Legal News

Evansville federal courthouse closed Wednesday

January 8, 2014
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana's Evansville Division is closed Wednesday due to a water main break.
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Commission: Suspend Judge Kimberly Brown

January 7, 2014
Dave Stafford
Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown circumvented the three-judge panel that heard her disciplinary case with a direct appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court, the presiding judge said in striking her last-minute apology and an affidavit in her support from former Justice Frank Sullivan.
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Justices block gay marriage in Utah

January 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Supreme Court of the United States issued an order Monday stopping gay marriage in Utah. The justices stayed a permanent injunction that struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
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NLRB does not challenge ‘poster rule’ decisions

January 7, 2014
IL Staff
With the deadline for filing a petition passed, the National Labor Relations Board appears to have backed away from its so-called “poster rule.”
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State appellate courts to open at 1 p.m.

January 7, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Tax Court will open Tuesday at 1 p.m. The delayed start is due to the snow and record low temperatures. The courts were closed Monday.
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Bankruptcy Court in Indianapolis closed Tuesday

January 6, 2014
IL Staff
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Indiana in Indianapolis will be closed Tuesday.
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Snow and wind force court, government office closures

January 6, 2014
IL Staff
Bitterly cold winds and heavy snow caused numerous counties to close down their courts and government offices Monday.
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IU prof turns to ADR to encourage public participation in government

January 6, 2014
IL Staff
The laws designed to allow members of the public to have a voice in their government are actually stifling the conversation, according to an Indiana University Bloomington expert.
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Snow-tubing negligence suit may proceed

January 6, 2014
Dave Stafford
Perfect North Slopes in Lawrenceburg must answer a federal negligence lawsuit arising from a snow-tubing accident almost three years ago that resulted in a brain injury for a child who was 10 years old at the time, a judge ruled Friday.
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Appellate courts, state offices delay Monday opening

January 3, 2014
IL Staff
Office hours for Indiana’s appellate courts, staff and related agencies will begin at 10 a.m. Monday due to anticipated inclement weather, the courts announced late Friday.
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Legislators return to Statehouse Monday

January 3, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana House of Representatives and Senate will reconvene at 1:30 p.m. Monday. Among the bills before the legislators this session are measures making battery against judicial officers a Level 5 or 6 felony instead of a misdemeanor; outlining when juvenile court records may not be confidential, and various probate and trust matters.
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Suit spawns liquor-distribution showdown

January 3, 2014
Scott Olson
Indiana’s largest beer distributor is mounting the latest legal challenge to the state’s arcane, Prohibition-era liquor laws.
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Judges: 11-year-old conviction had little probative value

January 2, 2014
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday affirmed the decision by the District Court in Hammond preventing a defendant from using an 11-year-old conviction to impeach a testifying co-defendant in a wire fraud case.
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Hearing officer recommends 1-year suspension for Ogden

January 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis attorney and blogger Paul Ogden should receive a one-year suspension for email criticisms of a judge, the hearing officer in his disciplinary case has recommended to the Indiana Supreme Court. Ogden shows no sign of relenting in a matter he says is about attorneys’ free speech.
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Shepard to moderate same-sex marriage debate

January 2, 2014
IL Staff
Retired Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard will moderate a debate at Franklin College Jan. 13 on the issue of same-sex marriage.
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Concerns exist over proposed sentencing bill

January 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The balance struck between the opposing demands of the prosecutors and public defenders in the proposed criminal sentencing bill may be upended during the 2014 legislative session, which could force Indiana to squeeze hundreds of millions of dollars from the state budget to build a new prison.
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Can parents sue DCS? Yes, divided justices rule

January 1, 2014
Dave Stafford
A sharply divided Indiana Supreme Court decision that a family may sue the state’s child protection agency for negligence is sure to resonate within the Department of Child Services, attorneys familiar with the case said.
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Indiana Lawyer 2013 Year in Review

January 1, 2014
IL Staff
From big judgments to busy law schools and attorneys in trouble, the Indiana legal community saw it all in 2013. We asked you what you thought were the biggest news stories last year. Here's a recap of what made headlines, with your Top 2 picks kicking off the list.
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Criminal law committee passes pilot programs, studies

January 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Four proposals approved during the final meeting of the Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee appear headed for consideration during the 2014 session of the Indiana General Assembly.
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Untying the knot yourself

January 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Couples forgoing legal counsel in divorce risk creating big messes the courts can’t clean up.
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Man loses 2 appeals before Tax Court

December 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Carroll County man who owns agricultural property containing hog buildings couldn’t convince the Indiana Tax Court that the Indiana Board of Tax Review erred when it rejected four self-prepared analyses he offered as to what value his property should be assessed.
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Appeals panel affirms denial of post-conviction relief

December 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man seeking relief from his 2006 conviction of Class A felony dealing cocaine failed to persuade a panel of the Court of Appeals Tuesday that his 48-year sentence should be reduced.
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Amendment gives juveniles right to counsel

December 31, 2013
IL Staff
A child charged with a delinquent act will be entitled to be represented by an attorney, according to an order handed down this month by the Indiana Supreme Court. The order creates Rule 25 in the Indiana Rules of Criminal Procedure.
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Fatal accident leads COA to examine boating statute

December 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A boat operator’s appeal of his convictions stemming from a fatal accident on Lake Monroe in 2010 split the Indiana Court of Appeals as to whether I.C. 14-15-4-1 is unconstitutional as applied.
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Torn Achilles tendon is not city’s fault, COA rules

December 31, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A state statute providing immunity to municipalities for 20-year-old public work projects absolved a southern Indiana city from liability for an injury a man incurred when he stepped off a curb and into a sewer drain.
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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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