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Judge: 'I didn't lie ...': Marion Superior jurist faces disciplinary panel

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Marion Superior Judge Grant W. Hawkins is used to spending his days in court. But on Oct. 6 and 7, he wasn't on the bench; the jurist was the one being judged. Already, his former part-time commissioner has resigned and been permanently banned from any judicial role because of this issue, and Judge Hawkins is battling 11 misconduct charges against him that could mean his judicial career is on the line. But before he finds out his fate, the judge is...
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State submits SCOTUS brief in pro se case

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Trial courts should be able to deny criminal defendants the right to represent themselves when that person can't communicate coherently with the court or jury, the Indiana Attorney General's Office wants the nation's highest court to decide.The state submitted a brief this week to the Supreme Court of the United States, which will hear arguments March 26 in the Hoosier-based pro se case of Indiana v. Ahmad Edwards, No. 07-208. You can view the 74-page brief online here.Dating to July 1999,...
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COA affirms order to enjoin

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a judgment enjoining some members of a class action suit from pursuing a quiet title action, finding the agreements of a settlement disposed of all claims in property between the class and a company.In Fern E. Firestone, et al. v. American Premier Underwriters Inc. and U.S. Railroad Vest, Corp., No. 06A01-0804-CV-199, the appellate court had to determine whether the trial court erred in ruling that claims brought by Wayne E. Boyd and Bunker Farms to...
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Law student turns 6 today

January 1, 2008
Rebecca Berfanger
While Feb. 29, which happens every four years, marks just another day for most, a first-year law student at Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis will celebrate his sixth birthday today.Mike Doversberger, an Elkhart native born Feb. 29, 1984, said he might use the birthday as a way to break the ice at a job interview today. Later, he will celebrate with friends and family."I like to put it on the resume that I graduated from Notre Dame (undergrad) before...
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Insurance write-offs benefit for insured

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled write-offs constitute insurance benefits for which an insured has paid directly, and as a result opposing parties in suits can't introduce evidence of write-offs to reduce damage awards. In Brandon Stanley v. Danny Walker, No. 41A01-0610-CV-462, the appellate court looked to courts in other jurisdictions for the answer to whether write-offs negotiated by an insurer amount to an "insurance benefit" and should therefore be excluded when calculating the actual extent...
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Plea agreement, child support issues granted transfer

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to one case dealing with child support, and two cases dealing post-conviction relief. The court also granted transfer to three cases involving sex offenders.In the case Marla K. Young v. Timothy S. Young, No. 09A05-0701-CV-52, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part the trial court's calculation of Timothy's child support obligation. The appellate court found the trial court erroneously calculated Timothy's weekly gross income, and remanded the trial court to add...
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Dead candidates remain on primary ballot

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals examined state statutes to determine which apply when a candidate dies before the primary but wins the election, an issue the court hadn't tackled before. In Dan Lockard v. Charles Miles and John Mullican, No. 84A04-0708-CV-493, Lockard challenged his loss to Charles Miles in the Terre Haute Democratic primary. Miles died April 18, 2007, nearly three weeks before the May 8 primary, and media in Terre Haute first reported his death April 19. Lockard and Miles were...
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State bar seeks award nominations

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
The Indiana State Bar Association is accepting nominations for awards the organization traditionally hands out at its annual meeting in October. Nominations for the following awards will be accepted through July 15: Outstanding Judge Award, Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, Rabb Emison Award, Hon. Viola Taliaferro Award, and David Hamacher Public Service Award. In addition, nominations are due by July 15 for three civility awards handed out by the Litigation Section of the state bar: the GP Hall of Fame, Liberty Bell...
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Online opinions access hits a snag

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Court-watchers looking online to view Indiana's appellate decisions have been denied two days of opinions because those published rulings were not posted online.A set of three dozen opinions came down Tuesday and Wednesday, but a change last month in how access is provided to those daily rulings meant that only online viewers, those directly involved in a decided case, or those who've traveled to the Indiana Statehouse to inspect opinions knew that any rulings had been released.By noon today, a list...
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Attorneys wanted for flood assistance

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana State Bar Association is looking for attorneys to help answer legal questions of Hoosiers affected by this month's flooding. Flood victims can call the bar association's toll-free number to receive free legal assistance for issues relating to the flooding. Community Outreach Coordinator Alaina Byers said volunteer attorneys can be from anywhere in the state. Flood victims will contact the state bar at (800) 266-2581 and leave their contact information and legal issue. The ISBA will pass along the information...
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New DOC commissioner named

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
The superintendent of the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City has been named the new Department of Corrections commissioner. Edwin Buss will succeed Dave Donahue Aug. 1. Donahue announced his resignation as commissioner earlier this week. Buss, a LaPorte native, has been superintendent of the Michigan City facility since 2005 and was superintendent at the Westville Correctional Facility from 2002 to 2005. He began his career as a correctional officer in 1987 at the Indiana State Prison. Donahue announced his resignation...
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COA to conduct arguments in Syracuse

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals travels north to a Syracuse high school Thursday to hear arguments in a case involving the search and discovery of drugs in a car. In Jerald J. Womack v. State of Indiana, 43A03-0706-CR-251, Womack appealed his convictions and sentence for Class D felony marijuana possession and for being a habitual controlled-substance offender. The Court of Appeals will determine whether the police search of Womack's car violated his rights under the U.S. and Indiana constitutions and if...
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Central Indiana law firms merge

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
Two central Indiana law firms have merged in order to provide their clients with all their legal needs in one firm. Indianapolis law firm Coleman Stevenson and The Montel Law Firm of Carmel officially became Coleman Stevenson & Montel today. The merger, which has been in talks for three months, came out of need, said Gerald Coleman, partner at Coleman Stevenson & Montel.The Montel Law Firm often represents clients in business and transaction work, but doesn't do much in terms of litigation,...
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SCOTUS rules on money laundering

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
In a split decision this morning, the Supreme Court of the United States has defined money laundering and tossed out the convictions of an East Chicago man.The high court ruled on U.S. v. Efrain Santos, et al., No. 06-1005, which involved a money-laundering ring in East Chicago.A majority of justices held today that "proceeds" according to the federal money-laundering statute applies only to transactions involving criminal profits, not criminal receipts.Indianapolis attorney Todd Vare with Barnes & Thornburg argued before the high court...
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Incurred risk not malpractice defense

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A doctor cannot use evidence of a patient's previous surgeries or pursue an incurred-risk defense against a medical malpractice suit, the Court of Appeals ruled today. In Brenda Spar v. Jin S. Cha, M.D., No. 45A05-0611-CV-683, Spar appealed the jury decision in favor of Dr. Cha in her medical malpractice claim against the OB/GYN for a surgery he performed on her. Spar previously had been in a serious automobile accident and as a result had numerous abdominal surgeries. When she decided to...
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District Court upholds jury award against GM

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A U.S. District judge chastised General Motors for the way the company treated its salaried employees who gave up being under union protection and later wanted to rejoin the union as hourly workers. In an opinion released Aug. 15, Judge David Hamilton of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, upheld a $3.1 jury award against GM for promissory estoppel claims, finding the plaintiffs had provided sufficient evidence to prove their Sixth Amendment claim against the company. Judge...
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Tax Court in Bloomington March 17

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
The Indiana Tax Court hits the road March 17 to hear arguments in a case regarding how to properly value a Meijer store for property tax purposes. The arguments will be held at 3:30 p.m. in the Moot Courtroom at Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington.In Meijer Stores Limited Partnership v. Betty Smith, Wayne Township Assessor, Michael Statzer, Wayne County Assessor, et al., No. 49T10-0609-TA-89, Meijer and Wayne County don't see eye-to-eye on the assessed value of land owned by...
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Prison program graduation Monday

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
After spending a semester together learning about social action in a class led by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, 12 Indiana Women's Prison inmates and 12 IUPUI students will celebrate what they learned at a graduation ceremony Monday morning in Indianapolis. The 24 students were part of a collaborative effort between the university and the Indiana Women's Prison entitled Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, which first began in Indiana last year. The 12 IUPUI students attended the class inside the Women's Prison. The...
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Governor names new Court of Appeals judge

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Dubois Superior Judge Elaine Brown is the newest judge on the Indiana Court of Appeals.Gov. Mitch Daniels announced this morning Judge Brown's appointment to the state's second highest appellate court, replacing Judge John Sharpnack who is taking senior status in May. "This is a dream of a lifetime," Judge Brown said, on first reaction this morning. "I'm just so extremely honored and humbled, and can't wait to get started. It's life-changing for me."The southern Indiana jurist has been on the bench...
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COA to travel to French Lick

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals travels to French Lick Tuesday to hear arguments in a case involving the validity of a search warrant.In James H. Helton v. State of Indiana, 20A04-0710-PC-00589, the judges are asked to determine whether an invalid search warrant was used to obtain evidence against James H. Helton. Also, if the search warrant was invalid, the court must decide whether Helton was denied effective assistance by his trial counsel when they did not move to suppress that evidence....
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County gets public defense reimbursement

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
For the first time in six years, Union County will receive reimbursement from the Public Defender Commission. The county will get a little more than $7,000 from the commission, which is 40 percent of the county's first quarter costs for public defense. Union County has been eligible for reimbursements since 1999, but until this year only requested reimbursement for the years 1999-2002. The Public Defender Commission was created in 1989 by the General Assembly and distributes money to qualifying counties. Qualifying...
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Justices ready for sex-offender registry issue

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court will consider two cases this week asking whether convicted sex offenders can be required to register for life on a statewide database.The state's highest appeals court will hear a combined argument Thursday in Todd L. Jensen v. State, No. 02A04-0706-CR-351, and Richard P. Wallace v. State, No. 49A02-0706-CR-498. Arguments are set to begin at 9:45 a.m. and can be viewed online through a webcast.Now, Jensen v. State and Wallace v. State have a combined case number of...
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Court upholds damages award

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court decision that excluded arguments and evidence from the Indiana Patient's Compensation Fund relating to the survival rate of the decedent because their argument regarded liability, which had already been established through a settlement. In Jim Atterholt, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Insurance as Administrator of the Indiana Patient's Compensation Fund v. Geneva Herbst, personal representative of the estate of Jeffrey A. Herbst, No. 49A04-0702-CV-106, the Indiana Patient's Compensation Fund appealed the grant...
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Luncheon to discuss women's health, law

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
The Sagamore Institute for Policy Research is hosting a luncheon Friday to examine how to improve the health of women in contemporary society.The event, "Improving Women's Health through Law and Policy," features Linda Chezem, professor at Indiana University and Purdue University, and former Indiana Court of Appeals judge; Krieg DeVault attorney Leah Mannweiler; Dr. Kathy D. Miller, associate director for clinical research at IU Simon Cancer Center; and Tanya Parrish, director of the Office of Women's Health in the Indiana State...
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Case management system to get new features

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court is investing $1.1 million to add computer features to its case management system being implemented statewide in the coming years.Adding to the millions already invested in the state's largest-ever technology project, the high court has decided to purchase a supervision module for its Odyssey Case Management System, currently in place in Monroe County and the Marion County Small Claims Court in Washington Township; it will be launched in a handful of other counties by early next year.Justice...
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  1. Two cops shot execution style in NYC. Was it first amendment protest, or was it incitement to lawlessness? Some are keeping track of the body bags: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2014/12/13/al-sharpton-leads-thousands-in-saturday-march-on-washington-dc/

  2. From the MCBA: “This situation is not just about the death of Michael Brown, but the thousands of other African-Americans who are disproportionately targeted and killed by police officers.” The association said it was “saddened and disappointed” by the decision not to indict Ferguson police officer. HOPING that the MCBA will denouce the execution style killig of two NYC police officers this day, seemingly the act of one who likewise believes that the police are targeting blacks for murder and getting away with it. http://www.mediaite.com/online/two-nypd-cops-fatally-shot-in-ambush-in-brooklyn/ Pray this violence soon ends, and pray it stays far away from Indiana.

  3. "Am I bugging you? I don't mean to bug ya." If what I wrote below is too much social philosophy for Indiana attorneys, just take ten this vacay to watch The Lego Movie with kiddies and sing along where appropriate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etzMjoH0rJw

  4. I've got some free speech to share here about who is at work via the cat's paw of the ACLU stamping out Christian observances.... 2 Thessalonians chap 2: "And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last."

  5. Did someone not tell people who have access to the Chevy Volts that it has a gas engine and will run just like a normal car? The batteries give the Volt approximately a 40 mile range, but after that the gas engine will propel the vehicle either directly through the transmission like any other car, or gas engine recharges the batteries depending on the conditions.

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