Indiana Lawyer Staff

Officer's work with victims recognized

May 6, 2010
IL Staff
U.S. Attorney Timothy M. Morrison in the Southern District of Indiana gave Cumberland Police Officer Jimmy Laws the 2010 United States Attorney's Carol S. Morris Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Rights of Victims on May 5.
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Opinion rules on 2 issues of first impression

May 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was faced with two issues of first impression in one opinion – the meaning of Indiana Code Section 27-9-3-34(d) and whether a party is entitled to a jury trial for disputes concerning claims in liquidation proceedings.
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Justices approve 'double enhancement'

May 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the use of the same prior conviction to both elevate a defendant’s charge to a felony and find him a habitual substance offender because of explicit legislative direction on the enhancements.
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Governor picks lawyers for boards, commissions

May 4, 2010
IL Staff
Several attorneys were among those Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed to various boards and commissions Monday.
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Comments sought on proposed rule changes

May 4, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure is seeking comment on several proposed rule changes.
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Justices differ on reasonableness of GAL fees

May 3, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
If two parties in a domestic relations dispute sign a written contract to retain the services of a guardian ad litem, then the trial court must enforce the terms of the agreement unless it is contrary to public policy, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Friday.
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Benton, Carroll counties on Odyssey

May 3, 2010
IL Staff
The courts in Benton and Carroll counties have joined nearly 50 other courts in the state using the Indiana Supreme Court Odyssey Case Management System. The courts and clerk’s offices in those counties went online Friday.
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7th Circuit grants writ of habeas corpus

May 3, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a habeas corpus petition, finding the Indiana Court of Appeals unreasonably applied federal law when it determined prior statements of identification by witnesses the government suppressed didn’t create a reasonable probability of a different result at trial.
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Judge to be honored for internship program

April 30, 2010
IL Staff
A Marion Superior judge will be recognized for providing internships to Indianapolis students that offer insight into the judicial system.
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High court grants 3 transfers

April 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer Thursday to three cases involving a murder conviction, a request for post-conviction relief, and the appointment of counsel for a mother involved in a termination proceeding.
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Judges affirm juvenile placement in DOC

April 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was sympathetic to a teen’s request to not be placed in the Department of Correction, but it noted that all other remedies for his rehabilitation had been exhausted in his home county.
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Justices rule on sentence modificationRestricted Content

April 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A conviction of a Class D felony that is later reduced to a Class A misdemeanor doesn’t prevent a trial court from modifying a sentence below the statutory minimum, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today in a matter of first impression.
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COA: Judge should have recused himself

April 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a defendant that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel because his attorney should have filed a motion for change of judge. The sentencing judge had worked as a prosecutor in the early stages of the defendant’s case 10 years earlier.
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Judges reverse, reinstate sex-offender conviction

April 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s conviction of failing to register as a sex offender based on a lack of evidence showing the man had a connection to Indiana 90 days after his last registration. The appellate court did reinstate a vacated conviction for failing to notify law enforcement of his move within 72 hours.
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Identity thief forged Indiana federal judge's signature

April 29, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A convicted identity thief from Indiana with at least four aliases pleaded guilty earlier this week in a Montana federal court on charges that he not only impersonated a military officer and stole multiple identities, but also that he forged court documents last year and signed the name of U.S. Judge David F. Hamilton from the Southern District of Indiana.
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Justices: No error in declaring mistrial

April 28, 2010
A trial court's determination to discharge a jury at a defendant's second trial wasn't an abuse of discretion, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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Courts study changing surrogacy lawRestricted Content

April 28, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Surrogacy law in Indiana is at a crossroads because of scientific and technological advances that give people more options to start a family.
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Longtime Indiana Judicial Center education director retires after 30 yearsRestricted Content

April 28, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Judicial education inside Indiana used to be much more like law school, where a knowledgeable "professor" would stand at the front of a room and lecture to "students" in the audience about a particular topic. That was how it was three decades ago, before Cathy Springer signed on as the Indiana Judicial Center's education director.
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Attorneys explore Egyptian culture, historyRestricted Content

April 28, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
After spending countless hours in an office, some attorneys seem to crave vacations that will take them out of their comfort zones. So maybe it's no surprise that nine out of 38 people on a trip to Egypt in late March were Indianapolis attorneys.
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Justices rule company engaged in UPL in trust mill caseRestricted Content

April 28, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court orders an Indianapolis-based company to stop engaging in any conduct that might be considered unauthorized practice of law.
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Book targeting youth touches on deputy prosecutor's experiencesRestricted Content

April 28, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
An Allen County deputy prosecutor has published her first novel for young adults that, while entirely fiction, includes some references to issues she has dealt with in her work handling child abuse cases.
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Court pilot programs boost foreclosure conferencesRestricted Content

April 28, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Foreclosure rates have remained at record highs for Indiana the past few years, and a court program to help homeowners hasn't been as successful as hoped. That's now changing.
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Judicial nominees on the road to confirmationRestricted Content

April 28, 2010
Michael Hoskins
When he was being considered for a seat on the federal appellate bench, Judge John D. Tinder recalled getting a phone call about an ongoing case just before he was set to appear before senators in Washington, D.C.
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Trial court lacks jurisdiction in tax suit

April 27, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court is the proper venue for a suit filed by the state to recover an erroneous tax refund, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed today.
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Judges affirm rulings in Iraq name-selling case

April 26, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the District Court's decisions in the appeals by the central Indiana man who tried to sell the names of CIA agents working covertly in Iraq shortly before the U.S. invaded the country in 2003.
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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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