Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

Lawyer’s use of word ‘Negro’ prejudiced client, but doesn't get PCR

December 1, 2016
Dave Stafford
A defense attorney who has since been disbarred prejudiced his absent client when he referred to him as a “Negro” before potential jurors, a judge wrote, but the offending word wasn’t enough for the Court of Appeals to grant post-conviction relief.
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COA finds that defendant did not prove counsel error

September 21, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals will not reverse a decision to deny a man’s petition for post-conviction relief after he was convicted of three counts of felony robbery, despite his argument that the third charge of felony robbery was added against him in an untimely manner.
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7th Circuit upholds foster father’s child molestation conviction

September 13, 2016
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a foster father’s conviction of molesting his former foster daughter after the foster father claimed that his counsel at trial was ineffective in a manner that was prejudicial.
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Man’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim fails in 7th Circuit

August 30, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The habeas corpus petition by a prisoner at the Miami Correctional Facility was correctly denied in federal court, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Monday. The man argued his appellate counsel provided ineffective assistance of counsel regarding his habitual offender adjudication.
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Man’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim fails

July 22, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s assertion that he received ineffective assistance of counsel because his attorney didn’t object to the validity of the order placing him on probation.
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Murder defendant’s trial attorney ineffective, COA rules

June 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the denial of a man’s post-conviction relief petition, finding his trial counsel was ineffective and his petition was not barred by laches.
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COA upholds denial of post-conviction relief petition

May 12, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the denial of a man’s post-conviction relief petition after it found any ineffectiveness of counsel the man received did not affect the outcome of his case in his decision to plead guilty to Class A felony neglect of a dependent.
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7th Circuit affirms COA sentence in split decision

April 27, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a split decision the Indiana Court of Appeals did not make any error in federal law when it upheld a man’s consecutive 40-year sentences for three convictions of child molestation.
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Court reduces man's sentence by 3 years

April 5, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reduced a man’s aggregate sentence by three years after it found he was denied effective assistance of counsel when his counsel did not bring up a statutory limitation issue.
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Decision against trying to bifurcate did not prejudice jury

February 8, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Refusing to second-guess trial strategy, the Indiana Court of Appeals found an East Chicago man did not meet his burden to prove he had ineffective counsel.
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7th Circuit: Plea agreement forecloses sentence appeal

February 5, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A man who pleaded guilty in federal court to drug charges is unable to challenge his sentence on appeal based on this plea agreement, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Split COA finds attorney did not provide adequate counsel

December 29, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Two typewritten letters and handwritten notes between a now-deceased defense attorney and a former prosecutor have divided the Indiana Court of Appeals over whether a plea agreement had actually been negotiated.
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SCOTUS says lawyer’s brief absence doesn’t merit retrial

March 30, 2015
 Associated Press
The  Supreme Court of the United States says a Michigan man convicted of murder and armed robbery does not deserve a new trial even though his lawyer was absent for 10 minutes during the original trial.
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No new trial for Indiana woman convicted in deadly crash

March 5, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indianapolis woman convicted of killing six children and a man in a wrong-way, head-on collision along a state highway will not get a new trial, a judge has ruled.
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Judges rule counsel was not deficient, drug conviction stands

February 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction of Class D felony possession of marijuana in excess of 30 grams after finding that the claims he wanted his attorney to raise at trial would not have prevailed.
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COA reverses convictions based on ineffective appellate counsel

December 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s convictions of Class A felony child molesting and Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor based on his sexual advances toward his stepdaughter when she was in junior high and high school. The judges acknowledged as a result of their decision, the stepfather won’t face any legal consequences for those actions, but the state had a duty to present sufficient evidence to support those convictions.
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Woman convicted in deadly wrong-way crash appears in court

October 31, 2014
 Associated Press
Attorneys for an Indianapolis woman convicted of killing six children and a 40-year-old man in a head-on traffic collision asked a judge for a new trial Thursday, arguing in part she had inadequate legal counsel.
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Woman convicted in deadly crash returning to court

October 30, 2014
 Associated Press
A woman convicted 13 years ago of killing seven people in a head-on collision that prosecutors said was a suicide attempt is headed back to court.
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Split COA reverses denial of post-conviction relief

October 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
A defense attorney’s failure to raise the consecutive sentencing limitation prejudiced his client, the majority of a Court of Appeals panel ruled, reversing denial of post-conviction relief for a man convicted of multiple burglaries. The court remanded for resentencing to trim six years off a 28-year prison term.
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Justices reverse grant of post-conviction relief

September 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a defendant’s claim that his attorneys were ineffective for not arguing that, based on a Supreme Court case, his conviction for Class B felony criminal confinement should be reversed or reduced. But the man inappropriately relies on the case, and what he claims his attorneys should have argued is not the law.
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Defendant loses on ineffective counsel claim

September 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant did not show that he was denied the effective assistance of appellate counsel, so the court correctly denied his petition for post-conviction relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Deficient counsel does not overcome convincing evidence

August 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Even though the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals spelled out in a 17-page opinion what defense counsel should have done during a bench trial, the appellate panel ultimately concluded the deficient representation did not prejudice the case.
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Appeals court affirms denial of post-conviction relief

July 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man who was represented by a law student at his guilty plea hearing and claimed he received ineffective assistance of counsel could not persuade a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse a denial of his petition for post-conviction relief.
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Appeals court affirms post-conviction relief not justified for rapist

July 15, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man who pleaded guilty in 1997 to raping his 6-year-old daughter committed a crime so heinous that his sentence of 50 years in prison was justified, and he raised no issues in a post-conviction relief appeal on which the sentence could be reduced.
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COA vacates murder conviction for ineffective assistance

June 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A woman convicted of a 2006 murder received ineffective assistance of counsel and is entitled to a retrial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday, vacating a murder conviction.
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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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