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Former lawmaker, public defender champion dies

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
A former state senator who'd served the legal community as a public defender and lobbyist for the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association has died.Robert Hellmann, D-Terre Haute, died late last week at his home after a yearlong battle with cancer. He was 60.Once minority leader in the Indiana Senate, Hellman had been a part of state government since the early 1980s. He was a member of the House of Representatives for four years before being elected to the Senate in 1986, where...
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Court rules on Merit Board election

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Court of Appeals ruled today that John Buncich can retain his elected position on the Lake County Sheriff's Merit Board. In Lake County Sheriff's Merit Board v. John Buncich, et al., the court affirmed the trial court's decision in favor of Buncich's complaint for declaratory judgment and preliminary injunction, and in the alternative a temporary restraining order to prevent a new election. Buncich ran for a vacant position on Lake County Sheriff's Merit Board in June 2006 and received 83...
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Court criticizes appellate attorney for not citing material

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a lower court's decision that a man convicted of felony forgery must submit a DNA sample.But that's only part of today's seven-page decision in James Keeney v. State of Indiana, No. 21A01-0611-CR-495, which goes on to admonish an appellate attorney who filed a brief with uncited material.In this case, Keeney challenged last year Fayette Circuit Judge Daniel Pflum's order, which said Keeney needed to submit a DNA sample after pleading guilty to forgery and...
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Law school announces directors, meeting

January 1, 2007
Rebecca Berfanger
A proposed law school for Indianapolis, the Abraham Clark School of Law, has selected its board of directors and set its next informational meeting.The board is composed of attorneys Jerrold Abramowitz, Richard Bash, Susan Williams, and Patrick Brown; Greg Kranz, who is in the information technology field; and Sonja Brown, a business owner and part-time legal assistant. Mark Montefiori is the founder and director of the law school with 13 years of experience in higher education. There is also an informal...
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Indiana Black Expo offers look at legal world

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Visitors to the Indiana Black Expo this weekend will have a chance to see how being a lawyer is cool.Aside from games, giveaways, and the usual expo events, mock trials will be part of the Indianapolis Bar Association's booth during the final weekend of this year's expo, which is Friday through Sunday.For two hours each afternoon, teens from Reach for Youth's Teen Court program will conduct the mock trials, serving as judge, jury, attorneys, and the accused. Audience participation will also...
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International law lecture Monday

January 1, 2007
IL Staff
"Poodles and Bulldogs: the U.S., Britain and the International Rule of Law" is a public lecture by Philippe Sands, Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington's 2007 Addison C. Harris Lecturer, to be presented in the Moot Court Room at noon Sept. 24. A reception will follow.Sands is professor of law at University College London. A practicing barrister, Sands has extensive experience litigating cases before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the International...
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Committed defendant can be charged

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a pre-trial motion to dismiss a pending felony criminal recklessness charge against a defendant, ruling the length of time incompetent defendants are committed to a mental health institution does not allow for dismissal of charges. In State of Indiana v. Charlene Davis, 49A02-0706-CR-545, the state argued the trial court did not have the legal authority to dismiss a Class D felony criminal recklessness charge against Davis. Davis was found to be incompetent to stand...
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Split court reinstates death sentence

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has reinstated the death sentence for a Vanderburgh County man who a lower court judge found was mentally retarded and should be sentenced to life without parole for the killing of his wife and two young children.A split court issued the 19-page opinion today in State v. Paul M. McManus, No. 82S00-0503-PD-78, with Justices Ted Boehm and Robert d. Rucker dissenting from the majority of Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard, and Justices Brent Dickson and Frank Sullivan.McManus...
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High court hears 2 cases

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Justices heard arguments this morning on two cases, one asking whether mayors have veto power over certain zoning variances approved by local officials.First arguments before the Indiana Supreme Court came in Heidbreder, Inc. v. Board of Zoning Appeals of the City of Crown Point, 858 N.E.2d 1999 (Ind. Ct. App. 2006). The Court of Appeals in December reversed the trial court in its decision involving a special-use variance request. The case stems from a request by Heidbreder to locate a concrete...
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Court revises sentence to fix double jeopardy issue

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Appellate courts must frequently address claims from convicted criminals that counsel was ineffective, sentences are unreasonable, or that the charges violate double jeopardy.Rarely does the state concede that convictions violate double jeopardy principles, as happened in a case decided Tuesday by the Indiana Supreme Court.In Chad E. Strong v. State of Indiana, No. 20S03-0612-CR-529, the Indiana Attorney General's Office acknowledged the defendant's claim that two convictions - one for murder and another for neglect of a dependent resulting in the same...
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ND professor speaks on NPR about Supreme Court

January 1, 2007
IL Staff
Among Chief Justice John Roberts' first full term highlights were a number of decisions on race and public schools, free speech, and abortion. Richard W. Garnett, the John Cardinal O'Hara, CSC associate professor of law at Notre Dame University participated in a discussion with two other leading U.S. Supreme Court watchers in front of a live audience at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.The July 10 event analyzed highlights of the latest term of the Supreme Court and addressed the question,...
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Firms focus on agriculture, energy, climate policy

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Two Indianapolis firms are forming new practice groups to focus on agriculture, energy, and climate-policy issues.Baker & Daniels is assembling an energy and climate policy group of about 10 attorneys with experience in legal areas such as anti-trust, Securities and Exchange Commission, intellectual property, and tax law, according to attorney Terry Hall who will head the group with a colleague in Washington, D.C.The firm has been working for about 18 months on forming the group, and its creation comes at a...
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Excise tax allowed on couple's marijuana

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court granted summary judgment in favor of the Indiana Department of State Revenue in a controlled-substance excise-tax case, ruling Monday that charging the tax does not apply to Indiana's joinder and successive prosecution statutes.In John David Harrison and Jennifer A. Harrison v. Indiana Department of State Revenue, No.49T10-0409-TA-44, the Harrisons appealed the final determination of the Department of State Revenue, which assessed them with a controlled-substance excise tax (CSET) on the nearly 6,500 grams of marijuana police found in...
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Court clarifies where tax disputes belong

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
General jurisdiction courts don't have the authority to consider cases involving tax law or the Department of Local Government Finance, and the Indiana Court of Appeals says it also doesn't have the authority to remand those cases to the Indiana Tax Court.An appellate panel made its point clear in an opinion on rehearing today in Wayne Township, Marion County, Indiana v. Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, and Martha Womacks, Marion County Auditor, No. 29A05-0611-CV-661. This comes as a clarification and...
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Courts weighing execution, mental illness

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Execution and the mentally ill continue to be topics before the courts.The Supreme Court of the United States will hear arguments Wednesday in Panetti v. Quarterman, No. 06-640, a Texas case that asks whether it violates a constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment to execute a delusional inmate who does not understand why he is being put to death.That case is one that Indiana Supreme Court justices are closely watching to decide how they ;ll handle a condemned man ;s...
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High court adopts 'substantial trustworthiness' test

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has adopted a "substantial trustworthiness" test to determine the reliability of hearsay evidence in probation revocation hearings.A 5-0 decision came today in George Reyes v. State of Indiana, 01S02-0612-CR-495, which comes from Adams Circuit Court and involves a man once convicted and imprisoned for aggravated battery. Reyes began probation in 2000 after his release from prison, but in February 2005 his probation officer filed a violation petition because Reyes tested positive for marijuana. An agreement with the...
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Court reverses probation revocation

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
A mapping system showing a potential day-care center near a residence wasn't enough to convince to the Indiana Court of Appeals that a Marion County sex offender's probation should be revoked for staying at the residence one night.The court unanimously ruled today in Clinton Carden v. State of Indiana, 49A02-0608-CR-700. Marion Superior Magistrate Nancy Broyles had revoked Carden's four-year probation that was a result of his 2001 guilty plea to one felony count of child molesting and part of his overall...
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Court reverses COA decision in zoning issue

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed that both the Board of Zoning Appeals of Evansville-Vanderburgh County and trial court were correct in denying the construction of a cellular tower that would be located too close to a residence under a county zoning code.In St. Charles Tower, Inc. v. Board of Zoning Appeals of Evansville-Vanderburgh County, 82S01-0702-CV-69, the state's highest court yesterday overturned the Court of Appeals ruling that found the BZA's decision to deny St. Charles the special-use permit was not supported by...
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Choke hold violated man's rights, justices rule

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Police violated a man's constitutional protection rights when officers grabbed him by the throat and squeezed to stop him from swallowing a plastic baggie of cocaine, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled.Justices issued a unanimous opinion Thursday in John Grier v. State of Indiana, No. 49S05-0702-CR-68. The Marion Superior case involved a traffic stop in August 2005, when officers stopped Grier for having an expired license plate. He was gagging after being ordered out of the car, and when he opened...
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High court will select temporary judge

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court plans to appoint a judge pro tem for Lawrence Circuit Court within days after the local judge was found dead at his home earlier this week.Judge Richard D. McIntyre, 51, of Bedford was discovered in his detached garage Tuesday evening by his wife. The Lawrence County Coroner determined he died of likely self-induced carbon monoxide poisoning, according to an announcement this morning.The Lawrence County native had been the Circuit judge for nearly 20 years, and the county...
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AG urges court not to review voter ID law

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The nearing 2008 presidential election is a key reason why the Supreme Court of the United States should not accept a challenge to Indiana's two-year-old voter identification law, the Indiana Attorney General's Office argues in a brief filed with the nation's highest court.Even while recognizing that the constitutionality of voter identification laws is a significant question that may eventually need review, the 29-page brief filed this week urges the court to deny a petition for certiorari.This reply follows the July petition...
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S.C. to hear arresting-powers case

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to a Marion Superior Court case involving an arrest by an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer who did not attend the swearing-in ceremony early this year. At issue is whether that arrest should stand. The Indiana Attorney General's office filed a petition Aug. 27 to bypass the Court of Appeals and transfer the case, State v. Cheryl Oddi-Smith, 49A05-0708-CR-445, directly to the Supreme Court. The state appeals the Aug. 7 ruling by Marion Superior Court...
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Judge rules Fishers can annex Geist

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Indiana caselaw is well settled on jurisdiction relating to annexations and incorporations, and a Hamilton Superior judge has determined Fishers should be allowed to proceed with annexing thousands of acres in Geist.Judge Steven Nation ruled today on a high-publicity case involving the proposed annexation by Fishers of 2,200 homes in unincorporated Geist area. At issue was whether the county had jurisdiction over the annexation because of the timeline of petitions filed.In mid-September Fishers had introduced an ordinance to start annexing the...
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Court rules on judicial mandates

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Trial judges must work with county officials and share the decision making of how court money is spent, the Indiana Supreme Court has reiterated.A pair of anticipated rulings issued Wednesday shows how the state's high court will step in when those disputes can't be managed locally.Justice Frank Sullivan issued both decisions for the unanimous court in Clark County Council and Clark County Auditor v. Daniel F. Donahue, Cecile A. Blau, Vicki Carmichael, and Steven M. Fleece, 10S00-0606-CV-199, and In Re: Order for...
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COA to hear 4 cases; one at Plainfield High School

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals will hear arguments in four cases next week, including one on the road at Plainfield High School.A three-judge panel will hear arguments Monday in Meridian Insurance v. Cha Cha, Inc., No. 53A01-0608-CV-352, which poses the question of whether the period for restoration of a business damaged by fire in an adjoining building should be decided by the courts or through the appraisal process.The following day two panels will hear afternoon arguments - David Scholtman v. Taza...
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  1. Such things are no more elections than those in the late, unlamented Soviet Union.

  2. It appears the police and prosecutors are allowed to change the rules halfway through the game to suit themselves. I am surprised that the congress has not yet eliminated the right to a trial in cases involving any type of forensic evidence. That would suit their foolish law and order police state views. I say we eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes committed by members of congress and other government employees. Of course they would never do that. They are all corrupt cowards!!!

  3. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  4. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  5. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

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