indeterminate commitment of juvenile

October 14, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals addressed the interplay between sections 6 and 10 of Indiana Code 31-37-19 governing juvenile commitment for the first time today. The judges noted when they are applied separately the sections produce opposite results regarding the purpose of the statutes.   
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7th Circuit orders lower court to consider a minor participant reduction

October 13, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a man’s lengthy sentence for transporting drug money because the District Court needs to determine whether the man should receive a minor participant reduction since he only transported money one time.
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Court: stipulation can be in preliminary jury instructions

October 13, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Even though a defendant waived his argument for appeal that a stipulation may not be placed before a jury via preliminary jury instructions, the Indiana Court of Appeals held the opposite today in a case involving a conviction of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.
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SCOTUS rejects two Indiana cases

October 12, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States has declined to get involved in two appeals out of Indiana, upholding federal or state rulings on both cases.
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Court affirms, denies challenge to DNA evidence, new mid-trial witness

October 6, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
The Court of Appeals today affirmed a man’s convictions and sentence for felony robbery despite his challenge to whether the trial court properly admitted DNA evidence and allowed the testimony of a witness discovered mid-trial.
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COA affirms murder conviction, sentence of 14-year-old

October 5, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
When asked whether the conviction of and sentence for felony murder were appropriate findings for a 14-year-old offender, the Indiana Court of Appeals today affirmed the Marion Superior Court’s decision.
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COA: Traffic stop allowed in private parking lot

October 4, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the denial of man’s motion to suppress, finding Indiana Code doesn’t bar law enforcement from investigating violations in private parking lots even if there isn’t a contractual agreement with the property owner to allow officers to enforce traffic ordinances.
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Majority: warrantless car search OK under automobile exception

October 1, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Fourth Amendment doesn’t prohibit a warrantless search of an operational car found in a public place if police have probable cause to believe the car contains evidence of a crime, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
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Pre-trial ID of attacker allowed at trial

September 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The trial court didn’t err in allowing a victim’s pre-trial identification of his attacker, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today in a matter of first impression.
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First impression case on mouthpieces as 'foreign substance'

September 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression, a portable breath test mouthpiece isn’t a foreign substance that will act to invalidate the results of a blood alcohol content Datamaster chemical breath test, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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High court orders new murder trial

September 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court overturned a Fulton County man’s murder sentence because a detective continued with the interview even after the man invoked his right to counsel several times.
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Supreme Court affirms sexually violent predator status

September 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A man’s challenge to the finding that he is a sexually violent predator failed because the invited error doctrine precludes consideration of his claims on appeal, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.
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Justices remand to see if defendant had accurate interpreting

September 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ordered the post-conviction court to hold a new hearing for a Mexican man who claimed he didn’t mean to plead guilty to two felonies and did so only because of faulty interpreting in court.
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Majority orders new requirement for pro se defendants with little guidance

September 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Three Indiana Supreme Court justices created a new requirement as an exercise of supervisory powers when it comes to informing future defendants about the dangers of proceeding pro se, leaving two justices to dissent because the new requirement provides no guidance as to what trial courts must do or say.
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Court reaffirms 3-step test for in camera review

September 24, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals doesn’t believe that its previous ruling regarding the in camera review of an organization’s documents relating to alleged molestation victims sends the message that it’s “open season” on the records of victim services providers.
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Appellate court vacates murder, dealing convictions

September 23, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals vacated convictions of felony murder and dealing in a controlled substance because the state didn’t prove the man was involved in the dealing of ecstasy.
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COA: Hearsay evidence properly admitted

September 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the admission of hearsay evidence of a woman’s testimony to an officer that her boyfriend hit her because the evidence was admissible under the excited utterance exception.
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Supreme Court takes 4 cases

September 21, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to four cases Sept. 17, including one involving translated transcripts presented to a jury in a drug case.
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Justices take 3 cases

September 13, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court accepted transfer of three cases last week, including a case in which the Indiana Court of Appeals lengthened a man’s sentence.
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Judge orders law firms to repay city $453,282

September 2, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Merrillville attorney and three law firms must repay East Chicago a total $453,282 in legal fees they collected for defending former city officials in the Sidewalk Six scandal.
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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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