Legal News

Man’s 76-year sentence for kidnapping driver affirmed

December 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected all of a man’s arguments on appeal as to why his convictions and sentence should be overturned for his kidnapping and robbery of a delivery driver.
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Despite jury instruction error, man’s battery conviction upheld

December 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although the trial court erred in giving one jury instruction on self defense that only applies when deadly force is involved, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an inmate’s Class A misdemeanor battery conviction because he otherwise couldn’t prove his self-defense claim.
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Online database shows convictions bring consequences beyond incarceration

December 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The American Bar Association has completed work on a national database that identifies the legal restrictions and prohibitions that individuals convicted of a crime face in addition to the sentence imposed by the court.
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COA upholds most of man’s spice convictions

December 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday affirmed all but one of a man’s drug convictions related to his selling of the drug commonly referred to as “spice” in his smoke shop. The judges also chastised the deputy attorney general who handled the case for again submitting a “foul” smelling record.
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General counsel are business enablers in the corporate environment

December 17, 2014
Tom Harton
The days of in-house legal departments working in the shadow of the executive suite are history, or should be. That’s the perception of general counsel in Indiana, who want a seat at the table in setting strategy for their companies and organizations. A recent Indiana general counsel survey reveals more.
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Online Extra: Judicial Roundtable 2014

December 17, 2014
IL Staff
When Loretta Rush was named chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court in August, Indiana hit a milestone. For the first time, all of our state's appellate courts were being led by women. Indiana Lawyer recently invited Rush, Indiana Court of Appeals Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik, Indiana Tax Judge Martha Wentworth and Chief Judge Robyn Moberly of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana's Bankruptcy Court to discuss their career paths as well as opportunities and challenges today's courts and lawyers face.
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The changing face of the judiciary

December 17, 2014
IL Staff
When Loretta Rush was named chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court in August, Indiana hit a milestone. For the first time, all of our state’s appellate courts were being led by women. Indiana Lawyer recently invited Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush, Indiana Court of Appeals Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik, Indiana Tax Judge Martha Wentworth and Chief Judge Robyn Moberly of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana’s Bankruptcy Court to discuss their career paths as well as the opportunities and challenges today’s courts and lawyers face.
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Judge holds 2013 abortion law violates Equal Protection Clause

December 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A ruling in federal court has essentially struck down Indiana’s restrictions on drug-induced abortions, but the argument that the law places an undue burden on women caused the court to refrain from making a final judgment.
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Death records law causing headache for genealogists

December 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the Indiana Supreme Court recently confirmed that death certificates listing the cause of death are public records, the state is continuing to grapple with questions over privacy and online access to the documents.
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State and federal courts clamp down on confidential filings

December 17, 2014
Dave Stafford
Come Jan. 1, lawyers better make certain they’re on firm ground before asking a judge to file court pleadings under seal. Attorneys also may face new liability if confidential information is mistakenly entered in a public case file. State and federal courts have rewritten rules for when and how court pleadings can be filed out of public view, reaffirming they should be open to inspection with limited exceptions.
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Conour pursues wire fraud appeal

December 17, 2014
Dave Stafford
As ex-attorney William Conour’s appeal of his conviction and 10-year sentence on a federal wire fraud charge moves ahead, so do victim lawsuits that seek to collect damages from colleagues who practiced with him years earlier and from a Conour creditor.
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Medical Malpractice Act does not apply to third party, COA rules

December 16, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A worker injured on the job by the actions of a co-worker who was taking prescribed narcotic pain killers is not subject to the limitations of Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Act.
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Appeals court remands divorce distribution for IRA recalculation

December 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
The value of an Individual Retirement Account was miscalculated by a trial court, but the Indiana Court of Appeals otherwise affirmed the distribution of a marital estate in a divorce case.
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Trial court must review treatment plan for mental patient, COA rules

December 16, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who challenged his ongoing commitment to a mental health facility got a partial victory in that the trial court has been ordered to review his medication to determine if it is substantially benefiting him.
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Divided appeals panel affirms judgment over time-limit objection

December 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
A divided Court of Appeals Tuesday affirmed a trial court judgment for $175,000 in favor of a consultant who co-signed a mortgage in exchange for shares in a company and half-ownership in the real estate.
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Appeals court affirms contempt over parenting-time violation

December 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
A mother who was found in contempt of court for failing to abide by court-ordered parenting time provisions got no relief Tuesday from the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA decision in dueling-precedent case affirmed by Supreme Court

December 16, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Reviewing a conflict in precedent in state caselaw regarding child support, the Indiana Supreme Court upheld the resolution reached by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Divided appeals panel reverses judgment against Thomson

December 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court improperly ruled in favor of an insurer on Thomson Inc.’s claims for the cleanup of toxic chemicals at two consumer electronics manufacturing sites.
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Father can’t challenge paternity 15 years after child’s birth

December 16, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The trial court properly denied a man’s petition to rescind or vacate the paternity affidavit he signed when he was 17 years old, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday. The appeals court declined to reweigh the evidence regarding his and the child mother’s credibility.
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First Amendment complaint filed against county for nativity scene

December 16, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A nativity scene on the grounds of the Franklin County courthouse has become the subject of a federal lawsuit.
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Federal judiciary receives budget boost

December 16, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The $1.1 trillion spending bill passed by the U.S. Congress as a government shutdown loomed included some relief for the federal judiciary.
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Ohio girl hurt at fair challenges Indiana damages cap

December 16, 2014
 Associated Press
Attorneys for a 13-year-old Ohio girl hurt when a stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fair argued Monday that the state's cap on liability damages is unconstitutional and should be thrown out by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Judges toss ‘illegible’ federal lawsuits

December 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
Federal judges in Indianapolis last week wasted no time tossing two lawsuits from an abusive serial filer whose hand-scrawled complaints couldn’t be deciphered.
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Anderson man gets 65 years in cousin’s slaying

December 16, 2014
 Associated Press
An Anderson man convicted last month in his cousin’s shooting death has been sentenced to 65 years in prison.
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Indianapolis police testing body cameras

December 16, 2014
 Associated Press
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has begun a 60-day test of body cameras worn by officers.
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  1. 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!!!

  2. 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.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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