Legal News

South Bend council urged to stop seeking police recordings

February 25, 2015
 Associated Press
Two of the four South Bend police officers whose telephone recordings are at the center of a police wiretapping case want city council members to end their pursuit of those recordings.
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Rare emergency suspension issued by Supreme Court

February 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Merrillville attorney Robert E. Stochel spent a few nights in jail after a judge found him in contempt for his evasiveness, but so far he’s avoided criminal charges despite allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from clients and a former associate.
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Court of Appeals finds no standing post-adoption, suggests legislative remedy

February 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indiana appeals court empathized with a grandmother’s situation, but it ruled the law gave the court no choice but to strip her of visitation with her granddaughter, whose mother – the grandmother’s daughter – had died.
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Amended complaint: Marion County inmates held days after release ordered

February 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Released inmates in Indianapolis are subjected to a “standard operating procedure” of re-arrest and being held behind bars – sometimes for days – after being acquitted, freed by a judge or posting bond, alleges an amended federal complaint filed against the Marion County Sheriff’s Department.
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‘No relief’ for law school enrollment slump

February 25, 2015
IBJ Staff, J.K. Wall
After three down years for law school enrollment, Austen Parrish expected a rebound of applications and enrollment this year at Indiana University Maurer School of Law. But it isn’t happening.
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Bill would let Indiana businesses battle patent trolls in state courts

February 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A bill, authored by Bedford Republican Rep. Eric Koch, would prohibit a person from asserting a bad-faith claim of patent infringement and would enable the Indiana business accused of infringing to seek remedy in state court.
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Contingency fees still help to provide access to courts

February 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Twenty-five years later, a plaintiff’s attorney says changes to statutes have impacted awards, but the system remains necessary.
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The first 2 law schools to drop the LSAT could be just the beginning

February 24, 2015
 Bloomberg News
Two law schools said this month that they would begin accepting applicants who have not taken the Law School Admissions Test, a move that may help curb weak interest and plunging enrollments in law schools across the country.
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Professor says verdict highlights need for Congress to revisit terrorism law

February 24, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A historic $218.5 million verdict handed down Feb. 23 against Palestinian organizations for a series of terrorist attacks that killed or injured several U.S. citizens could bring unintended consequences and should cause Congress to reexamine federal terrorism statutes, according to a prominent Indiana legal scholar.
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Lease doesn't bar dentist's slip-and-fall suit against landlord

February 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
A dentist who slipped and fell on a patch of ice outside his office may pursue a negligence and personal-injury lawsuit against his professional corporation’s landlord, the Court of Appeals affirmed Tuesday.
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GOP-led Senate advances bill protecting religious objections

February 24, 2015
 Associated Press
A proposal that supporters say would allow people with strong religious beliefs to not provide services for same-sex weddings has been approved by the Indiana Senate.
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Legislator: Sunday alcohol bill 'did not have the votes'

February 24, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana will keep the distinction of being the last state with a "blue law" banning Sunday carry-out alcohol sales after the sponsor of a bill that would have lifted the ban said Tuesday the measure is dead.
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Attorney: Settlement reached in parasailing crash lawsuit

February 24, 2015
 Associated Press
An attorney for two Indiana teenagers who were seriously injured in a Florida parasailing crash says a settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by one of the victim's parents.
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Indiana House backs repeal of state construction wage law

February 24, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana House on Monday approved a Republican-led push for eliminating the state system that sets wages for public construction projects, although its fate in the state Senate is uncertain.
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Council members: Delay justice center decision until after election

February 23, 2015
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
The odds the Indianapolis City-County Council will approve plans for a new criminal justice center this year are tanking fast.
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Menard: Toss Hilberts' attorneys for wrongdoing

February 23, 2015
IBJ Staff, J.K. Wall
Lawyers for Indianapolis power couple Steve and Tomisue Hilbert are slinging “ludicrous allegations” of witness tampering just to cover up their own wrongdoing, according to the latest broadside from the attorneys representing John Menard, the Hilberts’ former business partner.
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Friedlander to resign from Court of Appeals

February 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Ezra Friedlander will retire in August, the court announced Monday, about a year-and-a-half before he would have faced mandatory retirement.
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Justices won’t give lawyers access to secret court records

February 23, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States will not consider giving a man accused of trying to ignite a bomb in downtown Chicago access to secret intelligence-court records.
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Report: Ex-Purdue chancellor’s forced retirement bungled

February 23, 2015
 Associated Press
A newly released report that Purdue University had fought in court to keep secret concluded that school officials bungled the forced retirement of Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne's former chancellor, causing his departure to turn into an “ugly situation.”
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Lawmakers poised to vote on allowing Sunday alcohol sales

February 23, 2015
 Associated Press
State lawmakers are poised to vote on bills to legalize Sunday carry-out alcohol sales and repeal Indiana's law that sets wages for public construction projects.
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7th Circuit reverses denial of disability benefits

February 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
An administrative law judge’s denial of Social Security disability benefits for a man who the Veterans Administration determined was totally disabled cannot be sustained, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA finds dual conviction violated double jeopardy

February 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
On a sua sponte review, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned one conviction of a Hamilton County woman who was found guilty of charges surrounding the death of an infant in her care.
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Appeals court opens RX database to defendant’s subpoena

February 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A woman charged with possession of a controlled substance who claimed she had a prescription may seek information from the state prescription database, the Indiana Court of Appeals held in a reversal.
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Opinions Feb. 20, 2015 ILD

February 20, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kevin Watson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
49A02-1408-CR-536
Criminal. Affirms Watson’s conviction of Class A misdemeanor battery after a fight with his half-sister. Concludes that evidence is sufficient to rebut his self-defense claim.

In the Matter of: E.A., Jr., Child in need of Services, and E.A., Sr. (Father) and N.A. (Stepmother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
20A03-1410-JC-360
Juvenile CHINS. Remands to the trial court for more specific findings regarding its reasoning for the adjudication of E.A. as a child in need of services.

Larry Marshall v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
48A02-1406-CR-459
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Marshall’s two-year work-release placement and two-year suspended sentence and the order for him to serve his sentence in the Indiana Department of Correction.  

Danny Lewis v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
29A04-1409-CR-440
Criminal. Affirms conviction of one count of invasion of privacy, as a Class A misdemeanor.

Keytron W. Johnson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
02A05-1408-CR-370
Criminal. Reverses and remands the trial court’s denial of Johnson’s pro se petition seeking credit time for completing various education programs. Concludes the denial was premature and contrary to the procedure established in the post-conviction rules.  

David A. Brewster v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
01A02-1408-CR-559
Criminal. Affirms four-and-a-half-year sentence for pleading guilty to domestic battery, a Class D felony; disorderly conduct, a Class B misdemeanor under Cause Number 138; domestic battery, a Class D felony; and invasion of privacy, a Class A misdemeanor under Cause Number 184.

Troy Shawn Meyers v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
45A03-1405-CR-176
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony involuntary manslaughter.

Jesse Edward Atwood v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
73A01-1407-CR-324
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct stemming from a physical altercation between Atwood and another jail inmate.

Imari Butler v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
49A04-1406-CR-284
Criminal. Affirms Butler’s adjudication as a habitual offender.

Charles M. Woolsey v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A01-1407-CR-301
Criminal. Reverses summary denial of Woolsey’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds Woolsey pleaded sufficient facts to raise an issue of possible merit. Remands for further proceedings on his ineffective assistance of counsel claim.

 

 
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Tax Court affirms denial of exemptions on lake property

February 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Lake Wawasee homeowners association failed to persuade the Indiana Tax Court to overturn Board of Tax Review denials of exemptions for waterfront property it claimed was maintained to retain and preserve the natural characteristics of land and water.
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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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