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Justices uphold death sentence

April 7, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld the sentence for a man sentenced to die for the 2001 rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl in southern Indiana.
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Use of bench warrants still not certain

April 7, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Attorneys have settled a federal case that led to the Marion Superior Court scrapping its practice of issuing bench warrants for the arrest of people who'd failed to appear in civil cases, but a statewide investigation of whether state law allows judges to issue these warrants remains ongoing.
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Single larceny rule doesn't apply in case

April 7, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a man's petition for post-conviction relief, finding the defendant's trial counsel wasn't ineffective for arguing a single larceny rule defense because it wasn't applicable in this case.
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Need remains for GAL/CASA help in Indiana

April 7, 2009
IL Staff
While more than 4,000 Indiana children remain on a waiting list for advocates in cases that involve abuse and neglect, Guardian Ad Litem/Court Appointed Special Advocates programs recruited and trained 911 new volunteers, a 50 percent increase from 2007, according to the 2008 statewide Court Appointed Special Advocates statistics made available today.
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High court rules on recovery issue

April 7, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Under the statute governing the wrongful death of an unmarried adult with no dependents, the amount recoverable for reasonable medical and hospital expenses necessitated by the alleged wrongful conduct is the total amount ultimately accepted after contractual arrangements with an insurer, Medicare, or Medicaid, and not the total of the charges billed, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.
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House OKs feticide bill, sends back to Senate

April 7, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Legislation that would increase the penalty for fetal homicide has made it through the Indiana House of Representatives, and now must go back for approval in the Senate where it originated since some changes were made.
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Indiana firm opens Atlanta office

April 6, 2009
Elizabeth Brockett
Barnes & Thornburg, one of the largest Indiana-based law firms, has opened an office in Atlanta.
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Comment sought on copyright jury instructions

April 6, 2009
IL Staff
The 7th Circuit Pattern Jury Instruction Committee and Copyright Subcommittee are seeking public comment on proposed copyright pattern civil jury instructions for the court.
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COA to hear insurance, attorney fee cases

April 6, 2009
IL Staff
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges will hear arguments Tuesday in Evansville in an insurance coverage case while another panel in Indianapolis will hear arguments in a case involving the division of attorney fees.
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Lecture to focus on mortgage crisis' impact

April 6, 2009
IL Staff
A University of Cambridge legal scholar will offer his thoughts on the U.S. mortgage crisis during the 2009 Snyder Lecture at Indiana University Maurer School of Law  Tuesday.
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Supreme Court grants 3 transfers

April 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted three transfers Thursday to cases involving what manner an appellate court could reverse a revocation of probation, how to calculate guardian ad litem fees, and whether there is a rebuttable presumption that children ages 7 through 14 can't be found contributorily negligent.
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Attorney didn't commit conversion, malpractice

April 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals today affirmed the dismissal of conversion and legal malpractice claims filed in LaPorte County against an Illinois attorney following the settlement of a wrongful death claim in Illinois.
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Seminar, CLE on Criminal Justice Act

April 2, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Federal Community Defenders will host a seminar for attorneys interested in joining the Criminal Justice Act panel of attorneys to represent indigent clients accused of crimes against the United States.
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Federal judicial nomination hearing draws crowd

April 2, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Senate Judiciary Committee considered U.S. District Judge David F. Hamilton's nomination for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals at a Wednesday afternoon hearing.
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Judges: Vehicle stop by cops reasonable

April 2, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man's illegal gun possession conviction, ruling the South Bend Police officer who made the traffic stop had reasonable suspicion the car may be linked to a shooting in an apartment complex.
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No vote yet on St. Joe judges bill

April 1, 2009
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana Senate committee debated this morning a bill that would make it so St. Joseph Superior judges are elected rather than chosen by merit selection and later retained by voters.
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Justices affirm cop killer's death sentence

April 1, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A man sentenced to die for fatally shooting a Morgan County sheriff's deputy in 2001 will remain on death row despite his appellate claims he's mentally ill and not eligible for execution.
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Comment sought on ADR rule changes

April 1, 2009
IL Staff
Changes may be coming to the rules governing Alternative Dispute Resolution in Indiana.
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Senate Judiciary holds nomination hearing

April 1, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A busy Congressional calendar has caused the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to move its nomination hearing to a room without cameras, which leaves Indiana's legal community in the dark about an Indianapolis-based federal judge's nomination for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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St. Joe judges election bill hearing Wednesday

March 31, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee will meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Room 130 at the Statehouse to discuss several bills on first reading, including House Bill 1491, which would require nonpartisan elections of St. Joseph Superior judges.
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High court addresses Protected Person Statute

March 31, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Addressing for the first time under the current Rules of Evidence a case regarding a protected person testifying at trial as well as by videotape or other statement, the Indiana Supreme Court held that if the statements are consistent and both are otherwise admissible, testimony of a protected person can't be presented both in open court and in a pre-recorded statement through the Protected Person Statute.
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Appellate docket offers more public access

March 31, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Docket entries for more than 200 juvenile-related cases are now publicly available online through the Indiana Appellate Clerk's Office.
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First impression in 'non-suspension' rule case

March 31, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals determined in a case of first impression that the state's 'non-suspension rule' in Indiana Code depends on the status of the prior criminal conviction at the time of sentencing for a subsequent conviction.
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Forum to focus on energy policy and progress

March 31, 2009
IL Staff
The 2009 Environmental Policy Forum Spring Symposium at Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis will feature professors, members of the Indiana General Assembly and various environmental and energy organizations who will examine Indiana's energy policy and the progress and prospects for legislation.
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Text messages must be separately authenticated

March 31, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined text messages are subject to separate authentication before being admitted into evidence, much like the authentication process that data saved in a computer must undergo before being admitted.
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  1. 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)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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