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Judges address 'public utility' questions

April 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
In a case of first impression in this state, the Indiana Court of Appeals has determined that BP Products North America Inc.'s petroleum refinery plant in northern Indiana isn’t a public utility as defined by state statute when it acts as a sort of conduit and provides natural gas and other services such as steam and wastewater to other private companies nearby.
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COA rules botched burial does not entitle relatives to award

April 25, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that relatives of a woman whose burial went awry are not entitled to damages.
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Judges uphold identity thief's sentence

April 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a decision Friday, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals repeated its holding that a District judge can satisfy the review standards under 18 U.S.C. Section 3553(a) without having to list every possible sentencing factor or detail of every argument raised for the federal appellate court to find that the sentence was proper.
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Ind. magistrate judge to chair Federal Judicial Center committee

April 22, 2011
IL Staff
U.S. Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker has been appointed by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. to serve as chair of the Federal Judicial Center’s U.S. Magistrate Judge Education Advisory Committee.
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Lawsuit to take bar exam goes to 7th Circuit

April 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The man who believes he should be able to sit for the bar exam even though he didn’t go to law school has asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider the dismissal of his lawsuit.
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Justices put school board member back on Hammond mayoral ballot

April 22, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court late Thursday reversed a decision from a Lake Superior judge and put a nonpartisan school board member back on the ballot for the Hammond mayoral run in the upcoming primary election.
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Justices find email is constitutionally protected speech

April 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred in granting summary judgment to a fire chief and township in a firefighter’s suit following his termination by the chief for sending a personal, political email that the chief believed contained false statements of fact. The firefighter’s email was actually constitutionally protected speech, the Indiana Supreme Court held Thursday.
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Social Security income shouldn't be considered in restitution orders

April 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Dealing with an issue of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that Social Security income must be excluded when considering a defendant’s ability to pay restitution.
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NCAA championship ticket distribution not a lottery

April 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s ticket-distribution plan for championship games doesn’t constitute a “lottery” under Indiana law, the Indiana Supreme Court decided Thursday. The issue was before the justices as certified questions from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Kissing a sleeping victim doesn't constitute sexual battery

April 20, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A victim being asleep isn’t equivalent to a mental disability or deficiency for purposes of the sexual battery statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Legislation impacting judiciary awaiting final approval

April 20, 2011
Kelly Lucas
Several bills that may alter the look of the Indiana judiciary await final approval during the waning days of the 2011 legislative session.
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Justices dismiss appeal

April 20, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal in an insurance case involving attorney-client privilege because the parties have reached a mediated settlement.
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Open house Thursday for court agency office

April 20, 2011
IL Staff
The Domestic Relations Counseling Bureau is holding an open house Thursday for its new offices in the City-County Building in downtown Indianapolis. The 40-year-old court agency provides recommendations to the court for custody and visitation.
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UPDATE: Hamilton Superior judge surprised by case resolution

April 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
In all his years on the bench, Hamilton Superior Judge William J. Hughes said he hasn’t experienced what he did this week as a defendant in a North Carolina court.
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Hamilton County judge pleads guilty to reckless driving

April 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Longtime Hamilton Superior Judge William J. Hughes pleaded guilty Monday in a North Carolina court, avoiding a drunken driving conviction for a lesser count of reckless driving that means a year of unsupervised probation.
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Latino services coordinator receives award for service to victims

April 19, 2011
IL Staff
Joseph Hogsett, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, presented an award Tuesday that honors people whose commitment and effort has a positive impact on the lives of crime victims in Indiana.
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Experts to discuss judicial selection at IU Maurer

April 19, 2011
IL Staff
Four nationally known experts on judicial selection will participate in a panel discussion April 21 at Indiana University Maurer School of Law in the Moot Court Room.
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COA to hear arguments at Ivy Tech campuses

April 19, 2011
IL Staff
The Court of Appeals of Indiana will visit two Ivy Tech campuses Thursday to hear arguments in an insurance case and battery case.
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Judge argues state must prove actual endangerment

April 18, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split Monday regarding a man’s conviction of misdemeanor operating while intoxicated, with Judge Terry Crone arguing the statute requires the state to prove actual endangerment of the driver or others, not just the possibility of it.
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Court of Appeals dismisses Bren Simon's appeal

April 18, 2011
IBJ Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals has dismissed Bren Simon’s petition seeking to reverse a lower court’s ruling that removed her as interim trustee of her late husband’s $2 billion estate.
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COA upholds convictions in Indianapolis Hamilton Ave. murders

April 18, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a man’s convictions and reduced his sentence to 421 years for his involvement in the gruesome robbery and murders of seven Indianapolis residents, including three children, in June 2006.
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Justices accept ordinance case

April 18, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether an Indiana town’s ordinance that would give the town the exclusive right to control, regulate, and sell water is actually invalid.
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Federal budget cuts lead to uncertainty for state's student civic programs

April 15, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Chuck Dunlap, executive director of the Indiana Bar Foundation, says federal budget cuts mean the IBF’s Civic Education Program will have no federal funding as of September.
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Allen Superior Court seeks magistrate judge

April 15, 2011
IL Staff
The Allen Superior Court Criminal Division is accepting applications for the magistrate judge position that will open up after Magistrate Judge Robert J. Schmoll retires. Magistrate Schmoll was appointed to the bench in January 1995.
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House committee passes altered immigration bill

April 15, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana House Public Policy Committee has passed Senate Bill 590, a contentious piece of legislation that aims to tackle illegal immigration in the state.
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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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