Legal News

Annual trivia contest benefits Evansville legal services

December 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Members of the Evansville bench and bar tested their knowledge of minutiae and raised money for legal services during the Evansville Bar Association’s annual Trivia Night.
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Federal court rules amendments take effect

December 2, 2014
IL Staff
Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure amendments took effect Monday governing the appellate, civil, bankruptcy and evidence rules.
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Justices weigh free speech rights, Facebook threats

December 1, 2014
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States struggled Monday over where to draw the line between free speech and illegal threats in the digital age.
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Evidence of felon’s gun tattoo not error

December 1, 2014
Dave Stafford
A defendant who took the stand in his federal trial for felony firearm possession failed to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Nov. 26 that the evidence of his gun tattoo should not have been admitted.
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MCBA ‘saddened and disappointed’ by grand jury decision in Ferguson shooting

December 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Saying the justice system has failed the African-American community, the Marion County Bar Association has denounced the Ferguson, Missouri, grand jury’s decision in the shooting death of an unarmed teenager.
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Statements by insurance provider do not constitute defamation, COA rules

December 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A surgery center’s defamation claim that an insurance provider was making false statements purposefully to harm the center’s business reputation was dismissed because the communication did not allege any misconduct in business practices or trade. 
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Otte to retire as S.D. bankruptcy judge

December 1, 2014
IL Staff
Judge Frank J. Otte will retire at the end of 2014 after 28 years on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Southern District amends filing under seal, pro se notice rules

December 1, 2014
IL Staff
Federal court rules for the Southern District of Indiana pertaining to filing documents under seal and providing notice to pro se litigants will be amended effective Jan. 1, 2015, Clerk Laura Briggs announced.
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Eagle Creek deer hunt goes forward

November 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A city-sponsored deer hunt at Indianapolis’ Eagle Creek Park will proceed this weekend after a judge refused to block the first such hunt in the park’s history.
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Enhancement to sentence upheld by COA

November 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding Indiana’s criminal gang enhancement statute can be understood by individuals of ordinary intelligence, the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s challenge to his 175-year aggregate sentence.
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Allegation of conspiracy not enough to support civil conspiracy claim

November 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A parts supplier failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that a civil conspiracy claim against several co-defendants named in a breach of contract dispute can stand without showing every alleged conspirator committed an underlying unlawful act.
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Appeals panel offers direction to abusive pro se litigant

November 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals has heard about enough from pro se litigant Eddie G. Love.
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Man convicted of brutal beating loses appeal despite errors

November 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man who was convicted of the brutal beating of his stepfather lost an appeal Wednesday that argued his 2008 traumatic brain injury, prosecutorial misconduct and other factors should have reversed or mitigated his 20-year sentence.
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COA reverses custody evaluation granted to grandparents

November 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court that expressed in the record reservations about the legal status of granting a visitation evaluation sought by grandparents of children in the care or another grandparent had those doubts confirmed Wednesday when the Court of Appeals reversed.
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St. Joseph County’s proposed abortion doctor law stalls

November 26, 2014
 Associated Press
A push in South Bend to require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital has stalled.
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Man gets 11 years for $1M copper wire theft

November 26, 2014
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana man who admitted to stealing $1 million worth of copper wire from a recreational vehicle plant where he worked has been sentenced to 11 years in prison.
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Justice Ginsburg undergoes heart surgery

November 26, 2014
 Associated Press
Supreme Court of the United States Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has had surgery to place a stent in her right coronary artery.
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Tax Court records migrating to Odyssey

November 25, 2014
IL Staff
Indiana Tax Court records will migrate to the Odyssey case management system effective Dec.1, the first state appeals court to transfer records to the system. Records will be available at no charge online at mycase.in.gov.
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Constitutional guarantee at issue in Supreme Court bus fee case

November 25, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana Supreme Court justices quizzed lawyers in a case over school busing fees Monday about the limit of the state's constitutional guarantee of a free public education.
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Indiana Tech names new law school dean

November 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Tech Law School has tapped Charles Cercone to serve as dean, concluding a search that began in May.
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$1.75B justice center could stretch budgets

November 24, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
Mayor Greg Ballard's office has said the city intends to pay no more than about $50 million a year over 35 years for a proposed criminal justice facility, bringing the cost to about $1.75 billion.
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Volunteers needed for civics contest and law student competitions

November 24, 2014
Volunteers are needed to help judge students learning about Democracy and studying to be future lawyers.
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Perjury voids conviction; COA refers prosecutor for discipline

November 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
A St. Joseph County man’s burglary conviction was reversed Monday by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The state’s knowing use of perjured testimony to obtain the conviction led the panel to refer the case for possible disciplinary action against a prosecutor.
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Evidence does not support grandparent visitation order, COA rules

November 24, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding the evidence did not support the trial court’s ruling, the Indiana Court of Appeals tossed a visitation order in favor of the maternal grandparents.
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Indiana Supreme Court hearing bus fees case

November 24, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana Supreme Court justices quizzed lawyers in a school busing fee case about the limit of the state's constitutional guarantee of a free public education.
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  5. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

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