Legal News

Justices decline to take Decatur County arson case

August 9, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday unanimously decided to deny the state’s petition for transfer of Kristine Bunch v. State, in which a divided Court of Appeals ruled Kristine Bunch is entitled to a new trial. Bunch was convicted of the murder of her son, who died in a fire in their mobile home.
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Nominating commission picks 3 finalists

August 8, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission has selected the three finalists for the Supreme Court vacancy: Hamilton Superior Judge Steve Nation, Tippecanoe Superior Judge Loretta Rush, and attorney Geoffrey Slaughter. The commission had whittled down the number of applicants from 22 to 10 in July, and then to three Wednesday evening.
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Commission wraps up interviews, begins deliberations

August 8, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commissions has finished interviewing the semifinalists who want to replace Frank Sullivan Jr. on the Supreme Court. The commission went into executive session around 4 p.m. Wednesday.
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MCBA to raise funds for Darden scholarship

August 8, 2012
IL Staff
The Marion County Bar Association is hosting a retirement dinner for Senior Judge Carr Darden Sept. 14. Darden stepped down from the Indiana Court of Appeals last month. All proceeds from the event will benefit the MCBA and the Judge Carr L. Darden and Mrs. Lundy Darden Public Sector Legal Education Scholarship Fund.
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Semifinalists discuss important qualities of a justice

August 8, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission Wednesday interviewed 10 semifinalists to fill the vacancy on the Indiana Supreme Court created by the retirement of Justice Frank Sullivan Jr. Commission chair and Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson opened the interviews by asking each candidate what factors he or she believed the commission should be looking for in a justice.
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Attorney can’t recast untimely 4th Amendment claim against prosecutor

August 8, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Muncie attorney who sued former Delaware County Prosecutor Mark McKinney, alleging due process violations following his arrest and acquittal on conspiracy to commit bribery charges, lost his appeal before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The judges found the attorney was trying to recast an untimely false arrest claim into a due process claim.
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COA upholds domestic battery conviction

August 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied a man accused of hitting his live-in girlfriend the opportunity to cross-examine her about a past domestic battery incident, the Court of Appeals concluded.
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Trial court erred in finding provision was liquidated damages clause

August 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A forfeiture provision in a purchase agreement between the Dean V. Kruse Foundation and Jerry Gates, the buyer of West Baden property, did not constitute a liquidated damages clause as the trial court ruled, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday. The judges ruled that the Kruse parties are entitled to more damages as a result of Gates’ breach of contract.
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Court affirms judgment for developer, real estate company in suit over sinking home

August 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A couple who sued a subdivision developer and real estate company after the builder went out of business to recover damages because their home was sinking could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse summary judgment for the companies.
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Man unable to show prejudice by attorney’s lack of deportation advisement

August 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Pakistan-born man who faces automatic deportation as a result of his guilty plea to felony theft lost his pursuit for post-conviction relief before the Indiana Court of Appeals. The judges found Naveed Gulzar was unable to show he was prejudiced by his attorney’s failure to advise him that automatic deportation is a consequence of his guilty plea.
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Agreement doesn’t preclude subsequent lawsuit for water damage

August 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A release agreement a Warrick County couple signed in 2002 regarding water issues in their home resulting from county work that disconnected downspout lines from the home does not preclude the couple from suing the city after discovering water damage to their home in 2007, the Court of Appeals held.
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Justice interviews set for Wednesday

August 7, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission will interview the 10 semifinalists for the Supreme Court Wednesday.
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Indiana University launches media law center

August 7, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana University School of Journalism has created a new research center that focuses on legal protection for the media here and around the world. The Center for International Media Law and Policy Studies will support research and host public events related to free expression issues and give students the chance to work with organizations that promote media freedom, the school announced Monday.
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Pyle: COA appointment an ‘awesome honor’

August 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Gov. Mitch Daniels Tuesday appointed Madison Circuit Judge Rudolph Pyle III to the Indiana Court of Appeals, filling a vacancy left by Pyle’s mentor, Judge Carr Darden.
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Governor appoints Rudolph Pyle to Court of Appeals

August 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Gov. Mitch Daniels announced Tuesday morning that Madison Circuit Judge Rudolph Pyle III will fill the vacancy on the Indiana Court of Appeals left by Judge Carr Darden’s retirement in July.
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Justices deny 1 case

August 6, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer last week to a civil case out of Owen County involving a quiet title action.
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Dickson takes oath as chief justice

August 6, 2012
Dave Stafford
Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson formally took the oath of office Monday before more than 300 people in the atrium of the Indiana Statehouse.
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Judges: Grant bank’s request for receiver

August 6, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Because PNC Bank was able to show that the requisite provisions of Indiana Code 32-30-5-1 have been satisfied and it did not relinquish its right to the appointment of a receiver, the trial court order denying PNC’s request for appointment of a receiver was an error, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded.
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Court affirms convictions of man who shot at teenagers

August 6, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Porter County man who shot at four teenagers near his property at night because he claimed they were trying to break into his home is not entitled to a new trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Court rules for city, water company in suit over frozen hydrants

August 3, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that the city of Indianapolis and water company – which contracts with the city to operate the water utility – are entitled to common law immunity from a lawsuit brought by a restaurant and its insurers after a fire destroyed a Texas Roadhouse restaurant.
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7th Circuit upholds ruling in favor of borrowers

August 3, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A dispute between a lender and subsidiaries created by a restaurant owner to refinance its debt made its way before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for the second time. This time, the judges ruled in favor of the borrowers.
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7th Circuit affirms ruling against fired employee

August 3, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Carrier Corp. had an “honest suspicion” that one of its employees was abusing his leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, so the District Court was correct in granting summary judgment for Carrier in the fired employee’s lawsuit.
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Bankruptcy filings down across country, Indiana

August 3, 2012
IL Staff
Bankruptcy filings are down 14 percent across the country for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2012, as compared to the year ending June 30, 2011, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts reported Friday. Filings are down by at least 13 percent in Indiana courts.
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Zoeller: Most claimants agree to State Fair settlement

August 2, 2012
Dave Stafford
More than 80 percent of victims who sued after the State Fair stage collapse last year say they want to participate in the $13.2 million public-private settlement negotiated between the Indiana attorney general’s office and two defendant companies, the AG’s office said Thursday.
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ACLU of Indiana selects new leader

August 2, 2012
IL Staff
Former Indianapolis Deputy Mayor Jane Henegar has been named executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana. She begins work immediately and will join the organization full time Sept. 4.
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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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