Legal News

Judges find enhancement doesn't violate double jeopardy principles

January 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals tackled an issue of first impression in a case involving double jeopardy principles. A defendant’s sentence was enhanced under the Firearm Enhancement Statute following a conviction for reckless homicide.
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Security increased following threats to judge

January 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Huntington County Sheriff’s Department has taken steps to protect a northeastern Indiana judge after learning of threats made against the judge late last week.
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Maurer dean chosen president-elect of national law school association

January 11, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana University Maurer School of Law Dean Lauren K. Robel was elected president-elect of the American Association of Law Schools at the annual meeting of its House of Representatives Jan. 7.
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Chief justice to give State of Judiciary Wednesday

January 11, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard will give his 24th State of the Judiciary Wednesday in the Indiana House Chambers.
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SCOTUS declines to consider Indiana case

January 10, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court has refused to consider an Indiana case involving whether a defendant’s no contest plea to an out-of-state murder can be used to qualify him as a serious violent felon on a conviction here.
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Judges reverse man's removal from sex offender list

January 10, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred in ordering a man’s name removed from the state’s sex offender registry because the court didn’t provide notice to the appropriate parties or hold a hearing before doing so, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA finds inmate's post-conviction relief process 'confusing'

January 10, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a pro se inmate’s petition for permission to file a belated appeal after his post-conviction relief petition was denied, finding the chronological cases summary to contain inconsistencies. The judges also noted that this particular court has a “documented history” of not organizing and keeping abreast of its post-conviction relief files.
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Justices accept 4 cases

January 10, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court took four cases for the week ending Jan. 7, including a case in which a convicted child molester asked for his sentence to be reduced but ended up having it ordered to be increased due to a sentencing error.
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Brizzi disciplinary case poses 'actual prejudice' question

January 7, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Former Marion County prosecutor Carl Brizzi took the stand today, defending himself against attorney misconduct charges alleging that he violated professional conduct rules by public statements made on pending cases.
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Marion County deputy prosecutor fired

January 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office has fired the deputy prosecutor arrested Jan. 2 for her involvement in a disturbance in an Indianapolis apartment.
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BLE suit moves forward

January 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Even as the Indiana Board of Law Examiners searches for a new leader, a federal lawsuit remains pending against the state agency’s questions to prospective lawyers about their mental and emotional health.
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JTAC fee, court-reporter licensing bills proposed

January 6, 2011
IL Staff
Court reporters would need licenses, there would be more money to implement the statewide case management system in trial courts, and convicted sex offenders would be banned from public libraries if these bills introduced this session become law.
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Talk to a Lawyer Today event seeks volunteers

January 6, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
The annual Talk to a Lawyer Today event will take place on Jan. 17 at locations around the state. While the free CLE opportunities took place in late 2010, volunteers who want to participate may do so if they didn’t attend the CLE.
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General Assembly returns for 2011 session

January 5, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Senate and House of Representatives reconvened this afternoon to begin the 2011 long session. The legislators still have time to file bills, but there are already several bills introduced that may affect Indiana courts and the legal community.
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Indiana Family courts receive more than $200,000

January 5, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
As the family court project of the Indiana Supreme Court’s Division of State Court Administration enters a new year, courts that participate in the program have learned they will continue to operate with about the same amount of funding they have had in recent years.
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Indiana welcomes new Tax Court judge

January 5, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Long before law school and a legal career, Martha B. Wentworth owned a business and says her favorite part of that was paying her taxes.
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Indiana Supreme Court to hear arguments on victim-advocate privilegeRestricted Content

January 5, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Domestic violence victims’ advocates and criminal law attorneys are waiting on the Indiana Supreme Court’s decision in a case involving a criminal defendant’s subpoena for records from a victim’s advocacy organization.
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FBI shares hate crime statistics

January 5, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
In late September 2010, as part of the FBI Citizen’s Academy in Indianapolis, agents passed around photos from a cross burning that took place four years earlier in Muncie.
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Offensive language results in disciplinary actionsRestricted Content

January 5, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Complaints based on a misconduct rule regarding how an attorney could offend others through prejudicial words or actions resulted in disciplinary orders in May and December 2010.
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Judge Margret Robb to lead Indiana Court of Appeals

January 5, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Though she’s been on the appellate bench for 12 years, Judge Margret Robb is now adding a new distinction to her judicial title.
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End of a family legacyRestricted Content

January 5, 2011
Michael Hoskins
For the first time since the mid 1950s, the Indiana Judges Association won’t have anyone in the Baker family sitting on the board of managers and being as intimately involved in the group’s activities as they have been for two-thirds of the group’s existence.
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Civil rights lawyer worked on suit to desegregate school system

January 5, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indianapolis lawyer who worked on several notable cases in Indianapolis history, including a lawsuit which led to the desegregation of Indianapolis Public Schools, died Dec. 26, 2010.
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7th Circuit first to decide on resentencing, procedural rule issue

January 4, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled on an issue that hasn’t been addressed by any of its counterparts nationwide, finding that sentencing guidelines revised three years ago still only give District judges one chance to modify penalties based on a federal criminal rule of procedure.
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Justices appoint Terre Haute judge pro tempore

January 4, 2011
IL Staff
Judge Sarah K. Mullican was appointed by the Indiana Supreme Court as judge pro tempore in Terre Haute City Court, effective Jan. 1, 2011. She was previously the commissioner for the Title IV-D Court in Terre Haute, which deals with the non-payment of child support.
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Justices take case involving stillborn fetus and Med-Mal Act

January 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to a case in which the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a mother of a stillborn fetus satisfied the actual victim requirement under the Medical Malpractice Act.
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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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