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Court's juvenile division launches modest means program

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
A new modest means program has been launched for the Marion Superior Court ;s juvenile division to help families who might not otherwise be able to afford legal representation in CHINS cases.Set up by the Indianapolis Bar Association and juvenile court earlier this year, this program is by court referral only and aimed at supporting families whose income disqualifies them for low and no-cost legal representation from the Marion County Public Defender ;s Office and other legal-assistance programs.Juvenile court officials will...
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News spreads about Tinder's confirmation

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
News came late Tuesday night that U.S. District Judge John D. Tinder has been promoted to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.His first order of business today: resuming a criminal jury trial that's been under way this week in his Southern District of Indiana courtroom in Indianapolis. That priority made him unavailable early today to talk about the confirmation, but his courthouse colleagues made sure everyone knew the significance of the news."True to form, Judge Tinder was on the bench handling...
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High court won't intervene in recount

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court won't get involved in a recount challenge to the recent Terre Haute mayoral election.Justices denied an emergency transfer late Friday requested by Terre Haute attorney James Bopp Jr., who filed the transfer request Thursday. Bopp represents Republican Duke Bennett, who won the Nov. 6 election by 107 votes. That tally would oust Democratic Mayor Kevin Burke. Bopp argued Vigo Circuit Judge David Bolk didn't have jurisdiction because Burke had failed to properly identify Bennett in his recount...
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Second COA interviews scheduled for Friday

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
During second interviews for an opening on the Indiana Court of Appeals, six semi-finalists will discuss their ideas for making the appellate court more efficient. The seven-member Judicial Nominating Commission will begin second interviews Friday for the seat, which opens in August when Judge Patrick D. Sullivan retires. These six semi-finalists were chosen from an initial 20 applicants.   After these interviews, the commission will select three names to send to Gov. Mitch Daniels, who must then appoint a successor within...
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Time capsule unveiled at federal courthouse

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Preserving history at the federal courthouse in Indianapolis often comes with vow that it will happen rain or shine.Court officials kept their promise Tuesday, despite fast-moving thunderstorms that slammed the city with lashing rain, hail, and fierce winds, and they battled the wet weather and darkened sky to place a time capsule outside the U.S. District Court, Southern District in Indianapolis. Dozens gathered for the 4 p.m. ceremony, crowding inside the courthouse ;s front hallway as the storms unleashed lashing rain...
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Court upholds enjoined counts

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Court of Appeals affirmed a defendant's convictions and sentence for murder and drug possession, saying he waived his right to appeal his denied motions for mistrial because he failed to raise the points properly during his trial. In David Mark Frentz v. State of Indiana, No. 59A05-0610-CR-559, Frentz raised four issues on appeal: whether the trial court committed reversible error in enjoining and then denying his motions to sever the drug possession counts from the murder count; whether the trial court...
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Plaintiffs can't sue over legislative prayer

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
In a long-awaited ruling from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today, the former Indiana speaker of the House of Representatives came out the winner in a suit challenging prayers in the General Assembly sessions.While former Speaker Brian Bosma has won this appellate round, a  2-1 panel of judges didn't touch the controversial merits of the case, and the case could still go to the United States Supreme Court.The federal appellate court ruled today that plaintiffs who filed a suit against...
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Justices rule on convictions, sentencing in police-impersonation case

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Various offenses committed at different times and in different counties do not constitute a single episode of criminal conduct for sentencing purposes, the Indiana Supreme Court has reinforced this week.That logic, however, doesn't extend to convictions, as the state's highest court has affirmed a lower appellate finding that multiple instances of police officer impersonation are considered "the same occurrence," and subsequent convictions in different counties violate Indiana's double jeopardy statute.Justices granted transfer Wednesday in Derek Scott Geiger v. State of Indiana,...
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Court rules on prison disciplinary action case

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
A divided Indiana Supreme Court issued a ruling on a prison discipline suit Tuesday, with one of the dissenting justices writing that the majority decision removes judicial review and violates both federal and state constitutions.In Aaron Israel v. Indiana Department of Correction, 46S03-0706-CV-253, justices came down 3-2 on dismissing a case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Authoring Justice Frank Sullivan was joined by Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard and Justice Robert Rucker. Dissenting justices were Ted Boehm and Brent Dickson."The...
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Judge: Parents not responsive in Anderson school uniform suit

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The legal challenge to a new school uniform policy in Anderson could be slowly slipping away, as a federal judge in Indianapolis is looking to dismiss the case after the pro se parent plaintiffs "utterly failed" to respond to discovery requests and haven't shown any likelihood of prevailing in court.U.S. District Judge John D. Tinder on Friday vacated an injunction hearing and trial set for this morning because of the plaintiffs' lack of response. He has issued orders barring testimony and...
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Child's 'home state' rules jurisdiction

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today Indiana courts have jurisdiction to modify custody agreements originally made in another state, as long as Indiana is considered the "home state" of the subject child. In the case, In Re: The Marriage of Barbara Kenda and Boris Pleskovic, 71A03-0701-CV-34, Kenda, the mother of A.P.K., appealed a custody modification order awarding Pleskovic, the child's father, custody of A.P.K. Kenda contends the trial court in Indiana did not have jurisdiction to modify and abused its...
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Judge sees shift in 'constitutional jurisprudence' in protected speech cases

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
A separate concurring opinion by a Court of Appeals judge describes what he calls "a fundamental shift in Indiana's constitutional jurisprudence."Judge James S. Kirsch made his statements in the unanimous, 3-0 opinion today in Latoya A. Blackman v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-0610-CR-893, which involves a woman convicted of disorderly conduct in 2005 for yelling, swearing, and non-compliant behavior toward police officers during a vehicle narcotics search of the car in which she was riding.The court ruled that Blackman's arrest for...
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Supreme Court rules on emotional distress case

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Spouses can recover damages for negligent infliction of emotional distress claims even when there is no physical injury or direct impact, but unmarried or engaged couples cannot, the Indiana Supreme Court said today.The state ;s high court also held in its opinion that such a claim requires the plaintiff to have learned of the incident by having either witnessed the injury or the immediate gruesome aftermath.Its unanimous opinion with a separate concurring opinion from two justices is the answer to a...
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Bad breakup leads to lawsuit between former associate, firm

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today on a case where a law firm sued its former associate who left, along with several other employees, to join a new firm. In Kopka, Landau & Pinkus v. Larry Hansen, et al., No49A02-0611-CV-987, Hansen's previous employer, law firm Kopka Landau & Pinkus, appealed two trial court orders -summary judgment in favor of Hansen and judgment in favor of Hansen on the counterclaims against KLP. Hansen worked as an associate attorney for KLP and...
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Judge: IFD discrimination suit can go to trial

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
A federal district judge is allowing a sexual discrimination suit against an Indianapolis Fire Department chief to proceed to trial.U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker in Indianapolis issued an order Tuesday in Morrison v. Indianapolis Fire Department Chief James Greeson, denying the chief's motion for summary judgment.Filed in January 2006, the suit comes from what 10-year department veteran Ruth Morrison, a fire captain, describes as routine and repeated discrimination because she is female, including her not getting a promotion to chief...
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Supreme Court grants emergency writ for dairy farm case

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted an emergency writ filed by a rural Huntington County dairy farm accused of contaminating local waterways with manure from 1,400 cows. An order issued Wednesday afternoon bars Huntington Circuit Judge Thomas Hakes from deciding on a preliminary injunction stopping the dairy owner, Johannes DeGroot, from spreading cow manure on nearby fields, until the state's high court can rule on a request for permanent writ of mandamus and prohibition. However, any previous orders issued by...
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ND law student on 'Millionaire'

January 1, 2007
IL Staff
A University of Notre Dame Law School student will appear on the game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" Sept. 14 and 17.Jaclyn Sexton is a first-year law student from North Attleboro, Mass. Notre Dame students and South Bend residents can watch "Millionaire" on WNDU-TV (channel 16/cable channel 8) at 1 p.m. Other Indiana stations that air the show can be found on http://www.millionairetv.com/tunein.html.Sexton took her mother, Janice, to the taping, according to a press release from the law school....
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COA rules on habitual-offender enhancement

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded a case involving the denial of a defendant's motion to correct an erroneous sentence. The court also considered whether the trial court dealt correctly with the defendant's habitual substance offender enhancement by treating it as a separate conviction and whether the trial court may properly suspend any portion of the sentence enhanced by the habitual substance offender finding. In Joseph Bauer v. State of Indiana, 92A05-0704-PC-229, Bauer filed a...
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Court rules on gun manufacturer suit

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Court of Appeals upheld a trial court's decision to deny handgun manufacturers' motion to dismiss a public nuisance suit brought by the city of Gary. The court determined Indiana's public nuisance statute is applicable to the sale or marketing of firearms for purposes of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. At issue in Smith & Wesson Corp. et al. & United States of America v. City of Gary, Indiana by its mayor, Rudy Clay, 45A05-0612-CV-754, was whether the...
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Court rules on self-defense statute

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Indiana's highest court says the phrase "reasonably believes" in the state's self-defense statute requires a person to have subjective belief that force was necessary to prevent serious bodily injury and that actual belief was one any reasonable person would have had under the circumstances.The Indiana Supreme Court issued its unanimous decision Wednesday afternoon in Philip Littler v. State of Indiana, No. 71S03-0704-CR-151, reversing a ruling by St. Joseph Superior Judge Roland Chamblee Jr.The case involves a gun and knife fight between...
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Lauth distress over French Lick casino not over

January 1, 2007
From The
Lauth Property Group may have ended its contentious battle with Bloomington billionaire Bill Cook this week to develop the $382 million French Lick casino and hotel project, but its real battle involving the Orange County resort may have just begun. The Indianapolis-based developer still faces a breach-of-contract claim seeking $100 million by Chicago-based Merit Management, a hotel and casino developer. Merit and Lauth initially teamed up to develop the French Lick project but failed to obtain a gaming license. Lauth later...
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Justices grant 3 transfers, including dram shop case

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted three transfers in three civil cases this week.Transfers come in Michael M. Cubel v. Debra A. Cubel, No. 32A04-0605-CV-268, American Fire & Casualty Co. v. Direction in Design Inc., et al., No. 29A05-0511-CV-681, and Rebecca Shaw v. LDC Enterprises, et al., No. 29A05-0511-CV-681.The Cubel appeal stems from a Hendricks County marriage dissolution case involving spousal maintenance and child support for college. In a memorandum opinion issued April 30, the Court of Appeals didn't find the...
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Senate sets Judge Tinder's confirmation hearing

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
U.S. District Judge John D. Tinder in Indianapolis will face the Senate Judiciary Committee Sept. 25 for his confirmation hearing for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.The 2:30 p.m. hearing in Washington, D.C., will be webcast at the Senate committee's Web site. The federal judge from the Southern District of Indiana received word from the White House in July that President George W. Bush nominated him for the job. If confirmed, Judge Tinder would be the first Hoosier jurist appointed to...
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Supreme Court will hear candidate certification dispute

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The candidacy of a Cass Circuit judge is now going before the Indiana Supreme Court - even though the candidate in question has been a sitting judge for this entire year.Justices have granted transfer in J. Bradley King, et al. v. Leo T. Burns, et al., 09A02-0610-CV-847, which questioned the candidacy of judicial office-seeker Leo Burns in last year's primary and general election.Burns, who was selected to fill the vacancy in the November 2006 ballot after the May primary, was not certified...
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E-ticket system to be unveiled

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court is playing a key part in doing away with delays between police-issued tickets and that information arriving in the hands of courts and prosecutors.Indiana is receiving more than $2.4 million in federal grants to launch the system known as eCWS or the electronic Citation and Warning System. The system will give officers the ability to produce e-tickets in the field and relay that information to a central location for law enforcement, prosecutors, and courts to access -...
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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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