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Woman unable to prove attorney actions were prejudicial

August 13, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A woman’s petition for post-conviction relief on the grounds her trial counsel was ineffective was denied by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Trial court erred in abrogating homeowner’s obligation to pay fees to HOA

August 13, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s ruling that changes in a gated residential vacation and retirement community were so radical as to abrogate a homeowner’s obligation to pay yearly fees to the homeowners association.
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Doctor owed no duty to release prenatal records to adoptive parents

August 13, 2012
Dave Stafford
A New York couple who adopted a child born in Lake County lost their appeal of an unsuccessful negligence claim against a doctor who did not provide requested prenatal records that would have revealed the child’s significant brain abnormalities before the adoption was finalized.
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Mom’s progress leads court to reverse termination

August 13, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Grant County mother who lost parental rights to twin children won a reversal of the termination order after the Indiana Court of Appeals noted her progress in areas of concern to the Department of Child Services.
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Appeals court affirms molestation conviction

August 13, 2012
Dave Stafford
A child molestation conviction will stand after the Indiana Court of Appeals on Monday rejected a defendant’s arguments that the conviction should be reversed because of a prosecutor’s references to the defendant's failure to testify and that the evidence was insufficient.
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Court issues injunction against BMV

August 13, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
An Indianapolis single mother of six has had her driving privileges reinstated after a Marion Superior Court judge granted a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and private counsel Scott DeVries against the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
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Court affirms judgment against home contractor

August 13, 2012
Dave Stafford
A home repair contractor lost an appeal of an award against him, but he won’t have to pay the attorney fees of the party that won the judgment, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Attorney suspended for taking client’s children from school for hours

August 13, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Morgan County attorney who picked up children from school on behalf of their father, who she was representing, and drove them around for several hours without notifying the custodial mother was suspended for six months.
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Court reverses summary judgment in mixed martial arts TV suit

August 10, 2012
Dave Stafford
A dispute over idea misappropriation and civil conversion involving the origin of televised mixed martial arts through HDNET Fights was sent back to the trial court Friday. The Court of Appeals ruled that Marion Superior Court’s grant of partial summary judgment in favor of a sanctioning body that had suggested the development of a similar idea was in error.
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Portion of malpractice statute of limitations ruled unconstitutional in some cases

August 10, 2012
Dave Stafford
A woman’s malpractice lawsuit against the estate of a Marshall County doctor who died more than two decades ago will go forward, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The court found the two-year statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims unconstitutional in certain cases.
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State bar’s Young Lawyer Section receives 2 ABA awards

August 10, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana State Bar Association Young Lawyer Section received two first-place national awards Aug. 4 at the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division annual conference in Chicago.
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Online attorney registration portal down

August 9, 2012
IL Staff
Attorneys looking to pay annual license fees have been met with an error message on the Indiana Appellate Clerk’s online portal this week.
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Court of Appeals orders trial court to re-evaluate child support order

August 9, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the part of a custody order modifying child support, finding the trial court miscalculated the mother’s current income and made other errors.
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Judges affirm drunk-driving conviction

August 9, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Madison Circuit judge did not abuse his discretion in instructing the jury on operating a vehicle while intoxicated as a Class C misdemeanor, a lesser-included offense of drunk-driving charges a man faced, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded.
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Inmate’s suit alleging 8th Amendment violation allowed to continue

August 9, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge was incorrect in dismissing an inmate’s lawsuit alleging Eighth Amendment violations by prison staff who ignored his abdominal pain for months until the inmate was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
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Justices decline to take Decatur County arson case

August 9, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday unanimously decided to deny the state’s petition for transfer of Kristine Bunch v. State, in which a divided Court of Appeals ruled Kristine Bunch is entitled to a new trial. Bunch was convicted of the murder of her son, who died in a fire in their mobile home.
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Nominating commission picks 3 finalists

August 8, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission has selected the three finalists for the Supreme Court vacancy: Hamilton Superior Judge Steve Nation, Tippecanoe Superior Judge Loretta Rush, and attorney Geoffrey Slaughter. The commission had whittled down the number of applicants from 22 to 10 in July, and then to three Wednesday evening.
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Commission wraps up interviews, begins deliberations

August 8, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commissions has finished interviewing the semifinalists who want to replace Frank Sullivan Jr. on the Supreme Court. The commission went into executive session around 4 p.m. Wednesday.
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MCBA to raise funds for Darden scholarship

August 8, 2012
IL Staff
The Marion County Bar Association is hosting a retirement dinner for Senior Judge Carr Darden Sept. 14. Darden stepped down from the Indiana Court of Appeals last month. All proceeds from the event will benefit the MCBA and the Judge Carr L. Darden and Mrs. Lundy Darden Public Sector Legal Education Scholarship Fund.
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Semifinalists discuss important qualities of a justice

August 8, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission Wednesday interviewed 10 semifinalists to fill the vacancy on the Indiana Supreme Court created by the retirement of Justice Frank Sullivan Jr. Commission chair and Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson opened the interviews by asking each candidate what factors he or she believed the commission should be looking for in a justice.
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Attorney can’t recast untimely 4th Amendment claim against prosecutor

August 8, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Muncie attorney who sued former Delaware County Prosecutor Mark McKinney, alleging due process violations following his arrest and acquittal on conspiracy to commit bribery charges, lost his appeal before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The judges found the attorney was trying to recast an untimely false arrest claim into a due process claim.
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COA upholds domestic battery conviction

August 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied a man accused of hitting his live-in girlfriend the opportunity to cross-examine her about a past domestic battery incident, the Court of Appeals concluded.
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Trial court erred in finding provision was liquidated damages clause

August 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A forfeiture provision in a purchase agreement between the Dean V. Kruse Foundation and Jerry Gates, the buyer of West Baden property, did not constitute a liquidated damages clause as the trial court ruled, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday. The judges ruled that the Kruse parties are entitled to more damages as a result of Gates’ breach of contract.
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Court affirms judgment for developer, real estate company in suit over sinking home

August 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A couple who sued a subdivision developer and real estate company after the builder went out of business to recover damages because their home was sinking could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse summary judgment for the companies.
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Man unable to show prejudice by attorney’s lack of deportation advisement

August 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Pakistan-born man who faces automatic deportation as a result of his guilty plea to felony theft lost his pursuit for post-conviction relief before the Indiana Court of Appeals. The judges found Naveed Gulzar was unable to show he was prejudiced by his attorney’s failure to advise him that automatic deportation is a consequence of his guilty plea.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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