Legal News

Appeals panel: Trust’s real property bequeath by later writing invalid

July 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
A panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that a mother’s specific gift of real property incorporated into trust documents was an invalid method of willing it to heirs.
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Absence of a plan foils development proposal

July 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A plan commission did not overstep its authority when it turned down a proposal to build a 300-unit apartment complex, in part, because the developer did not submit a preliminary plan for the project.
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Asset forfeiture dispute divides appeals panel

July 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
An order transferring to the federal government money seized from a criminal defendant was deemed proper by the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday, though a dissenting judge said the defendant didn’t even know the order had been issued until nearly two years later.
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7th Circuit remands denial of request for crack cocaine sentence reduction

July 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for his role as a Gary gang member who sold large quantities of crack cocaine will have a new shot at a sentence modification, as will the judge who wrote that the defendant may have been linked to several gang-related murders.
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COA tosses in absentia conviction of Army private

July 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A 20-year-old U.S. Army private had his conviction for underage drinking overturned because Hendricks Superior Court denied his motion for a continuance and held the trial while he was deployed in Afghanistan.
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Former Marion Superior court administrator takes UIndy post

July 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
The former administrator of Marion Superior Courts has taken a key position directing the growth of the University of Indianapolis.
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Venue change granted for Indy house blast suspect

July 31, 2014
 Associated Press
A judge granted a change of venue Wednesday for the trial of one defendant in a deadly Indianapolis house explosion after prosecutors dropped their objection.
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Insurance dispute divides Court of Appeals

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A split Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s finding that a landlord was not covered by the tenant’s insurance policy.
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Order to demolish home reversed by Court of Appeals

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A couple whose lakeside house was built at a different elevation than specified in the site development plan will not be able to call the wrecking crew yet.
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Requiring deaf mom to sign doesn’t violate due process

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A mother whose parental rights were terminated was not denied due process when a judge who couldn’t understand her spoken testimony required her to sign to an interpreter who then spoke her responses aloud.
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Hamilton County clerk voluntary dismissed from same-sex marriage appeal

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
One Indiana county clerk has withdrawn from the state’s fight to maintain its ban on same-sex marriage.
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Court affirms judgment for NIPSCO in easement dispute

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court was correct in awarding a northern Indiana utility company $245,858 for the cost of reconstructing power lines on a new easement after prior owners had mined sand on the prior easement, making servicing poles difficult.
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Court affirms denial of post-conviction relief

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
An Elkhart County man twice convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison on drug convictions was not improperly denied post-conviction relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Denial of summary judgment affirmed in wrongful death case

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A doctor and a South Bend healthcare facility must stand trial on a wrongful death claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday, affirming a trial court’s denial of summary judgment.
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Law firm sued over med-mal fees prevails on appeal

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis law firm was properly granted summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by a former client in a medical malpractice lawsuit, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Soldiers get $92M in debt relief under settlement

July 30, 2014
 Associated Press
Thirteen states, including Indiana, have settled an investigation into improper lending with a court agreement that is expected to provide $92 million in debt relief for 17,800 U.S. military personnel.
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Same-sex couples tell 7th Circuit Indiana’s marriage ban is discriminatory

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Plaintiffs challenging Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage filed their appellate brief with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals July 29, making their argument that the state’s marriage law violates their constitutional rights.
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Deputy’s ‘playful’ groin shot not cause for termination, COA affirms

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A longtime Bartholomew County merit deputy disciplined after he “playfully shot a fellow officer in the groin with non-lethal training ammunition” was not fired for cause, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in affirming an administrative law judge’s determination the deputy was entitled to unemployment benefits.
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Feds cite Indiana Medicaid fraud unit over notices

July 30, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal agency found that the Indiana attorney general's office didn't give proper notice in nearly a quarter of the Medicaid fraud cases it helped prosecute in recent years.
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Processing issue delays bar exam submissions in multiple states

July 30, 2014
 Associated Press
Florida-based testing software provider ExamSoft Worldwide Inc. said a processing issue has caused delays for bar exam takers in multiple states who were submitting their answers.
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Decision against travel bureau over domain name draws sharp dissent on appeal

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge recently wrote that her colleagues who formed the majority to rule against a local tourism board were “out of touch,” and she suggested a case over an Internet domain name presented a novel issue that no court in the country has addressed.
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New partnerships require a shared vision, bit of nerve

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
Lawyers who’ve teamed up to start firms as partnerships say putting their professional names and reputations on the line together takes mutual trust, respect, a shared vision, and a fair amount of nerve.
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Metrics create benchmarks for 'granular' evaluations of lawyer performance

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
Metrics measuring attorney and law firm performance have exploded in recent years, and trend watchers say the implications for the industry are only beginning to be felt.
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State agencies claim information protected by deliberative process privilege

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
An acrimonious fight between an Indiana businessman and the Indiana Department of Revenue has not only forced the Indiana Tax Court to take the unusual step of getting involved in the discovery process but also created a case of first impression.
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Video depositions can be a compelling trial tool

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The ability to catch the nonverbal messages and vocal inflections made by witnesses and experts is the biggest benefits to videotaping depositions, attorneys say.
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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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