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Domestic violence groups merging

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Starting Wednesday, two organizations designed to battle domestic violence are merging to expand their reach across Indiana.The Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) and the Protective Order Pro Bono Project of Greater Indianapolis are teaming up to combine resources. Aside from providing legal support for domestic violence victims, the newly merged organization will provide referrals to domestic violence service providers for people seeking protective orders. Long-time Marion County domestic violence advocate Linda Olvey Helman will oversee that segment.Kerry Hyatt Blomquist, founding...
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High court rules on estate issue

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled on a matter of first impression today regarding the disposition of an entire estate during life or death. In the Matter of the Guardianship of E.N., Adult,No. 88S01-0703-CV-121, deals with the issue of whether the guardianship estate planning statute authorizes dispositions of a protected person's entire estate, not just "excess" assets, as defined in the statute. In this case, E.N. married and had two children - Shirley and Marvin. He executed a will in 1983 and...
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Supreme Court grants 3 transfers

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer in three cases - David Michael Green v. State of Indiana; Beth Palmer Kopczynski and Alisha Palmer v. David B. and Peggy L. Barger; and Richard U. and Delores J. Pflanz v. Merrill Foster, et al. In Green v. State, 45A05-0612-CR-708, Green appealed his conviction and sentence for two counts of felony murder, claiming his victim's death was out of self-defense and an accident. The Court of Appeals affirmed the state presented sufficient evidence to...
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Court to hear Carmel annexation arguments

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals hears arguments Tuesday in the second Carmel annexation case in the state's appellate courts in a year.Arguments begin at 1 p.m. in City of Carmel v. Certain Home Place Annexation Territory Landowners, 29A04-0510-CV-578.The court had planned to consider the case a year ago, but delayed arguments until the Indiana Supreme Court could make a decision on a similar case also stemming from Carmel. That happened June 27 with the potentially landmark decision in City of Carmel,...
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Circuit Court rules against deputy town marshal

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
A Fort Wayne couple will get their day in court after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals determined the Orland deputy town marshal violated the couple's constitutional rights during an altercation at a towing lot three years ago.In Ryan L. Belcher and Daraina Gleason v. Vaughn Norton and Town of Orland, the court ruled 2-1 Wednesday that the case shouldn't have been dismissed by U.S. District Judge Theresa Springmann in Fort Wayne. The district judge had ruled that Norton, the town's deputy...
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Homeowners must follow health codes

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
Owners of houses or mobile homes they construct themselves still must follow Indiana health codes, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today. The appellate court overturned a trial court's ruling that a section of Indiana code exempted certain homeowners from obtaining a permit for septic systems. At issue in Washington County Health Department and Mike Haddon v. Jeff and Robin White, No. 88A04-0703-CV-126, is whether the Whites' mobile home, which had a discharge pipe running from the bottom of it to the...
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School board to settle with superintendent

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Parties have reached a tentative agreement in a case involving the firing of a Perry Township Schools superintendent, meaning a broader legal question arising from the possible appeal of a federal judge's June ruling likely will have to wait for another day.Specifically, the issue would be the legal scope of a superintendent's employment.The question arises in the case of embattled superintendent H. Douglas Williams, who was placed on paid indefinite administrative leave in November after a 4-3 vote by the school...
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Home Place plans to appeal ruling

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The annexation battle between Carmel and Home Place isn't over yet.Residents in the unincorporated community voted Saturday to appeal the Oct. 17 decision in City of Carmel v. Certain Home Place Annexation Territory Landowners, No. 29A04-0510-CV-578.Attorney Stephen Buschmann plans to file a petition this week asking the Indiana Supreme Court to hear the appeal. The Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Carmel last month, holding the city adequately proved it could afford to annex part of the nearby community and...
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BP will follow previous permit limits

January 1, 2007
Rebecca Berfanger
BP America posted a statement on its Web site Thursday saying the company would operate the Whiting refinery to meet the lower discharge limits contained in the refinery's previous wastewater treatment permit."We have participated in an open and transparent permitting process with the State of Indiana and obtained a valid permit that meets all regulatory standards and is protective of water quality and human health," said BP America Chairman and President Bob Malone in the statement. "Even so, ongoing regional opposition...
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SCOTUS rules on patent obviousness

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States today ruled that an invention can be too obvious for a patent.Taking up the patent issue and question of "How obvious is too obvious?" for the first time in 20 years, the court ruled unanimously in KSR International v. Teleflex that a gas pedal design was too obvious.Engineering company Teleflex sued KSR International, a Canadian maker of gas pedals, for alleged infringement of a patent it owned on an adjustable gas pedal assembly (which...
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COA reverses annexation decision

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's decision in a northern Indiana annexation case, citing a recent ruling on the subject from the Indiana Supreme Court. In the case In the Matter of the Annexation Proposed by Ordinance No. 2004-11-38, et al. v. Chris Fetcko, et al., 45A03-0611-CV-549, the city of Crown Point appealed the trial court's order granting the motion for involuntary dismissal filed by Fetcko and other remonstrators to a city ordinance annexing certain land. Crown Point...
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Dubious people no threat at federal courthouse in Indianapolis

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Suspicious camouflage-clad characters were thought to be creeping on the roof of the federal courthouse in Indianapolis this morning.But a report about 9 a.m. to the U.S. Marshals Office in Indianapolis turned out to be "completely unfounded," according to senior inspector Mark Robinett.Rather than a viable security threat, though, the call from the Chase building across the street turned out to involve window washers, according to accounts from both Robinett and Jo McNight, chief deputy clerk at the U.S. District Court...
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SCOTUS to hear East Chicago case in October

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The court docket for the nation's highest court is published, and the Supreme Court of the United States will hear arguments in an East Chicago case during the first week it returns in October.Justices will consider U.S. v. Efrain Santos as its sixth case of the term on Oct. 3, according to the session calendar. It will be the first Indiana case heard by the high court since the Hammond v. Indiana arguments in March 2006. The court agreed in April...
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Longtime trial lawyer Townsend dies

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Indiana has lost a pioneer who has been a fixture in the personal injury legal community for more than six decades.Earl C. Townsend Jr., who co-founded Indianapolis law firm Townsend & Townsend and went on to become one of the most recognized names in the legal community, has died. He was 92.Along with his brother John, he helped establish the law firm Townsend & Townsend in downtown Indianapolis after graduating in 1940 from the University of Michigan Law School. He remained...
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State waited too long to file charges, court rules

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a voluntary manslaughter case on grounds that prosecutors waited too long to file charges.Appellate judges issued a decision today in Ralph Barnett v. State of Indiana, 48A02-0605-CR-389 which stems from a 1993 physical confrontation at the Pendleton Correctional Facility. Barnett got into fight with fellow inmate Ricky Combs after being released from cells for a creation session, and Barnett maneuvered a handmade pick away from Combs before starting to walk away. When Combs attacked...
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Carmel met requirements for Southwest Clay annexation

January 1, 2007
Rebecca Berfanger
The Indiana Supreme Court today found for the City of Carmel in a case regarding landowners who opposed annexation of their property in Southwest Clay Township following a settlement between the city and an organization who called themselves No Ordinance for Annexation (NOAX), who filed a remonstrance and agreed to the settlement in 2005.The opinion, City of Carmel, Indiana v. Certain Southwest Clay Township Annexation Territory Landowners, 29S00-0608-CV-300, addresses two issues, according to Bryan Babb, an attorney who represents the City...
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Court accepts habitual traffic violator case

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court decided Thursday to consider a case that presents an issue of first impression regarding an Operating While being a Habitual Traffic Violator statute.In the case State of Indiana v. Karl D. Jackson, 29A02-0610-CR-867, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles determined in 2003 that Karl D. Jackson was a habitual traffic violator and suspended his license. The state agency mailed a notice to Jackson, but he hadn't notified the BMV that he had moved so he never received it.A...
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Court rules on military retirement benefits during divorce

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
State courts can't treat military retirement pay waived for veterans' disability pay as marital property to be divided during divorce, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.Citing caselaw from the nation's highest court, a unanimous three-judge panel reversed and remanded a Randolph County decision in William A. Griffin, Jr. v. Shari L. Griffin, No. 68A01-0611-CV-491.William and Shari married in 1985 and divorced in 2006, agreeing as part of the dissolution to divide in half his $1,522 retirement pay from the U.S. Air...
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Southern Indiana loses longtime municipal lawyer

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
An Evansville city attorney who was a longtime municipal advisor and considered an expert in that area of the law has died.Kevin Wayne Winternheimer, 52, died Tuesday night after a battle with liver and pancreatic cancer, according to a statement released by the mayor's office Wednesday afternoon. He had served as a legal advisor to four mayors - both Democrat and Republican, six corporate counsels, and had served as counsel to almost every board and officeholder in Evansville and Vanderburgh County.Graduating...
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Court rules on grandparent visitation

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
What is likely to be a ruling of first impression in Indiana and one of a few nationally, the Indiana Court of Appeals today reversed a ruling that had ended a grandmother's visitation with her grandson following the adoption of her adult mother.The 11-page ruling comes in a guardianship action involving the minor, J.E.M, in Maxine E. Handshoe v. Jessica L. Ridgway, No. 76A03=0612-CV-603.Grandmother Maxine Handshoe is appealing the Steuben Circuit ruling that terminated her visitation privileges with her biological grandson,...
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Indiana governor subpoenaed in Vioxx litigation

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels will testify this fall in the ongoing federal court litigation involving recalled painkiller Vioxx, which is being blamed for thousands of heart attacks nationwide.Documents in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana's online filing system show that subpoenas went out Tuesday, and Daniels will give a taped deposition in Indianapolis Sept. 11. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is scheduled to do the same Sept. 4 in his home state.Both governors have ties to the drug industry -...
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Court increases registration fee for lawyers

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Indiana attorneys will have to pay $10 more a year to be licensed to practice law in the state, though they'll still fare better than most of their colleagues around the country.The Indiana Supreme Court issued an order this week increasing the fee from $105 to $115, making it effective for this year's Oct. 1 due date.This is the first increase in five years, when the fee rose from $95 to $105.Delinquency fees stay the same: $65 will be added for fees...
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Attorneys suspended over registration fees

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
More than twice as many Indiana practicing attorneys were suspended this year for not paying their registration fees, compared to 2006.Those 133 attorneys were suspended this week from the practice of law - on top of 111 colleagues also suspended this week for not meeting continuing legal education requirements.A set of two orders came from the Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday, though the registration fee suspension order wasn't immediately available from the courts. It was posted online late Thursday. The orders...
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Justices: law requires courts' reasons in sentencing

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Trial courts must issue sentencing statements that include a detailed account of the judge's reasons for imposing penalties, such as aggravators and mitigators, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.Additionally, the state's highest court has reiterated that it will only review a sentence on the grounds of abuse of discretion.In a ruling that answers questions left open following the 2005 revision of state law regarding Indiana's sentencing structure, justices unanimously affirmed a Kosciusko Superior judge's decision in Alexander J. Anglemyer v. State...
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Pro bono director selected for SCOTUS fellowship

January 1, 2007
Rebecca Berfanger
A commission of nine members chosen by the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court has selected Monica A. Fennell, executive director of the Indiana Pro Bono Commission, as the 2007-2008 U.S. Supreme Court fellow assigned to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Her fellowship begins in the fall.Fennell ;s responsibilities would include the analysis and implementation of studies requested by Congress or the Judicial Conference, researching the federal rulemaking process, or drafting publications on administrative issues of...
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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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