Legal News

Appeals court rehearing affirms serious violent felon conviction

April 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Indiana Supreme Court ruling that a conviction of possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon cannot have a sentence enhanced under the habitual offender statute does not apply when the enhancement came for a separate conviction, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday.
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Endorsement clause makes insurance policy ambiguous

April 8, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Describing an insurance company’s policy as “inherently ambiguous,” the Indiana Court of Appeals has reserved the summary judgment granted by the trial court.
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COA affirms car forfeiture when owner arrested for iPhone theft

April 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Wal-Mart worker who tried to steal four iPhones from the store at the end of her workday has no protection from forfeiture laws that allowed the state to take her car, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Hearings set for trio charged in southside Indy explosion

April 8, 2013
IL Staff
Three people charged in an explosion that killed two people and leveled part of a southside Indianapolis housing development will go before a judge in Marion Superior Court on Wednesday.
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Toxicology lab witness’s failure to appear dooms drunken-driving conviction

April 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Tennessee man’s drunken-driving conviction in Shelby Superior Court was tossed because his trial took place more than a year after his arrest, largely due to a toxicology lab worker’s failure to appear for scheduled depositions, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Pair convicted in liquor store killing not entitled to DNA evidence

April 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
Two men sentenced more than 20 years ago for murder and Class C felony attempted robbery were not improperly denied post-conviction relief when they couldn’t obtain DNA evidence they said would prove exculpatory, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Conour alleges feds reneged on deal to delay prosecution

April 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
Former personal injury attorney William Conour has filed an affidavit in his federal wire fraud case swearing that the government reneged on a deal to delay his prosecution so that he could settle outstanding cases that could have generated about $2 million in fees.
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Public input wanted on proposed changes to court rules

April 5, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court wants to hear from judges, attorneys and the general public as it considers possible changes to court rules.
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Justices affirm denial of killer’s post-conviction relief

April 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man originally sentenced to die for the 2006 murders of a mother and her 8- and 13-year-old daughters will continue to serve his converted sentence of life without parole after the Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday afternoon affirmed a trial court’s denial of post-conviction relief.
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Law students to join Bei Bei Shuai rally

April 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
Students from Indiana University Maurer School of Law will take part in a rally this weekend to call for an end to the prosecution on murder and attempted feticide charges of Bei Bei Shuai. Shuai consumed rat poison while pregnant, and her newborn daughter died shortly after birth.
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General Assembly enters final weeks with full schedule

April 5, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana’s biennial budget is eligible to receive a second reading in the Senate Monday as the Indiana General Assembly enters the final weeks of its regular session.
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Court reverses several theft convictions under single larceny rule

April 4, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
An Orange County man who stole items from a deceased man’s home and sold them had multiple convictions overturned by the Indiana Court of Appeals, including several theft convictions and failure to report a dead body.
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COA affirms dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction

April 4, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that a Texas corporation that made a component of a dust collector that injured a Fort Wayne man did nothing more than place the screw conveyor in the stream of commerce, which supports dismissing the Texas business from a lawsuit filed here.
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Trial court improperly suspended driving privileges for life

April 4, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion Superior Court exceeded statutory authority when it suspended a man’s driving privileges for life, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held. At the time Thomas Porter was arrested and charged, his driving privileges were suspended for life, but that was no longer the case when he was sentenced.
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Broken gun still a firearm for felon-conviction purposes

April 4, 2013
Dave Stafford
A gun that can no longer shoot is still a gun for purposes of federal firearms convictions, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Presence of alternate juror in deliberation room not reversible error

April 4, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man’s conviction of methamphetamine and firearms crimes in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana was not prejudiced by the presence of an alternate juror in the deliberation room, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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7th Circuit affirms defense verdict in motorcycle crash

April 4, 2013
Dave Stafford
A woman who lost her legs after an Indianapolis motorcycle crash isn’t entitled to a new trial even though hearsay evidence was improperly admitted, including her statements that the crash was her fault.
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Judges rule on contractor dispute over new FBI headquarters

April 4, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a general contractor’s motion to stay proceedings and compel arbitration regarding disputes with subcontractors, finding general contractor Welty Building Co. LTD did not waive its right to insist upon arbitration.
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Lake County murder conviction affirmed

April 4, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Lake Superior trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to give an accused murderer’s proposed jury instruction regarding the presumption of innocence, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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COA orders bank’s cause of action reinstated

April 4, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Howard Superior Court erred in denying a bank’s motion for relief from the court’s quiet title decree finding the bank no longer held any interest in certain real property owned by a divorcing couple, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Evidence supports animal fighting convictions

April 4, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Shelby County man who claimed his devotion to his religious beliefs required him to breed, raise and fight gamefowl had his convictions relating to animal fighting upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday.
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Firm mergers at highest number since 2009

April 4, 2013
IL Staff
U.S. law firm mergers in the first quarter of this year hit a four-year high, Altman Weil Inc. announced Thursday. Twenty-one firms announced mergers and acquisitions, with most deals involving acquisitions of small law firms.
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Gammage appointed magistrate in St. Joseph Circuit Court

April 4, 2013
IL Staff
St. Joseph Circuit Judge Michael Gotsch announced Wednesday that Andre B. Gammage will replace Elizabeth C. Hurley as magistrate judge on the court. Hurley was recently appointed to the St. Joseph Superior bench by Gov. Mike Pence.
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Disciplinary commission seeks suspension of former clerk’s law license

April 3, 2013
IL Staff
More than a month after former Lake County clerk Thomas R. Philpot was sentenced to serve 18 months for theft and mail fraud convictions, the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission has requested his law license be suspended by the Supreme Court.
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Bill adding magistrates, judges in 3 counties moves to governor

April 3, 2013
IL Staff
Legislation that will add more judicial officers in Hamilton, Hendricks and Owen counties passed unanimously out of the House of Representatives Tuesday.
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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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