Legal News

Dealing with differing perceptions of reality

September 24, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Mediators say parties don’t always see facts the same way, but a "truth rule" could harm the confidentiality of the process.
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Tenant who trashed house loses appeal, owes attorney fees

September 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
A former babysitter entrusted to live in a family’s home while they were away for a year and care for their pet dog in exchange for paying $300 monthly rent instead trashed the place. The ex-tenant appealed an $85,889 judgment against her but now has more bills to pay.
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Attorney wins summary judgment appeal

September 23, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
An Indianapolis attorney ensnared in a dispute between a land developer and a creditor was successful at convincing the Indiana Court of Appeals he is identical to the other defendants and should be granted summary judgment.
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Despite erroneous findings, termination of parental rights affirmed

September 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court entered erroneous findings in terminating the parental rights of a mother and father concerning two minor children, but the mistakes weren’t significant enough to reverse in a case where the state presented enough evidence to warrant the decision.
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Meth dealing conviction affirmed, restitution required

September 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
Convictions for dealing methamphetamine and two counts of neglect of a dependent were affirmed on appeal Tuesday, as was an order that the offender pay restitution to the state for the costs of cleaning up the meth lab.
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Angie's List to pay $2.8M in membership-fee settlement

September 23, 2014
Mason King
Indianapolis-based Angie's List Inc. will pay $2.8 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that it automatically renewed members at a higher rate than they were led to believe.
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Reversal of PACER decision restores access

September 23, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Administrative Office of the United States Courts is showing what technology has taken away, technology can restore. The federal judiciary is reversing an earlier decision to delete hundreds of thousands of older case files from the federal courts’ electronic system, PACER.
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Child support and tax deduction rulings reversed

September 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Lake County father prevailed in appealing a trial court order regarding his child support obligations that deviated from those recommended under Indiana’s official guidelines.
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On rehearing, panel clarifies ruling regarding Death Property Act

September 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
A promissory note between a mother and son did not transfer to the mother’s estate on her death, the Indiana Court of Appeals clarified in rehearing an estate dispute that reversed a trial court ruling.
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MCBA joins national voter registration effort

September 23, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
As part of a national effort, members of the Marion County Bar Association are going to neighborhoods and churches to help lower-income residents get registered to vote prior to the upcoming November election.
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No dismissal of charges against county treasurer

September 22, 2014
 Associated Press
A judge has rejected a central Indiana county treasurer's request for the dismissal of criminal charges that he mishandled public money.
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Neighbors file suit to block 2,000-hog facility

September 22, 2014
 Associated Press
A central Indiana farmer faces a lawsuit from neighbors who want to block plans for a facility where some 2,000 hogs would be raised.
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Indiana Toll Road operator files for bankruptcy

September 22, 2014
 Associated Press
A judge and creditors will have to decide who runs the Indiana Toll Road after the highway's private operator filed for bankruptcy protection, formally acknowledging that it couldn't afford the debt from the multibillion-dollar deal to take over the highway.
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Justices to review reversal of capped sentence after plea

September 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will review a case in which the Court of Appeals reversed a 10-year sentence, the most a man could receive under an agreement in which he pleaded guilty to multiple felonies.
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Former MCBA treasurer suspended from practice 2 years

September 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
The former treasurer for the Marion County Bar Association has been suspended from the practice of law for a minimum of two years for taking more than $9,100 from the organization.
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Legal community rolls up its sleeves for ‘Day of Service’

September 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Once again, members of the Indiana State Bar Association gave up part of their Saturday to help their local communities as part of the association’s Annual Day of Service.
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Purdue shooter sentenced to 65 years in prison

September 22, 2014
 Associated Press
An Indiana man who admitted fatally stabbing and shooting a fellow Purdue University student inside a crowded classroom was sentenced Sept. 19 to the maximum 65 years in prison after telling a judge he lied about being mentally ill.
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Sentencing set in deadly Purdue campus attack

September 19, 2014
 Associated Press
The lawyer for an Indiana man who pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing and shooting a fellow Purdue University student is expected to try to convince a judge that his client is mentally ill.
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State holds $1.2 million in domestic violence funds

September 19, 2014
 Associated Press
The trustees of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute have decided to stick by a plan that withholds $1.2 million in domestic violence prevention funds from private agencies until they submit spending plans.
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Issues of material fact allow Environmental Legal Actions claim to proceed

September 19, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals is allowing a claim under Indiana’s Environmental Legal Actions statute to move forward, ruling there are many questions for the lower court to examine about the former landlord’s role in the contamination of the soil.
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Judgment favoring policeman’s meth-exposure claim reversed

September 19, 2014
Dave Stafford
A police officer who claimed disability resulting from his work dismantling methamphetamine labs had a favorable trial court ruling reversed by the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday.
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Ex-Conseco board member owes legal fees, may pursue malpractice claim

September 19, 2014
Dave Stafford
A pre-bankruptcy board member of Conseco Inc. was ordered to pay $127,592.21 in outstanding legal fees, but he may pursue legal malpractice claims, a federal judge ruled Thursday.
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Supreme Court posts annual report

September 19, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has posted its annual report, providing details of the 995 cases it reviewed in the fiscal year ending June 30 and elaborating on plans to roll out electronic filing in trial courts statewide.
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DCS settles adoption subsidy lawsuit

September 18, 2014
IL Staff
Families who sued the Department of Child Services will receive $15.1 million in state foster child adoption subsidies withheld from 2009 to 2014, DCS announced Thursday.
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Judges disagree over enhanced sentence for child molesting conviction

September 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided Thursday over whether a Johnson County man convicted of having sex with a 13-year-old girl deserved to have his sentence enhanced above the 30-year advisory sentence.
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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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