Legal News

Back pain, fear for son no basis for unemployment benefits

June 12, 2015
Dave Stafford
An employee who voluntarily left employment was not wrongly denied unemployment benefits by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Justices strip adoption, reinstate statute COA struck down

June 12, 2015
Dave Stafford
An adoptive maternal grandmother who the Court of Appeals ruled provided care in her grandchildren's best interests despite a 1997 neglect conviction is legally barred from adopting them, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled. Justices also rebuked a COA determination that the statute was unconstitutional as applied.
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Judges split over whether to reinstate jury verdict

June 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a jury verdict, tossed out by the trial court in a negligence case stemming from a car accident, reinstated because the judge did not follow Trial Rule 59(J). The dissenting judge believed the trial court should have the opportunity to supplement its order first.
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COA finds homeowners association committed slander of title

June 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in favor of an Iowa couple, finding the homeowners association where the couple lived and subsequently rented out their home committed slander of title. The homeowners association recorded a lien against their home after finding the couple did not comply with the covenant's requirements when leasing their home.
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2 judges, public defender selected as COA judge finalists

June 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
Two trial court judges with a breadth of experience hearing criminal and civil matters and a public defender who’s tried hundreds of appeals are finalists to be the next Indiana Court of Appeals judge.
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Renewed fight expected over Indiana abortion clinic rules

June 11, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana's push to place tougher restrictions on a Lafayette Planned Parenthood clinic that provides abortions only by using drugs, not surgery, could spark a new court fight under a revised law set to take effect in July.
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Nominating Commission names 3 finalists

June 10, 2015
IL Staff
The next Indiana Court of Appeals judge will be Marion Superior Judge Robert R. Altice Jr., Wabash Superior Judge Christopher M. Goff or Patricia McMath of the Marion County Public Defender Agency. They are the three finalists that the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission selected Wednesday after holding interviews most of the day.
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COA reverses blanket exclusion for testimony of eavesdropping officers

June 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In a split decision, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided on interlocutory appeal that a trial court should not have issued a blanket exclusion order preventing all of the officers who eavesdropped on a defendant’s conversation with his attorney from testifying in any matter in the case.
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Hussmann to retire from Southern District

June 10, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann Jr. has announced plans to retire Jan. 31, 2016, opening another vacancy in the Indiana federal judiciary.
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Wife loses appeal of custody arrangement, contempt finding

June 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it found a wife in contempt of the court’s preliminary order regarding parenting time and visitation and when it entered a custody arrangement not requested by the parties, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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War vet says Indianapolis house explosion caused flashback

June 10, 2015
 Associated Press
A war veteran has testified that a 2012 explosion that heavily damaged an Indianapolis neighborhood and killed two people caused a flashback to his time in Afghanistan.
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Court ruling against gay marriage could cause legal 'chaos'

June 10, 2015
 Associated Press
Gay and lesbian couples could face legal chaos if the Supreme Court of the United States rules against same-sex marriage in the next few weeks.
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COA: Accomplice liability instruction is harmless error

June 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although the trial court erred in instructing the jury during a man's murder and attempted murder trial regarding accomplice liability as it applied to attempted murder, the error was harmless, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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INDOT not entitled to immunity in wrongful death action

June 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of Transportation failed to convince the Court of Appeals that it is entitled to discretionary function immunity under the Indiana Tort Claims Act in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the estate of a construction worker killed while working on an interstate project.
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COA reverses probation revocation of man unable to fully pay restitution

June 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court should not have revoked the probation of a man who was ordered to pay more than $100,000 in restitution as a condition of his probation, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The man was able to prove that he could not fully pay off the balance owed because he was unable to obtain a reverse mortgage on his home.
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Care facility’s petition for judicial review barred by res judicata

June 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Merrillville nursing facility’s third petition seeking judicial review of the state Department of Health’s decision to deny a full license to the facility was barred by a previous petition for judicial review of the matter, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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7th Circuit: No evidence officer was victim of racial discrimination

June 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of defendants' motion for summary judgment on a St. Joseph County Police sergeant's lawsuit claiming discrimination because he is African-American. The judges held the man was unable to prove discrimination after he was passed over for promotions or began working in the department's property room.
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Evidence seized from probationer’s roommate violated 4th Amendment

June 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed the partial denial of a man's request to suppress drug evidence found during a routine warrantless search of the residence he shared with a man on probation. The probationer only consented to searches based on reasonable suspicion.
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ABA denies provisional approval to Indiana Tech Law School

June 9, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The American Bar Association has denied provisional accreditation to Indiana Tech Law School.
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Retired ILS leader gets national honor

June 9, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Norman Metzger, retired executive director of Indiana Legal Services, is receiving national recognition for his work and dedication to providing legal assistance for the poor. 
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Suing wrong man over Indy skyline photo costs lawyer $34K

June 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
A lawyer and photographer who sued hundreds of people claiming copyright infringement of his Indianapolis skyline picture must pay almost $34,000 in legal fees to a defendant who never used the image.
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Justices decline to make bright-line rule on admission of coverage limits

June 9, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the admission of a couple’s uninsured motorist policy limits at a trial in which the couple sued its insurer to recover under that provision. But in doing so, the justices declined requests by the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association and the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana to adopt a bright-line rule on the admission of coverage limits.
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Appeals court tosses suits challenging climate change plan

June 9, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out a pair of high-profile lawsuits challenging the Obama administration's sweeping plan to address climate change, saying it's too early to challenge a proposed rule that isn't yet final.
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Judicial candidate serving as juror was not fundamental error

June 9, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of child molesting argued that an attorney and judicial candidate should not have been allowed to serve as a juror on his trial. But he failed to object to her placement on the jury at the time of the trial, and the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected his claim of fundamental error.
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COA orders foreclosed Golden Corral to be in sheriff’s sale

June 9, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the holding of a Lake County court that allowed the mortgage holder of a restaurant in Merrillville to immediately take possession of the parcel of land. Under Indiana law, the parcel should go into a sheriff's sale, the majority held.
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  1. Indianapolis Bar Association President John Trimble and I are on the same page, but it is a very large page with plenty of room for others to join us. As my final Res Gestae article will express in more detail in a few days, the Great Recession hastened a fundamental and permanent sea change for the global legal service profession. Every state bar is facing the same existential questions that thrust the medical profession into national healthcare reform debates. The bench, bar, and law schools must comprehensively reconsider how we define the practice of law and what it means to access justice. If the three principals of the legal service profession do not recast the vision of their roles and responsibilities soon, the marketplace will dictate those roles and responsibilities without regard for the public interests that the legal profession professes to serve.

  2. I have met some highly placed bureaucrats who vehemently disagree, Mr. Smith. This is not your father's time in America. Some ideas are just too politically incorrect too allow spoken, says those who watch over us for the good of their concept of order.

  3. Lets talk about this without forgetting that Lawyers, too, have FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND ASSOCIATION

  4. Baer filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit on April 30 2015. When will this be decided? How many more appeals does this guy have? Unbelievable this is dragging on like this.

  5. They ruled there is no absolute right to keep a license, whether it be for a lifetime or a short period of time. So with that being said, this state taught me at the age of 15 how to obtain that license. I am actually doing something that I was taught to do, I'm not breaking the law breaking the rules and according to the Interstate Compact the National Interstate Compact...driving while suspended is a minor offense. So, do with that what you will..Indiana sucks when it comes to the driving laws, they really and truly need to reevaluate their priorities and honestly put the good of the community first... I mean, what's more important the pedophile drug dealer or wasting time and money to keep us off the streets?

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