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Discipline case poses questions on recusals, separation of powers

October 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Delaware County Prosecutor Mark McKinney should be publicly reprimanded for violating four professional conduct rules in his handling of civil forfeiture matters as a private attorney while simultaneously prosecuting those same criminal defendants, according to a hearing officer the Indiana Supreme Court appointed to examine disciplinary charges against the prosecutor.
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Commissions applicants Q&A online

October 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Read the responses from the five Indiana Judicial Nominating and Qualification commissions nominees to questions posed by Indiana Lawyer.
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7th Circuit finds for energy plant

October 12, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today reversed a decision out of Indiana regarding a claim by the Environmental Protection Agency that Cinergy Corp. was wrong to modify its coal-burning plants without first obtaining a permit from the EPA.
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Pending dissolution settlement not enforceable upon a party's death

October 12, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
A property-settlement document is not an enforceable contract if one of the parties dies before the dissolution action is finalized, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Actual notice denies bona fide purchaser defense

October 12, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
The Indiana Court of Appeals today reversed an interlocutory order and remanded for the trial court to grant prejudgment possession of farm equipment to a company that had security interest in it even though it had been traded to another company.
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SCOTUS rejects two Indiana cases

October 12, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States has declined to get involved in two appeals out of Indiana, upholding federal or state rulings on both cases.
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Wrongfully-convicted man sues for withholding evidence

October 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A man who spent nearly 18 years in prison for crimes from which he was later exonerated is now suing the City of Hammond and various police officers involved in his arrest.
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Suit filed following inmate's suicide

October 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A father whose son committed suicide while in a southern Indiana jail has filed a lawsuit against the county and its sheriff.
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Court cuts $42.4 million state back pay award

October 8, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals today significantly slashed a $42.4 million damages award against the state, cutting the period from which employees can recover back pay from 20 years to about two months.
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Former Florida chief justice to speak on diversity

October 8, 2010
IL Staff
A former chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court, who was on the bench during Bush v. Gore, is the keynote speaker at this year’s President’s Dinner at the Indiana State Bar Association annual meeting in Indianapolis.
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COA rules on military benefits to former spouses

October 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Ruling on the issue for the first time, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held that a military spouse may not, by a post-decree waiver of retirement pay in favor of disability benefits or combat-related special compensation, unilaterally and voluntarily reduce the benefits awarded to the former spouse in a dissolution decree.
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Judge: Girls' basketball games schedule not discriminatory

October 7, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge has ruled that 14 school corporations haven’t discriminated against girls’ basketball teams by scheduling more of their games on weeknights instead of weekends as compared to boys’ basketball games.
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Judge Pratt to be officially sworn in Friday

October 7, 2010
IL Staff
The state’s first African-American federal judge will be formally sworn in Friday afternoon at the United States Courthouse in Indianapolis.
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Suit challenges Bible instruction at public school

October 7, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A mother’s objection to Bible study being taught at her son’s public school has led her to file a lawsuit to stop the religious teaching.
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Court affirms, denies challenge to DNA evidence, new mid-trial witness

October 6, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
The Court of Appeals today affirmed a man’s convictions and sentence for felony robbery despite his challenge to whether the trial court properly admitted DNA evidence and allowed the testimony of a witness discovered mid-trial.
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BLE executive director appointed to national bar admission council

October 6, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Board of Law Examiners executive director has been appointed executive secretary of the Council of Bar Admission Administrators.
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Indiana Supreme Court upholds death sentence

October 5, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has declined to grant a twice-convicted death row inmate’s request for a new trial, upholding his convictions and penalty for murders that go back more than a decade.
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Governor: 1-year cooling off period applies to ALJs

October 5, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The governor today fired the state's top utility regulator, citing ethical concerns about how a former Administrative Law Judge presided over cases involving a regulated energy company leading up to his taking a job there.
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High court tackles use-tax issue

October 5, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
The Supreme Court today ruled that a contribution by a parent corporation to the capital of its subsidiary is not automatically excluded from Indiana use tax.
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Justices disagree on prosecutor's public reprimand

October 5, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has publicly reprimanded a lawyer for what happened to his license when he left private practice to become a full-time prosecutor in northwest Indiana, but the disciplinary action has split the state’s justices on whether a more severe punishment was warranted.
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Supreme Court reverses parental-rights termination

October 5, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
The Indiana Supreme Court reversed a father’s involuntary termination of parental rights today, noting the lack of clear and convincing evidence.
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COA affirms murder conviction, sentence of 14-year-old

October 5, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
When asked whether the conviction of and sentence for felony murder were appropriate findings for a 14-year-old offender, the Indiana Court of Appeals today affirmed the Marion Superior Court’s decision.
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Hearing officer: prosecutor should get public reprimand

October 4, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Delaware County Prosecutor Mark McKinney should be publicly reprimanded for violating four professional conduct rules in his handling of civil forfeiture matters as a private attorney while simultaneously prosecuting those same criminal defendants, according to hearing officer appointed by the Indiana Supreme Court.
More

Supreme Court to rule on priority rights on liens

October 4, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court took a case from the Indiana Court of Appeals involving strict foreclosure in which the lower appellate court adopted the reasoning from a federal case to determine priority rights on liens.
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New grant available for Indiana legal history projects

October 4, 2010
IL Staff
If you’ve wanted to print walking-tour brochures or create an oral history of your county’s courthouse, there’s now a grant that can help you achieve that goal.
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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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