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COA declines to reverse conviction after co-defendant’s conviction overturned

August 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday did not agree with a defendant that his conviction of attempted aggravated battery should be reversed based on the reasoning of a separate appeals panel that overturned the same conviction of his co-defendant.
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7th Circuit finds ALJ’s methodology flawed, orders more proceedings

August 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found an administrative law judge’s opinion denying a man Social Security disability benefits reflects a “flawed evaluation of the record of evidence,” so it ordered more proceedings on the matter.
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Fee cap provision in Med Mal Act does not reduce fund’s liability

August 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has sided with an estate in a dispute over whether the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act's cap on attorney fees from a Patient Compensation Fund award also applies to reduce the fund’s liability. The issue is one of first impression in Indiana.
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Judge rules for defendants in Indy skyline photo copyright suit

August 27, 2014
Dave Stafford
A retired attorney and photographer who has filed numerous infringement lawsuits over the use of his copyrighted photo of the Indianapolis skyline lost a contested case. The ruling judge also said the purported value of the photo is questionable.
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Ex-Indiana elections chief starts politics website

August 27, 2014
 Associated Press
Former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White's voter fraud conviction has taken him out of politics but hasn't stopped him from writing about it.
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Settlement reached in Nashville shocking case

August 27, 2014
 Associated Press
The southern Indiana tourist town of Nashville has reached a settlement with a Michigan man who accused a deputy marshal of shocking him with a Taser gun while he was having a seizure.
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Judge threatens to find Indiana mayor in contempt

August 27, 2014
 Associated Press
A judge threatened to find a central Indiana mayor in contempt of court over a dispute about pipes blocking a courthouse entrance.
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Norman Metzger praised for longtime leadership at ILS

August 27, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Like many young adults in the 1960s, Norman Metzger was inspired by the belief that it is possible to change the world. After a lifetime in public service, the 75-year-old attorney has never lost his passion to make things better for those who have little means and often no voice.
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Gift expands Maurer-linked conservation law program to McKinney students

August 27, 2014
Dave Stafford
Nature can’t always defend itself, but a recent gift to the Conservation Law Center in Bloomington will further the work of preserving environmental resources and open doors to more students drawn to a clinical experience in conservation law.
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Nothing boring about board games

August 27, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys find the more traditional style of gaming is a good way to take a break from work and focus on friends.
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Rush takes oath as chief justice in understated event

August 27, 2014
Dave Stafford
Choosing an intimate but profound setting in the Indiana Supreme Court Law Library to take the oath Aug. 18 as the state’s first female chief justice, Loretta Rush said the history in the tomes spoke volumes to her.
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$500M Marion County Justice Center relies on novel funding

August 27, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
A mainstay of the travel industry, all-inclusive packages are gaining traction with governments that want a simpler way to deliver new public facilities. For an annual fee, a private-sector consortium will design, build, finance, maintain and operate a new road or building. Indianapolis could become one of the first U.S. cities to ink such a deal with a new jail and courthouse on the former site of the GM stamping plant.
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Hemp's growing pains in Indiana

August 27, 2014
Dave Stafford
Industrial hemp was legalized in Indiana when Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill into law this year, but you still can’t grow the crop in the Hoosier State.
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Dickson: Only judges to decide pretrial release

August 27, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Justice Brent Dickson says it's not fair that people are kept in jail because they do not pay a bond to get out.
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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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Judges blast Indiana, Wisconsin gay marriage bans

August 26, 2014
 Associated Press
Federal appeals judges bristled Tuesday at arguments defending gay marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin, with one Republican appointee comparing them to now-defunct laws that once outlawed weddings between blacks and whites.
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Termination of drug court placement over missed therapy affirmed

August 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A woman who missed several drug court mental health therapy sessions failed on appeal to prove she was wrongly terminated from the problem-solving court.
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Deputy’s lack of certification not an issue in suspension of license

August 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A Shelby County man’s refusal to submit to a chemical test for alcohol intoxication voided his argument that his driving privileges should be reinstated because the arresting deputy was not qualified to administer the sobriety test.
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Court upholds $4.7 million judgment in divorce case, orders hearing on stock interests

August 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a divorce decree complicated by the husband’s ownership and interest in several construction and development companies, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed he must pay his wife more than $4.7 million as an equalization payment, plus any interest accruing after 90 days.
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Court affirms escape conviction for home detention violation

August 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday affirmed a Class D felony escape conviction for an Indianapolis man arrested after he broke his home detention curfew.
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COA rules workers’ comp is remedy for temporary employee

August 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who suffered severe heat stroke while working as a temporary employee failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals this his only employer was the temp agency.
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Court affirms judgment in favor of insurer over fire damages

August 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
An insurer was entitled to summary judgment in a lawsuit filed by a couple who claimed the policy limits did not fully compensate them after a fire destroyed their home.
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Court must make findings in denying visitation for imprisoned dad

August 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man released to probation on a murder conviction but subsequently ordered to serve the remainder of his sentence following probation violations failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse denial of his request for parenting time.
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Mail not hearsay, COA rules in affirming drug, gun convictions

August 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Fort Wayne man’s convictions on multiple cocaine-dealing and felony weapons charges were affirmed Tuesday after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled on an issue of first impression, indicating that he was not prejudiced by mail. Lamont Carpenter asserted the trial court abused its discretion when it admitted mail containing his name and address because it was hearsay.
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Attorneys want 2 right-to-work cases combined

August 26, 2014
 Associated Press
The Indiana attorney general's office and attorneys for two sets of plaintiffs challenging the state's right-to-work ban on certain union fees want the Indiana Supreme Court to consolidate the cases.
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  2. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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