Indiana Supreme Court

Justices leave man’s life sentence intact

April 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday upheld a Lake County man’s sentence of life in prison without parole for the murder of a co-worker during a robbery. Ronnie Jamel Rice claimed the trial court improperly relied on non-statutory aggravators when imposing his sentence.
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Justices: parole conditions unenforceable, SOMM constitutional

April 16, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday ordered a trial court to enjoin the Indiana Parole Board from enforcing the conditions of a man’s parole that prevent him from associating with minors. But the justices denied his request to find the Sex Offender Management and Monitoring program is unconstitutional.
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Justices take 5 cases, deny IBM appeals

April 15, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme accepted five cases last week on transfer, including an appeal of an order that a woman pay $4,000 a month to her ex-husband in spousal maintenance. The justices also denied 18 cases, including appeals by IBM and subcontractor regarding the failed contract to update the state’s welfare system.
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Attorney reprimand based on association with ‘Law Tigers’

April 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court privately reprimanded a Lake County attorney Friday for making misleading communications regarding legal services and not including his office address in a public communications. The charges stem from his affiliation with a national for-profit organization that franchises its registered trademarks, including “Law Tigers,” to law firms around the country.
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Justices grant transfer in 2 wrongful death cases

April 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will consider whether attorney fees awarded as damages in wrongful death cases from the Indiana Patients Compensation Fund are subject to a 15 percent cap of the total reward. It’s one of two appeals justices accepted last week, both involving wrongful death cases.
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Workshop designed to help educators teach students about the courts

April 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Teachers from across the state will be getting an up-close view of the judicial system through a one-day workshop hosted by the Indiana Supreme Court and the Indiana Bar Foundation.
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Divided high court affirms DNA unnecessary to establish paternity

April 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indiana Supreme Court justices split 3-2 in affirming that DNA evidence is not required to establish paternity.
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Justices uphold ruling for insurer in negligence claim

April 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Homeowners’ claims after a fire that their insurer was negligent because a policy didn’t fully cover replacement costs was time-barred because the policy limits were discoverable at the time the policy was issued, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
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State seeks further discipline against suspended lawyer Paul Page

April 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission has filed a complaint against suspended Indianapolis attorney and developer Paul Page that could result in further sanctions against his law license.
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Justices strike down partial consecutive sentences

April 1, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indiana trial court judges do not have discretion to impose partial consecutive sentences, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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Three-way opinion affirms marijuana conviction

March 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
Three Court of Appeals judges each wrote opinions but affirmed a Grant County man’s conviction of Class D felony possession of marijuana.
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Justices reverse denial of car dealership’s motion to set aside default judgment

March 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a car dealership and its registered agent did not receive notice of a hearing on default judgment, the judgment entered against it was void for want of jurisdiction, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled.
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Divided court upholds principal’s conviction of failure to report child abuse

March 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A split Indiana Supreme Court Thursday upheld a misdemeanor failure to report child abuse conviction against former Muncie Central High School principal Christopher Smith. The dissent believed the state failed to show he had reason to believe an alleged rape was child abuse.
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Justices reverse termination of parental rights in 2 cases

March 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In two short, per curiam decisions, the Indiana Supreme Court found the parental rights of two Marion County parents should not have been terminated because of due process violations after the magistrate who heard their cases resigned before reporting recommended findings and conclusions.
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Two traffic stops and two motions to suppress result in two different rulings

March 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A pair of opinions from the Indiana Supreme Court examines two Terry stops made by police officers and through opposite rulings emphasizes law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion to pull over a driver.
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Justices take post-conviction relief case

March 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will review the reduction from a Class B felony to a Class D felony of a man’s conviction of criminal confinement.
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Public comment invited on Indiana’s child support guidelines

March 24, 2014
IL Staff
The Domestic Relations Committee of the Indiana Judicial Conference is soliciting public input concerning recommendations for changes to the state’s child support guidelines.
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Justices affirm ‘safe harbor’ in Juvenile Mental Health Statute

March 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
A juvenile sex offender’s statements in a polygraph test during probation that he molested two more children may not form the sole basis to prove delinquency, the Indiana Supreme Court held Friday in affirming a trial court and rejecting the state’s appeal.
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Convictions stand related to ‘upskirt’ photographs of teens

March 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld the attempted child exploitation convictions of a man who used a camera to take pictures up females' skirts at an Indianapolis mall.
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Valparaiso attorney charged with stealing $1.6M resigns

March 17, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Valparaiso attorney charged with five counts of theft for allegedly stealing more than $1.6 million from business clients he represented has resigned from the Indiana bar.
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Justices take 4 cases

March 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court accepted four cases on transfer last week, which included a decision on a first impression issue on whether third-party carriers are included in the statute regarding filing proposed medical malpractice complaints.
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Committee seeks comment on potential court rule changes

March 17, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure would like to hear from judges, attorneys and the general public on proposed changes to the Indiana Rules of Court.
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Justices: Mother entitled to attorney during CHINS proceedings

March 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a mother was denied her statutory right to counsel during the course of child in need of services proceedings, and those proceedings directly flowed into the action to terminate her parental rights and adopt out her child, the Indiana Supreme Court vacated the judgment terminating her parental rights.
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Injured bus driver entitled to $25,000 under his insurance policy

March 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Thursday held that a man can recover the remaining $25,000 available to him under his underinsured motorist policy because he did not receive the full statutory minimum of $50,000 from the tortfeasor’s insurer.
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Justices uphold order criminal defendant answer civil complaint

March 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday found a Lake Superior judge did not abuse her discretion in ordering a man criminally charged for the hit-and-run death of a woman to respond to her estate’s wrongful death complaint filed against him.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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