Legal News

Terre Haute attorney to receive ITLA Lifetime Achievement Award

April 30, 2015
IL Staff
Terre Haute attorney Stephen L. Williams will receive this year's Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association. He is being recognized for his distinguished service to the organization and dedication to preserving the rights of the injured.
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Revised sentence modification statute not applicable in defendant’s case

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not err in denying a man’s petition to modify his sentence after finding that the current version of the sentencing modification statute is not applicable to his sentence, which he began serving in 1989. The Indiana Court of Appeals panel relied on a January decision by its colleagues to affirm the denial of Mitchell Swallows’ petition.
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Judicial campaign solicitation ban upheld by SCOTUS

April 30, 2015
 Bloomberg News
A divided Supreme Court of the United States ruled that states can bar judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions, leaving intact bans in 30 states.
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Lawmakers pass Marion Co. small claims reforms

April 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
The General Assembly Wednesday afternoon passed modest reforms of the nine township small claims courts in Marion County, a far cry from recommendations of multiple judicial studies to restructure the courts.
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Judge may sequester house blast jury during deliberations

April 29, 2015
 Associated Press
The judge who'll preside over one defendant's murder trial in a deadly Indianapolis house explosion says he may sequester jurors during deliberations.
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Appellate court records make switch to Odyssey May 4

April 29, 2015
IL Staff
Beginning next week, basic case information on appeals before the Indiana Supreme Court and Court of Appeals will be available to the public through the Odyssey docket. The Indiana Tax Court made the switch in December.
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Wiretap evidence properly admitted at murder trial

April 29, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man's conviction of murdering his stepfather, finding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting wiretap evidence in which the defendant told a friend he was involved in the killing.
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Justices affirm upward deviation from child support guidelines

April 29, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not commit clear error when it deviated from the Indiana Child Support Guidelines by not granting a father the full parenting time credit calculated and allowed his ex-wife to claim their child each year on her taxes, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. The justices also outlined the best practices to be used when a trial court conducts summary proceedings.
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Brothers’ murder convictions upheld by COA

April 29, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Two brothers convicted in the murder of a man with whom they previously had an altercation are not entitled to a new trial based on one juror's concerns for her safety after recognizing someone sitting in the gallery, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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3 brothers plead guilty to massive biofuels scam

April 29, 2015
IBJ Staff
Three brothers have pleaded guilty to participating in a biofuels scam that federal investigators are calling “one of the largest tax and securities fraud schemes in Indiana history."
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COA affirms new trial on motorcyclist’s negligence claim

April 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it set aside a jury verdict allocating 70 percent of fault to a motorcyclist who hit a dog that darted in front of his bike, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The motorcyclist was injured in the accident and sued the dog's owners.
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Former Lilly partner set to pay $2.3B to settle Actos cases

April 28, 2015
 Bloomberg News
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. executives have agreed to pay more than $2.3 billion to resolve lawsuits accusing the company of hiding its Actos diabetes medicine’s cancer risks, three people familiar with the accord said.
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Appeals court declines to revise battery sentence

April 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Even though a trial court did not specify why it imposed consecutive sentences for a man convicted of two counts of battery - one as a Level 6 felony and the other a Class A misdemeanor - the Indiana Court of Appeals found the rationale for consecutive sentences is apparent on the face of the record.
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Mother’s failure to timely contest adoption dooms appeal

April 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who failed to give notice to the court within 30 days after learning her child's stepmother sought to adopt the child could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that her due process was denied in the matter.
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US Supreme Court hears historic same-sex marriage arguments

April 28, 2015
 Associated Press
Pivotal Supreme Court of the United States Justice Anthony Kennedy did not tip his hand Tuesday as the high court heard historic arguments over the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry.
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US Supreme Court to hear historic same-sex marriage arguments

April 28, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States  is set to hear historic arguments in cases that could make same-sex marriage the law of the land.
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Chief Judge Young recognized for legal career and service to bar

April 27, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Evansville Bar Association has honored federal Judge Richard Young with the James Bethel Gresham Freedom Award, the highest recognition the bar association gives.
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8 apply to be next COA judge

April 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court released the names of the eight people who want to replace Court of Appeals Judge Ezra Friedlander after he retires from the bench in August.
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Woman’s battery conviction reversed due to fatal variance

April 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A couple arrested after they screamed and resisted arrest at a local Department of Child Services' office after learning their child was being removed from their care had all but one of their convictions from the incident upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday.
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ACLU of Indiana, ILS founder remembered for fighting for justice

April 27, 2015
IL Staff
The man who helped to found the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and Indiana Legal Services Organization died April 5 after a brief hospitalization. Irving Fink was 95.
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BLE announces names of 174 who passed February bar exam

April 27, 2015
IL Staff
Nearly 175 people have passed the Indiana Bar Exam. The Board of Law Examiners posted the names of the 174 successful test-takers Monday. Results are from the February 2015 exam.
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SCOTUS considers excessive force, discrimination and personal data issues

April 27, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States said Monday it will decide whether websites and other firms that collect personal data can be sued for publishing inaccurate information even if the mistakes don't cause any actual harm. The court is also considering time limits for discrimination claims and issues involving excessive force against inmates awaiting trial.
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Long odds for insanity defense in theater shooting trial

April 27, 2015
 Associated Press
The parents of Colorado theater shooter James Holmes joined the parents of his victims in line on a gray and drizzly Monday morning before entering the courthouse where lawyers prepared to declare why he should be executed or spend the rest of his life in a mental hospital.
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Boston Marathon bomber's lawyer urges jury to spare his life

April 27, 2015
 Associated Press
A lawyer for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev urged a jury Monday to spare the young man's life, portraying him as "a good kid" who was led astray by his belligerent older brother.
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Small Indiana town sued for rejecting proposed cell tower

April 27, 2015
 Associated Press
A company that wants to build a cellphone tower in northeast Indiana is suing a small town, alleging the Zanesville Town Council is violating the federal Communications Act by using zoning ordinances to keep a wireless communications facility out.
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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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