Legal News

Thief who aimed to teach victim ‘lesson’ gets no relief on appeal

February 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis man who said he stole a video monitoring system and car wash tickets to teach the victim a lesson about leaving valuables in an unlocked car lost his appeal Friday.
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Former Marsh CFO sought out bankruptcy lawyers

February 8, 2013
Scott Olson
A former top executive of Marsh Supermarkets Inc. became so concerned about the company’s deteriorating finances less than a decade ago that he took the desperate step of meeting with bankruptcy lawyers.
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Jury: Real estate execs Bales, Spencer not guilty of fraud

February 8, 2013
Cory Schouten
John M. Bales lifted his crossed hands to his face and began to cry Thursday evening as a federal judge read the same jury verdict on each of 13 fraud counts against the real estate broker and his partner: Not guilty.
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Marriage amendment vote put off until 2014

February 7, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana legislators have decided to hold off on pursuing this session an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage between a man and woman, citing the pending cases on the topic before the U.S. Supreme Court.
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Marsh defense: Travel was integral to company success

February 7, 2013
Scott Olson
Without membership in certain international business organizations, Don Marsh says he could not have built his grocery chain into a billion-dollar company.
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Bales trial in jury's hands after colorful closings

February 7, 2013
Cory Schouten
The jury began deliberations Thursday in the federal fraud trial of Indianapolis real estate broker John M. Bales and partner William E. Spencer after three hours of spirited closing arguments Wednesday.
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Judges uphold man’s 151-month sentence

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals believed a defendant was entitled to resentencing because the District judge could only view him through “career-offender tinted glasses” even though the career offender distinction did not ultimately apply to him.
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District judge incorrectly dismissed prisoner’s suit for length and unintelligibility

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered U.S. Judge William T. Lawrence to take another look at a federal prisoner’s Bivens lawsuit against prison staff and other unnamed defendants, finding that the lawsuit is actually written clearly and not as long as the judge believed when dismissing it.
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Woman’s sentence revised because she is not among ‘worst offenders’

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A home health care nurse whose flight from police while high on drugs and with her 89-year-old patient in the car had her sentence reduced because the Court of Appeals concluded she is not among the “worst offenders.” The high-speed chase led to a crash and the death of the patient from injuries she sustained.
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Court split over denial to commit man with dementia

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Although the majority on the Indiana Court of Appeals acknowledged it would have been better for the trial court to follow the statutory commitment procedures instead of outright denying the state’s motion to commit, it affirmed the trial court’s conclusion.
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Judges uphold convictions stemming from bank robbery

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Terry Smith made five arguments to the Indiana Court of Appeals as to why his convictions of robbery and other charges related to his robbing of an Indianapolis bank should be thrown out, but the judges weren’t persuaded to reverse his convictions.
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Defendant entitled to resentencing under Fair Sentencing Act

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a northern Indiana man’s convictions of distributing crack cocaine and conspiracy to distribute the drug, but found that he is entitled to resentencing under the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010.
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Prisoners can seek reductions of crack cocaine sentences

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded two judges in the Northern District of Indiana should take another look at two defendants’ requests to have their sentences for crack cocaine offenses reduced based on revised sentencing guidelines.
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Mishawaka man sues Walgreens over alleged violation of 'guns in workplace' laws

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A former Walgreens store employee plans to file a lawsuit Thursday in St. Joseph County alleging the company fired him for lawfully carrying his gun into another Walgreens location where his wife worked.
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Judges affirm man’s drug conviction

February 6, 2013
IL Staff
A man stopped by police while driving through Vigo County for unsafe lane movement – and later convicted of Class A felony dealing in cocaine – couldn’t convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his conviction should be overturned.
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Human trafficking bill goes to full Senate

February 6, 2013
IL Staff
A bill to strengthen the state’s human trafficking law – which was passed last year in anticipation of Indianapolis hosting the Super Bowl, has made it out of committee.
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COA: Parties must arbitrate dispute over insurance coverage

February 6, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a trial court erred when it failed to enforce an arbitration provision of an insurance policy issued by Pekin Insurance Co. and ordered a couple’s lawsuit against their insurer stayed until arbitration is complete.
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Federal court to stage Underground Railroad event for Black History month

February 6, 2013
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana will celebrate Black History Month with the presentation “Escape of Caroline,” based on a true story of the Underground Railroad.
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Marsh: Company code of conduct didn’t apply to him

February 6, 2013
Scott Olson
Don Marsh continued to use the company jet for personal reasons even after Marsh Supermarkets Inc. adopted a code of conduct to discourage financial fraud within the company, a lawyer for the supermarket chain alleged Wednesday morning in an Indianapolis courtroom.
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Defense rests in Bales trial after flurry of witnesses

February 6, 2013
Cory Schouten
Closing arguments are expected to begin Wednesday afternoon in the federal fraud trial of Indianapolis real estate broker John M. Bales and partner William E. Spencer after the defense raced through seven witnesses Tuesday and early Wednesday.
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Justices take 4 cases

February 5, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to four cases last week, including three that involved divided lower court rulings.
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COA orders trial on drug charges

February 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
On interlocutory appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s denial of an Elkhart County man’s motion to suppress evidence police seized from him and his residence while investigating possible drug dealing.
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Judges uphold sexually violent predator status

February 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a defendant failed to establish that the process used to determine his sexually violent predator status constituted a fundamental error, so the court upheld the SVP status.
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Man entitled to new trial based on trial counsel’s performance

February 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted on a drug dealing charge and found to be a serious violent felon will have a new trial because his trial attorney did not file a motion to bifurcate the dealing and SVF charges, which prejudiced him, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Constitutional amendment on right to hunt, fish out of committee

February 5, 2013
IL Staff
A proposal to add the right of Hoosiers to hunt and fish to the Indiana Constitution passed unanimously out of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources Monday.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

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