Legal News

2014 Year in Review

December 31, 2014
IL Staff
This year could be described as a historic one for Indiana. The state's ban on gay marriage was overturned by the courts, and, for the first time, a woman was chosen as chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court. In fact, women are leading most of the courts in Indiana. In 2014, we saw changes in the law schools, a new criminal code implemented, and attorneys in trouble with the court and the law. (Remember the attorney who doesn't like to wear socks?)
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Turnover of judges marks new era in Bankruptcy Court

December 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
An Indiana federal court that for a dozen years was presided over by the same four judges has undergone a near-total overhaul in the past two years.
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State Fair stage collapse appeal puts tort caps on trial

December 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
While the lone victim of the Indiana State Fair stage collapse who declined to settle with the state aims to prove caps on its liability are unconstitutional, judges who heard the appeal focused on why she was denied her day in court.
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Right-to-work court battle may not be over

December 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite a series of court rulings upholding Indiana’s right-to-work law, unions are not stopping their efforts to have the law overturned. Some opponents are considering petitioning for a review by the Supreme Court of the United States as well as filing another lawsuit in Indiana state court.
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Driver’s lack of appellee brief reinstates license revocation

December 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A motorist who won a trial court judgment vacating the suspension of his driver’s license didn’t file a brief when the Bureau of Motor Vehicles appealed the decision and, therefore, lost his challenge of the BMV action.
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COA affirms judgment for seller in voided land deal

December 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
Sellers of property that had been designated as the second phase of a Gatorade distribution facility in Hendricks County were properly awarded specific performance of a contract to sell the land after the buyer backed out, the Court of Appeals held.
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Pulling a switcheroo leads to felony conviction

December 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who switched seats to help a friend failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that he unknowingly put himself in the hot seat.
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Insurer owes no duty in dispute between sibling ex-law partners

December 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A dispute between a brother and sister as their law firm partnership was dissolving was an employment-related matter covered by an insurer’s exclusionary clause, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday, reversing a trial court order.
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Principal fired for relationship with teacher wins appeal

December 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Westfield elementary school principal fired in 2011 for a consensual sexual relationship with a teacher he supervised won an appeal of his lawsuit against the school corporation, which had been granted summary judgment by the trial court.
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Clark County prosecutor stepping down after 25 years

December 30, 2014
 Associated Press
After serving as the Clark County prosecutor for 25 years — the longest term of a prosecutor in the county's history — Steve Stewart is moving on to new challenges.
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Owner can seek separate claim for property damage coverage

December 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite having agreed to pay $1.7 million, an insurance company may have to provide more money to satisfy a claim from the owner of a contaminated property.
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COA finds double-jeopardy violations in conviction of former secretary of state

December 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White, convicted of voter fraud and removed from office, had three of his six convictions overturned by the Indiana Court of Appeals Dec. 29 and will have to serve his sentence of one year of electronic home monitoring.
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Ohio woman’s incriminating statements properly suppressed

December 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An Ohio woman charged with murder and other crimes in Ripley County prevailed in the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday when the judges affirmed the grant of her motion to suppress incriminating statements she gave to police.
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‘Second haircut’ nixed by tax court

December 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A finance company that purchased car loans at a discounted price is entitled to recoup all the sales tax on the loans which have since gone into default.
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Impact of Indiana's criminal code changes unclear

December 29, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana's prosecutors and judges are still adjusting to sweeping changes to the state's criminal code intended to send more low-level, nonviolent criminals to community corrections programs and jails instead of state prisons.
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Little Statehouse appetite exists for government reform

December 29, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana lawmakers set to reconvene next week aren't showing any signs they'll embrace some of the more sweeping changes to the structure of the state's local government proposed by a bipartisan commission.
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Pro se medical malpractice claim fails without expert testimony

December 24, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals chastised a pro se litigant for supporting his medical malpractice claim with only a “perfunctory and self-serving” affidavit instead of submitting expert testimony.
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Drunken-driving conviction upheld for motorist parked at courthouse

December 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
A woman who was intoxicated while she attended to business at the courthouse in Crawfordsville lost her appeal of a felony drunken-driving conviction Wednesday.
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5 judges presiding over Muncie City Court

December 24, 2014
 Associated Press
Five eastern Indiana Circuit judges have been appointed to fill in for a suspended Muncie City Court judge facing misconduct allegations.
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Justices grant transfer to insurance, will disputes

December 23, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear the insurance dispute involving a landlord and tenant that divided the Court of Appeals earlier this year.
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Justices vacate adoption by stepdad in win for grandparents

December 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday stripped the adoption of a child by her stepfather, ruling that maternal grandparents who had been primary caregivers early in her life were wrongly denied an opportunity to consent to or contest the adoption.
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7th Circuit: Jury correctly ruled in favor of gas station in personal injury suit

December 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The District Court properly excluded an ordinance a woman sought to introduce at trial to bolster her case that a gas station should be liable for her injuries sustained after she fell off a curb walking around a display outside the gas station store, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Supreme Court issues order on pretrial release

December 23, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court plans to implement an evidence-based pretrial release program in Indiana, according to an order signed by Chief Justice Loretta Rush Monday. In order to do so, a study committee will develop and implement at least one pilot project.
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Family did not follow statutory remedies before suing bank

December 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A federal court properly dismissed a family’s lawsuit against an Indiana bank and employee alleging they breached a fiduciary duty to a veteran in managing his benefits, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Monday. The family is required to seek review of the fiduciary appointment as outlined under statute.
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7th Circuit upholds bank robbery conviction despite errors

December 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although a federal court in Indianapolis committed some errors in admitting certain evidence at a man’s bank robbery trial, those errors were harmless based on DNA evidence and the defendant matching the robber’s description, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Friday.
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  4. Journalism may just be asleep. I pray this editorial is more than just a passing toss and turn. Indiana's old boy system of ruling over attorneys is cultish. Unmask them oh guardians of democracy.

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