Legal News

Former HHGregg manager wins class-action suit over bonuses

July 22, 2015
Scott Olson, IBJ Staff
A former HHGregg Inc. manager has won his lawsuit charging that the company failed to pay incentive bonuses after reaching certain financial goals.
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Judgment for city on wrongful arrest claim affirmed

July 22, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis man who claimed he was the victim of wrongful arrest and malicious prosecution may not pursue his federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and the arresting officer, but he may go to state court to sue the neighbor who claimed the man broke into his house and assaulted him.
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Opinions July 21, 2015

July 21, 2015
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Steven J. Ouellette
02S00-1502-DI-107
Attorney discipline. Disbars Steven J. Ouellette for converting $8,725 in client funds and failing to cooperate with the disciplinary process. Ouellette, who currently was suspended indefinitely in a separate disciplinary matter, violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15(a), 8.1(b), 8.4(b) and 8.4(c). Respectively, those rules violations are for failing to hold client property in trust; failing to respond to disciplinary authorities; committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness; and conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.
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Supreme Court disbars suspended Fort Wayne lawyer

July 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Fort Wayne lawyer’s latest disciplinary matter resulted in his disbarment for taking $8,725 from clients he represented in a bankruptcy case.
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COA: Petitioner entitled to tax deed after completing all steps

July 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
An entity that bought two properties at a tax sale fulfilled all the requisite steps to acquire ownership of the parcels, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled, rejecting an appeal from the trust that previously owned the properties.
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Gender gap persists among lead trial counsel

July 21, 2015
 Bloomberg News
When it comes to lead trial counsel, a recent American Bar Association Study reveals that the gender divide shows no signs of going away.
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Dose of chlorine gas alone not enough to support diagnosis of respiratory illness

July 21, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who failed to produce an expert witness to link his respiratory ailment to a mishap at an amusement park will not be able to continue with his negligence claim.
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Justices take drug-buy sting appeal

July 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will review the conviction of a man arrested after authorities set up controlled cocaine purchases from him.
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Judge’s failure to address killers’ upbringings requires resentencing

July 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
Two men sentenced to life in prison for the 2000 murder of a 73-year-old nearly deaf Hammond gun store owner must be resentenced, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Deaf courtroom spectator gets $124,500 settlement from state of Indiana

July 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A deaf Indiana man who was denied a sign-language interpreter in court has reached a $124,500 settlement with the state of Indiana.
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Residents celebrate law allowing alcohol at retirement homes

July 20, 2015
 Associated Press
Residents of a Bloomington retirement home are enjoying their successful push for a change to state law to allow the serving of alcohol at Indiana's nursing homes and retirement communities.
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Involuntary commitment vacated for lack of evidence

July 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis woman was improperly ordered committed for mental illness, but there was insufficient evidence she was gravely disabled, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday. The decision further emphasizes the need for clear and convincing evidence of grave disability to support a commitment.
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Coroner: Arterial disease killed ND law professor at 31

July 20, 2015
IL Staff
The death of a popular Notre Dame Law School professor and undergradate mock trial coach was caused by cardiovascular disease, according to the St. Joseph County coroner’s office.
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Reversal: Court wrongly required $1.1M bond in estate spat

July 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court wrongly ordered an heir to an estate to post a bond of more than $1.1 million for a claim he submitted as he sought to block the sale of the family farm.
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Indiana AG Zoeller enters congressional race

July 20, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is looking for a return to Washington by seeking the congressional seat that Republican U.S. Rep. Todd Young is giving up to run for the U.S. Senate next year.
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Judge OKs $60 million settlement in NCAA video game case

July 20, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal judge approved a $60 million settlement for college athletes in a class-action lawsuit filed against the NCAA and video-game maker Electronics Arts.
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Sex orientation added to Terre Haute anti-discrimination law

July 17, 2015
 Associated Press
The Terre Haute City Council has passed an amendment adding sexual orientation and gender identity to its local anti-discrimination ordinance.
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Supreme Court won't hear ex-Indiana elections chief appeal

July 17, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court has denied a request by former Secretary of State Charlie White that it review a state appeals court decision upholding his three felony convictions for voter fraud, theft and perjury.
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IBF establishes grant program with national settlement funds

July 17, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Bar Foundation has established a new grant program to help residents and their communities heal wounds from the Great Recession.
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Altice selected to succeed Friedlander on Court of Appeals

July 17, 2015
Dave Stafford
Marion Superior Judge Robert R. Altice Jr. was named to the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday by Gov. Mike Pence.<
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Trial court had discretion in allowing hearsay statements into evidence

July 17, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court, which excused two young girls from testifying against their abuser at trial and instead allowed their prior statements to be admitted into evidence, did not abuse its discretion, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Altice selected to succeed Friedlander on Court of Appeals

July 17, 2015
IL Staff
Marion Superior Judge Robert R. Altice Jr. has been named to the Indiana Court of Appeals, Gov. Mike Pence announced Friday.
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Pence orders investigation of Planned Parenthood in Indiana

July 16, 2015
 Associated Press
Gov. Mike Pence has directed the state Department of Health to investigate Planned Parenthood facilities in Indiana in cooperation with the Indiana attorney general to see if organs from aborted fetuses are being sold.
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Reversal: Trial court erred in vacating agreed paternity order

July 16, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Hendricks County trial court erred by disregarding a mother and father’s agreed paternity order, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday, sending the matter back to the trial court. The court affirmed a judgment against father to pay mother’s attorney fees.
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Court aid offered for non-English-speaking, pro se litigants

July 16, 2015
IL Staff
Court improvement grants of up to $50,000 are available to assist unrepresented litigants and those with limited English proficiency.
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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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