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Court splits on first impression dissipation case

November 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented today from his colleagues' decision that a spouse may be found to have dissipated property after refusing to sign and file joint tax returns because the judge believes the ruling is "bad law and bad policy."
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Human rights celebrated at law school

November 30, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
Indianapolis-based Human Rights Works has again teamed up with Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis' Program in International Human Rights Law to host a celebration to coincide with the anniversary of the signing of the United Nation's Declaration of Human Rights.
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CASA program receives $2 million

November 25, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
Child Advocates just got big boost in its efforts to help children.
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COA: Government vehicle exclusion is void

November 25, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today in a matter of first impression that the government vehicle exclusion in underinsured motorist policies is void as against public policy.
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Tipton City Court gets new judge

November 25, 2009
IL Staff
Gov. Mitch Daniels has appointed Jack L. Richter as Tipton City Court judge. Richter succeeds Judge Lewis Daily Harper, who died Aug. 14.
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High court recognized for law day program

November 24, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has received an award from the American Bar Association for its Law Day program this year that focused on Abraham Lincoln as a lawyer.
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Transfer granted to 'knock and talk' case

November 24, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The state's highest court has agreed to hear a case in which the Indiana Court of Appeals split on whether a police "knock and talk" investigation violated a man's constitutional rights.
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Justices consider 'youth program center' issue

November 24, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Walter Whatley isn't disputing the fact that he was in possession of cocaine and that he should be held accountable for that.Instead, the Indianapolis defendant argues that he shouldn't have been convicted of Class A felony cocaine possession, which is what he was charged with given that he had the cocaine within 1,000 feet of a "youth program center" or a church near his home, where police arrested him after finding more than three grams of the illegal substance on him.
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AG files suit against former town employees

November 24, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Attorney General filed a suit Monday against former Chesterfield town officials seeking recovery of more than $259,000 in public funds they allegedly defrauded from the town government.
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Prosecutor misconduct leads to reversal

November 23, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a defendant's conviction of intimidation because several acts of misconduct constituted fundamental error. The appellate court also ruled the man could be retried on the charge.
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FBI releases hate crime stats

November 23, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
More than 9,000 offenses in the U.S. in 2008 motivated by bias to particular groups of people were reported to the FBI in 2008, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program that publishes those statistics, the FBI announced today.
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Survey assesses PACER program

November 20, 2009
IL Staff
The federal judiciary is seeking feedback from users through a short survey on its PACER program, which allows people to search federal court records.
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Worker didn't prove discrimination, retaliation

November 20, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court ruling that a company's elimination of a worker's position, along with not rehiring her after restructuring, didn't constitute retaliation or a hostile work environment.
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Dinner to celebrate attorney's 60-year career

November 19, 2009
IL Staff
The James C. Kimbrough Bar Association will host a retirement dinner to celebrate the 60-year career of Hilbert L. Bradley, a Gary attorney.
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7th Circuit offers alternatives to destroying guns

November 19, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a District judge's order that a defendant's guns be destroyed instead of returned to him, ruling that there were other alternatives than what the District Court considered.
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U.S. Senate confirms Hamilton for 7th Circuit

November 19, 2009
Michael Hoskins
U.S. District Judge David F. Hamilton is the newest jurist on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Judges disagree as how to review sentence

November 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges affirmed today that a defendant's sentence following a guilty plea wasn't inappropriate, but the judges didn't agree as to how to reach that conclusion.
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Reimbursement to estate should be proportional

November 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled today that a proportional allocation of proceeds from a pre-trial settlement would be best way to reimburse an estate for funeral and burial expenses.
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Man faces federal charge in courthouse plot

November 18, 2009
IL Staff
The Pike County man arrested after police discovered his plan to blow up the county courthouse now faces federal charges.
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New academy named after chief justice

November 18, 2009
IL Staff
Students in Vanderburgh County soon will be able to attend an academy named after the state's chief justice; the academy will focus on the law and social justice.
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COA splits, reverses probation revocation

November 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was split today in its decision to reverse the revocation of a defendant's probation. The judges didn't agree that the probation revocation hearing comported with due process.
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2010 Organization Day for lawmakers today

November 17, 2009
IL Staff
Lawmakers returned to the Indiana Statehouse today for Organization Day, a traditionally ceremonial time spent electing leaders and organizing priorities for its second regular session - the short session - that starts in January. More coverage will be in the Nov. 25 issue of Indiana Lawyer.
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UPDATE: Senate passes cloture motion

November 17, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The full U.S. Senate has ended debate on the controversial nomination of U.S. Judge David F. Hamilton, and now senators will vote as soon as Wednesday morning on his confirmation to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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U.S. Senate debating Indiana judge's nomination

November 17, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Indiana is at the heart of a legislative discussion about the future of the federal judiciary, and debate about a judge's controversial nomination is coming to a head this week.
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ACLU recognizes civil liberty allies

November 16, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
The ACLU of Indiana recognized supporters of civil liberties and raised awareness and funds for the organization during its annual dinner Nov. 13 in Indianapolis.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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