Legal News

Report: Indiana fails to provide consistent indigent defense

October 24, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indiana is failing to equally provide constitutionally guaranteed effective counsel to indigent people accused of misdemeanor, felony and juvenile offenses, according to a report released Monday. In some counties, poor people facing criminal charges are encouraged to negotiate directly with prosecutors before being appointed counsel.
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Man who broke officer's jaw gets 30-year sentence

October 24, 2016
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana man convicted of punching a jail officer so hard it broke his jaw in three places has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
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Posting a ballot selfie? Check your state laws first

October 24, 2016
 Associated Press
While secrecy in the voting booth has become a thing of the past for those ready to share their views and daily lives on social media, laws nationwide are mixed on whether voters are allowed to take pictures of themselves in the act or of their ballots — "ballot selfies".
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Evansville groups giving domestic violence survivors a voice

October 24, 2016
 Associated Press
Domestic violence affects more than 10 million people a year in the U.S., but almost half of those incidents go unreported. Organizations such as the Evansville YWCA and Albion Fellows Bacon Center are hosting programs throughout October — domestic violence awareness month — to encourage reporting domestic abuse.
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Southern District seeking public comment on proposed rule amendments

October 21, 2016
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has opened a period of public comment on amendments to certain local rules.
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Stanley ruling extends to government medical reimbursements

October 21, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Friday extended the admission of evidence of reduced health care payments in personal injury suits to include reimbursements from government payers.
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Suspended lawyer ‘cannot take no for an answer,’ must pay sanctions

October 21, 2016
Dave Stafford
A suspended Gary lawyer continues to pursue cases that federal judges have ruled frivolous, and a judge in Hammond this week rejected his claim that he couldn’t afford to pay a $500 sanction imposed in one of the cases.
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Man charged with killing woman wants rape charge dismissed

October 21, 2016
 Associated Press
Attorneys for a southern Indiana man accused of killing his former girlfriend and eating parts of her body have asked that a rape charge against him be dropped.
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Pittman family dispute escalates with new lawsuit

October 21, 2016
Lindsey Erdody, IBJ Staff
An ongoing family dispute could cause some of the companies related to a retail real estate development in Carmel to be dissolved.
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Group named in Indiana probe was registering black voters

October 21, 2016
 Associated Press
A Democratic-aligned group at the center of an Indiana investigation into possible voter fraud said Thursday it focused on registering black residents of Indiana because the state had the nation's lowest overall voter turnout in 2014.
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Child porn accuser drops lawsuit against ex-Subway pitchman

October 21, 2016
 Associated Press
The family of a girl who accused Jared Fogle in a child pornography case that led to the former Subway pitchman's imprisonment is dropping a lawsuit against him.
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Ex-Penn State chief calls aides' charges 'injustice'

October 20, 2016
 Associated Press
Former Penn State President Graham Spanier testified Thursday that he issued a statement the day two of his top lieutenants were charged in the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, calling the allegations groundless, because he had developed deep trust of them.
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COA dismisses car-crash claim for lack of jurisdiction

October 20, 2016
Dave Stafford
A lawsuit filed after a car crash on Interstate 65 allegedly caused by an intoxicated driver was dismissed by the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday, which ruled it lacked jurisdiction in a case the trial court appeared to dismiss after an appeal was filed.
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Justices hear arguments in Lawrence wrongful-firing suit

October 20, 2016
Olivia Covington
After the newly elected mayor of the city of Lawrence fired him from his position as superintendent of the city Utility Services Board, counsel for Carlton Curry told the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday that the mayor had no legal right to terminate the former superintendent without actual cause.
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Judge limits expert testimony in Simon antitrust suit

October 20, 2016
Dave Stafford

Expert witnesses for Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group and a competing shopping center developer will be barred from testifying on certain subjects in an antitrust lawsuit against Simon, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

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Indiana official clarifies voter registration fraud probe

October 20, 2016
 Associated Press
After initially warning of potential widespread voting fraud, Indiana's secretary of state has acknowledged that many of the thousands of altered registration records she flagged might just be residents rushing to correct their names or birth dates ahead of the election.
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Law schools must answer criticism, AALS executive director says

October 19, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Noting the number of college graduates applying to law schools has dropped 36 percent since the Great Recession, Judith Areen, executive director of the Association of American Law Schools, pointed out the impact of few applicants eventually ripples beyond the classroom.
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COA finds victim credible, affirms rape, theft convictions

October 19, 2016
Olivia Covington
After entering a Marion County family’s home with a gun, raping the mother and robbing the family of valuable possessions, the man convicted in the case cannot have his multiple convictions overturned after the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Wednesday that the mother’s testimony was not incredibly dubious.
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Dissenting COA judge seeks to double molester’s sentence

October 19, 2016
Dave Stafford
A dissenting Indiana Court of Appeals judge Wednesday said he would use the court’s authority to double the sentence of a man ordered to serve four years in the Indiana Department of Correction for his conviction of two counts of Class C child molesting.
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COA dismisses divorce appeal for untimeliness

October 19, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has dismissed an appeal of an order dissolving a LaPorte County couple’s marriage after finding that the appeal was not filed within the correct timeframe.
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Barnes & Thornburg malpractice suit prompts judge’s warning

October 19, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s largest law firm prevailed in defending a judgment in its favor in a legal malpractice suit, but an Indiana Court of Appeals judge took the opportunity to question whether lawyers should be able to shield themselves from liability for future acts of malpractice.
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COA: Illinois sex offender must register in Indiana

October 19, 2016
Olivia Covington
An Illinois sex offender now living in Indiana must keep his name on the Indiana sex-offender registry after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday that there was no ex post facto violation in applying the state’s registration tolling statute to the man after he moved to Indiana.
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COA allows juvenile expungement despite pending charge

October 19, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has allowed a Marion County man’s juvenile record to be expunged after finding that a criminal charge that was filed against him after he filed a petition for expungement cannot be held against him in the expungement case.
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Secretary of State: Altered voter registrations raise concerns

October 19, 2016
 Associated Press
Thousands of voter registrations were altered, raising concerns about possible fraud, says Indiana's chief elections official, whose office warned voters to check whether their information is correct online and encouraged voting early to avoid problems on Election Day.
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Ex-prosecutor becomes Clark County chief public defender

October 19, 2016
 Associated Press
After nearly 14 years with the Floyd County Prosecutor's Office, Abraham Navarro has jumped over to Clark County to serve as chief public defender.
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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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