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 grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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