Legal News

Judge dismisses 54 potential jurors in house explosion trial

June 5, 2015
 Associated Press
Jury selection in the trial of an Indianapolis man charged in a deadly 2012 house explosion got off to a rocky start Thursday when a judge dismissed the first 54 potential jurors following a defense attorney's revelation that the suspect is also accused of trying to hire a hit man to kill a witness.
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COA upholds termination of mother’s parental rights

June 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found no abuse of discretion by a trial court when it denied a mother's request to continue her termination of parental rights hearing for several months, when she expected to be released from incarceration. The mother was unable to prove that she would definitely be out of jail at that time.
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Court erred in concluding vested title severed by tax sales

June 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered judgment entered in favor of two families on their claim for adverse possession over a disputed tract of land in Pulaski County. The judges found the trial court erred when it found two tax sales involving the disputed property divested the adverse holders of their title to the real property.
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Man’s Indiana conviction for stealing car barred by Kentucky conviction

June 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man who stole a car in Vanderburgh County, fled into Kentucky and then was arrested and charged with similar crimes of auto theft and fleeing police in both states had his Indiana auto theft conviction reversed by the Court of Appeals Thursday.
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US House chops legal aid budget

June 4, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Budget cuts to legal aid funding approved June 3 by the U.S. House of Representatives could mean layoffs and office closures nationwide.
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Panel splits over interpretation of corrupt business influence statute

June 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The majority on a Court of Appeals panel tossed out a man’s corrupt business influence conviction after finding his criminal activity did not pose a threat of future criminal conduct. But the dissenting judge noted the majority was inserting a new element into the Indiana statute that does not exist.
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Judge to allow recordings from Indy blast at trial

June 4, 2015
 Associated Press
The judge hearing the trial of a man charged in an Indianapolis house explosion says he'll allow prosecutors to present an audio recording of the screams of a man who initially survived the blast before dying.
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Whitestown likely to appeal Zionsville case to Supreme Court

June 4, 2015
Lindsey Erdody
A ruling from the Indiana Court of Appeals allowing Zionsville to merge with Perry Township is likely to be challenged before the state Supreme Court.
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Tax Court orders more proceedings on sale of racetrack and card club

June 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of State Revenue scored a partial victory in Tax Court on Wednesday when the court granted the agency's motion for summary judgment regarding whether I.C. 6-3-2-2.2 applied in its taxing of a portion of the gain generated by a Las Vegas-based corporation's sale of a horse racetrack and card club to an out-of-state company. But there are issues of genuine material fact as to whether the department correctly classified Pinnacle Entertainment's gain as business income.
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Inconsistency by trial court leads to partial reversal

June 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because a trial court hearing a child support matter at first declined to impute the income of the stepfather to the child's mother, but later treated their income as the same when it came to the cost of her child's health insurance, the Indiana Court of Appeals partially reversed a Hamilton Superior Court's 2014 ruling.
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Legislature continues support of We the People program

June 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana's We the People program, a civics education curriculum that teaches elementary, middle and high school students about U.S. history and government, has received another round of funding from the Statehouse.
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Justices: Adoption agency didn’t breach duty to couple

June 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled 4-1 in favor of an adoption agency that it did not have any duties with respect to the putative father registry in excess of statutory requirements. A couple who adopted a baby through the agency – only later to have her removed from their care after the biological father contested the adoption – sued the agency alleging negligence.
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AG may appeal death penalty reversal in deputy’s slaying

June 3, 2015
IL Staff
The state is considering whether it will appeal a federal court ruling Tuesday that reversed the death penalty imposed on a man convicted of killing a Morgan County deputy sheriff nearly 14 years ago.
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Appeals court sides with EPA on air pollution limits

June 3, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency complied with the law in deciding which areas of the country failed to meet federal limits on smog-forming pollution that can cause asthma and respiratory illness.
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NCAA's top lawyer ready to keep fighting in O'Bannon case

June 3, 2015
 Associated Press
Donald Remy has an answer for those who believe the NCAA is waging a losing battle against Ed O'Bannon: Think again.
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Supreme Court pulls plug on audio-video transcript pilot project

June 3, 2015
Dave Stafford
Transcripts generated by video cameras have had their day in court in Indiana. The verdict is in favor of keeping paper records.
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Criminal defense attorney Robert Hammerle joins Pence Hensel

June 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Between them, the three defense attorneys have handled a range of cases from murder and the death penalty to fraud, civil business litigation and even treason. But on a recent morning, the trio of legal minds was gathered around the conference room table discussing the most pressing matter of that day – office furniture.
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Supreme Court appoints team to look at pro se litigant problems

June 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Less than two years after appointing a commission to expand civil legal services for the indigent, the Indiana Supreme Court has assembled another group to examine the nagging problems caused by pro se litigants.
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Injured man fails to convince COA he was mentally incompetent

June 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A split Indiana Court of Appeals found that affidavits from an injured man’s family members as to his mental competency were not sufficient to overcome his failure to file a complaint before the statute of limitations had expired.
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Plan to establish commercial courts in Indiana moves forward

June 2, 2015
IL Staff
The move to create commercial courts in Indiana, first mentioned by Chief Justice Loretta Rush during her State of the Judiciary address in January, is a step closer to becoming a reality. The Indiana Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it has named a working group to recommend policies and procedures for the courts, which could be hearing cases as early as 2016.
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Death sentence reversed in 2001 slaying of Morgan deputy

June 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
The death sentence imposed on a man for the killing Morgan County Deputy Sheriff Daniel Starnes in 2001 has been reversed by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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COA finds Zionsville has authority to incorporate neighboring township

June 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Describing itself as having a “hybrid status,” Zionsville successfully argued it had the authority to reorganize with Perry Township and convinced the Indiana Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court’s order blocking its efforts to incorporate the township.
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COA widens class-action suit against Lincoln National

June 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
A former policyholder’s class-action lawsuit claiming Lincoln National Life Insurance breached its contract was expanded Tuesday by a Court of Appeals ruling.
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Monroe County wants to bring trained dogs to court

June 2, 2015
 Associated Press
Efforts are underway in Monroe County to bring trained dogs to the courthouse in Bloomington.
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Parents sue Hobart school district over prayers at school events

June 2, 2015
 Associated Press
A Hobart school district faces a lawsuit over prayers that are said before athletic events, graduations and school board meetings from parents who say the prayers violate the First Amendment.
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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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