Lake County

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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Court splits over release of college transcript

April 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A divided panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed Ball State University’s appeal of the order that it release the transcript of a student who left the school and owes tuition. The student’s mother added the university to her petition seeking to require her ex-husband to contribute to their child’s college expenses.
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District Court properly handles expert testimony by non-expert witnesses

March 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although neither witness called to testify in a criminal trial was an expert, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the District Court did not err by barring the testimony of the defense witness while allowing the statements of the government witness.
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COA: Adoption petition should remain in Superior Court

March 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Lake Superior Court was not required under the county’s case allocation plan to transfer an adoption petition to juvenile court where termination of parental rights proceedings are pending involving the same children, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Lake County bar leader’s vision for year ahead includes looking back

January 29, 2014
Dave Stafford
Michael Tolbert is making history as the new president of the Lake County Bar Association in more ways than being the organization’s first African-American leader.
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Indiana Supreme Court appoints attorney to fill Judge Brown’s post

January 24, 2014
IL Staff
Indianapolis criminal defense attorney David Cook has been appointed as judge pro tempore to fill the duties of suspended Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown.
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Longtime Lake Superior judge dies at 78

January 10, 2014
IL Staff
Lake Superior Judge Gerald N. Svetanoff, 78, died Wednesday. Svetanoff was the longest-serving Lake Superior judge at the time of his death.
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Child Support Court being reopened in Gary

December 4, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although an appeal is pending in the Indiana Court of Appeals, the child support court that had been consolidated to Crown Point in early 2013 is moving back to Gary.
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Woman’s 35-year sentence upheld following death of stepson

November 6, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Lake Superior judge did not abuse her discretion in sentencing a woman to 35 years for neglect of a dependent after the woman’s stepson died following years of abuse.
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Former Lake County clerk’s convictions upheld by 7th Circuit

October 25, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Thomas R. Philpot, the former Lake County clerk convicted of taking more than $24,000 in federal funds earmarked for child support and using that money to pay himself bonuses, will not receive a new trial, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held this week.
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Cappas appointed Lake Superior judge

October 4, 2013
IL Staff
Longtime Highland criminal defense attorney Sam Cappas has been appointed judge in the Lake Superior Criminal Division.
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Failure to object to anonymous jury not ineffective assistance

September 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of murdering his 39-week-pregnant estranged wife cannot claim he received ineffective assistance of counsel because his attorney failed to object to an anonymous jury, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Small-claims change of judge time limit further divides appellate courts

September 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
How long a small-claims court litigant has to request a change of judge is a question that divided a Court of Appeals panel Monday, where a majority found that an earlier appellate panel majority got it wrong. The dissenting judge authored the prior opinion, and said it shouldn’t be disturbed even if it may have been wrongly decided.
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Battle over RTW heats up in courts

September 25, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
When Lake Superior Court Judge John Sedia handed Indiana’s right-to-work law a pink slip, conventional wisdom held that the Indiana Supreme Court would overturn that decision and put the law back to work.
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Longest-serving Lake Superior judge takes leave

September 23, 2013
Dave Stafford
The longest-serving Lake Superior judge is stepping aside, at least temporarily, effective today, according to an order of the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Stopped traffic snarls purse snatcher’s getaway scheme

September 23, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the getaway car moved only a few feet after being stopped by police, a man in the passenger seat still was properly convicted of resisting law enforcement because he instructed the driver of the car to “take off.”
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Man extradited from Wyoming on many charges not denied speedy trial

September 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man who twice escaped incarceration in Indiana and was extradited to face a multitude of charges after he was convicted in Wyoming failed to convince appellate judges he had been denied a speedy trial.
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Appeals panel reinstates claims of capacity, undue influence in trust dispute

August 29, 2013
Dave Stafford
A family feud involving half-siblings contesting the trust bequeathed by their mother was improperly disposed of through summary judgment, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Refusal to remove biased board member ends potential administrative remedies

June 25, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
After finding that the exhaustion of administrative remedies was excused for a company seeking to operate a stone quarry because a drainage board member was biased against the project, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the trial court acquired subject matter jurisdiction and properly denied the board member’s motion to dismiss.
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Supreme Court kicks ‘buyer beware’ vs. disclosure case back to trial court

June 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Lake County dispute over whether a buyer or seller is responsible for a few thousand dollars worth of home defects is headed back to the trial court after a divided Indiana Supreme Court ordered a legal do-over.
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Weinberger cases settle for $55M

June 24, 2013
Dave Stafford
Hundreds of patients of a former Merrillville ear, nose and throat doctor serving a seven-year federal sentence for health-care fraud will be compensated for their medical malpractice claims through a $55 million settlement.
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Stefaniak to become new Lake County juvenile court judge

June 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
Judge Thomas Stefaniak will take over the juvenile court in Lake County, ending a months-long dispute over the judgeship that involved the intervention of the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Justices block Schiralli’s Lake County bench transfer

May 17, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court blocked the transfer of a judge who sought to replace former Lake Superior Juvenile Court Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura after her appointment to head the Department of Child Services.
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Father’s testimony at molestation trial not fundamental error

May 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a Lake County man’s conviction of Class C felony child molesting, rejecting the defendant’s claims that some of the victim’s father’s testimony at trial resulted in fundamental error.
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Sullivan: Mediation between Lake County judges, magistrates fails

May 9, 2013
IL Staff
Mediation ordered by the Indiana Supreme Court failed to settle a dispute among Lake County judges over a juvenile court vacancy, according to a report filed Wednesday by the former justice who tried to resolve the matter.
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