Legal News

ILAS annual fundraising campaign nearing goal

January 19, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indianapolis Legal Aid Society is making a final push in its 2014 holiday dollar campaign, hoping to entice late donors and surpass the record amount donated during the 2013 effort.
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Lawyers sought for Lung Association stair climb benefit

January 19, 2015
Dave Stafford
The central Indiana legal community hopes to reach new fundraising heights in the fifth annual American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb Law Firm Challenge.
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US Supreme Court sets stage for historic gay rights ruling

January 19, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court is getting back in the marriage business. The justices agreed Friday to decide a major civil rights question: whether same-sex couples have a right to marry everywhere in America under the Constitution.
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Defendant in deadly Indiana explosion agrees to plea deal

January 19, 2015
 Associated Press
One of three people charged in a deadly Indianapolis house explosion has reached a plea agreement, prosecutors said Friday — something an outside defense attorney said could mean a stronger case against the other two.
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Service of process fees increase under proposal in Senate

January 19, 2015
Dave Stafford
Fees sheriffs collect to serve parties in civil lawsuits would nearly double under a bill that cleared a Senate panel last week.
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Strong smell of marijuana makes strip search justified

January 16, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the man was arrested for a misdemeanor, the strong odor of marijuana that engulfed him gave law enforcement officers justification to conduct a strip search and did not violate his constitutional rights.
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Justices toss attempted murder conviction due to jury instruction

January 16, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Anderson gang member convicted of attempted murder will get a new trial after the Indiana Supreme Court vacated the judgment because jurors received erroneous instructions.
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14-year-old Indianapolis firm recreates itself with addition of name partner

January 16, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Hoover Hull founding partners John David Hoover and Andrew Hull, along with Wayne Turner, former chair of the litigation group at Bingham Greenebaum Doll, announced Friday that they are creating a new law firm focused on business litigation.
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Regional mock trial and moot court competitions need volunteer judges

January 16, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Volunteers are needed to serve as judges for the moot court and mock trial competitions to be held as part of the Midwest Black Law Students Association’s conference next month in Indianapolis.
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Nativity lawsuit brings new county ordinance

January 16, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Franklin County Board of Commissioners approved a “public forum ordinance” this week in response to the ongoing lawsuit over a nativity scene displayed on the county’s courthouse lawn during the holiday season.
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Appeals panel affirms CHINS adjudication

January 16, 2015
Dave Stafford
Two children were properly adjudicated in need of services, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded in affirming a trial court.
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Federal courts warn of threatening jury duty scam calls

January 16, 2015
IL Staff
Federal courts are warning residents of scam phone calls threatening prosecution for failure to comply with jury service, according to an alert released Thursday by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Justices uphold convictions in second trial after partial deadlock

January 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court Thursday upheld the convictions of a man involved in a fatal drunken-driving crash. The defendant was retried on all charges after a jury convicted him on some counts and deadlocked on others.
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$1.8M verdict against Walgreen for pharmacist’s data breach stands

January 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected Thursday several claims raised by Walgreen Co. on rehearing, holding that the company and its pharmacists are liable for damages sustained by the plaintiff after the pharmacist divulged her prescription records to a third party.
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Counsel’s ‘risky’ trial strategy is not considered ineffective

January 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial attorney who decided to pursue a trial strategy in a theft case that did not request a jury instruction on the lesser-include offense of criminal conversion did not provide ineffective assistance of counsel, the Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA reverses sentence based on a ‘suspect enhancement’

January 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that a judge was clearly influenced by a jury’s not-guilty decision on another drug charge when he sentenced a defendant for cocaine possession, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the man’s sentence reduced.
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Full 7th Circuit declines to rehear right-to-work appeal

January 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An even split among all of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judges as to whether to rehear an appeal challenging Indiana’s right-to-work law means that its previous affirmation of the law will stand.
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Defense wants statements omitted at Indiana fatal fire trial

January 15, 2015
 Associated Press
Defense attorneys for an Evansville man accused of starting a deadly March fire have asked a judge to keep statements he made to police from being used at trial.
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Rush proposes business court, makes pitch for e-filing funding

January 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
In her first State of Judiciary speech, Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush on Wednesday said the judiciary is “currently working on the development of a business court model focused on complex commercial litigation,” and urged the General Assembly to help fund the courts’ electronic filing initiative.
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Author and death penalty opponent Sister Helen Prejean calls for judicial reform

January 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
When she became pen pals with an inmate on Louisiana’s death row, Sister Helen Prejean said she did not know much about the law or the U.S. Constitution. She was not aware of constitutional protections or how the Supreme Court of the United States was interpreting them.
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7th Circuit upholds use of GPS unit on car in 2011

January 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s claim that his motion to suppress drugs and guns found by police at a storage locker through the use of a GPS unit should have been granted because attaching the device to his car for purposes of gathering information was a search under the Fourth Amendment.
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Senate panel advances bill to open adoption records

January 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
Advocates of opening Indiana’s adoption records won an emotional first round Wednesday as a Senate panel advanced legislation that for the first time would open birth records of hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers.
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Pence troubled by report Guard mishandled domestic case

January 14, 2015
 Associated Press
Gov. Mike Pence is troubled by allegations that the Indiana National Guard mishandled a domestic violence case and will review a Pentagon report on the matter, his spokeswoman said.
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Court orders termination of spousal maintenance following ex-wife’s remarriage

January 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who remarried and now has substantial income and assets as a result of that marriage is no longer entitled to spousal maintenance, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Teen injured in stage collapse loses challenge of tort liability

January 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Cincinnati girl who was injured when a concert stage collapsed in 2011 at the Indiana State Fair and later declined to settle with the state lost her challenge that the tort claim caps are unconstitutional, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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