Legal News

Indiana law students raise awareness on animal welfare issues

November 24, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
To learn more about a number of legal concerns that involve animal welfare – whether those issues involve pets, livestock, or even exotic animals – students at Indiana law schools have started organizations affiliated with the national Animal Legal Defense Fund.
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Death and tax uncertainty

November 24, 2010
Michael Hoskins
These days, it feels as though Uncle Sam is laughing at estate planning and wealth transfer attorneys.
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Court tosses use of contempt as way to order debt payment

November 23, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals says that a southern county’s local rule permitting the use of contempt powers to enforce civil judgment payments violates the Indiana Constitution.
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Court erred in admitting child's videotaped statement

November 23, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court improperly allowed a videotaped statement by a victim of child molesting into evidence instead of having the child participate in live direct examination, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today in its reversal of a man’s molesting convictions.
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Special judge selection rule amended

November 23, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has amended the eligibility section of Indiana Trial Rule 79 regarding special judge selection.
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7th Circuit affirms attorney's fees award under Lanham Act

November 23, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Finding a plaintiff’s actions frivolous, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today has affirmed a District Court’s grant of attorney’s fees to a company that successfully defended itself after selling lamps to the plaintiff home health care provider. The 7th Circuit also granted the defendant’s motion for fees and costs pursuant to Rule 38 of the appellate rules.
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Judges reverse support modification for lack of jurisdiction

November 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s ruling that Illinois proceedings on child support were null because jurisdiction was never properly transferred, noting it found an ex parte proceeding that excluded the mother “extremely troubling.”
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Appellate court affirms judgment in coverage dispute

November 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Evidence Rule 407 may bar evidence of subsequent insurance policy revisions offered to resolve ambiguity in an executed insurance contract, the Indiana Court of Appeals held today.
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Reports break down caseloads, costs in Indiana courts

November 22, 2010
IL Staff
It cost nearly $400 million to operate Indiana courts last year, according to new reports released by the Indiana Supreme Court Division on State Court Administration.
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Justices take sex offender case

November 22, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to a case filed by a convicted felon who refuses to register as a sex offender for life.
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Mendenhall gets 40 years for attack

November 19, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Augustus Mendenhall, the attorney who attacked an Indiana state representative last year, received a 40-year sentence today from a Hamilton County judge.
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COA: Summary judgment wrong in foreclosure suit

November 19, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A mortgagee’s compliance with federal mortgage servicing responsibilities is a condition precedent that can be raised as an affirmative defense to the foreclosure of a Federal Housing Administration insured loan, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today for the first time.
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Judges uphold OWI conviction

November 19, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today that even though a statute uses the word “and” when saying a driver’s actions, thoughts, and normal control of faculties must be impaired, the state isn’t required to prove all three were impaired in order to get a conviction of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
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Chief’s recusal results in split Supreme Court

November 18, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The same day it heard arguments about the dissolution of a Brown County fire district, the Indiana Supreme Court reinstated the intermediate court’s ruling on the case because of a 2-2 division caused by the recusal of Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard.
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Judges: disparagement provision not violated

November 18, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals twice declined to certify questions to the Indiana Supreme Court a litigant raised in his appeal of a suit involving alleged violations of a non-disparagement clause in a settlement agreement.
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Appellate court finds garage insurance policy doesn’t cover injuries

November 18, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
For only the second time, the Indiana Court of Appeals has addressed the language in a garage insurance policy, and upheld partial summary judgment in favor of the insurer.
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Johnsen to discuss confirmation process, rule of law Friday

November 18, 2010
IL Staff
For the first time since she was nominated to a post in the Department of Justice, Dawn Johnsen will give a public lecture at Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington on Friday.
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COA reverses ruling in right of contribution case

November 17, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals used common law today to reverse a judgment in favor of a man suing his business partner for failing to contribute to guarantee payments.
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7th Circuit: Drug convictions stand

November 17, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed drug convictions against two defendants, holding the lower court didn’t err in admitting a police officer’s voice identification testimony regarding one of the defendants.
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Justices take legal-malpractice insurance case

November 17, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to a case in which a legal professional liability insurer claimed it didn’t receive actual notice of claims against the attorney, so the former clients couldn’t collect under the plan.
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Judges remand securities fraud case on statute-of-limitation issue

November 16, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a trial court to reconsider whether it should discharge certain charges of securities fraud because the charges fall outside the statute of limitation.
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Dismissal of delinquency petition doesn’t endanger public

November 16, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A juvenile court didn’t err in dismissing a delinquency petition against a teen who was found to be incompetent to stand trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today. The judges also found dismissing the petition did not unduly endanger the public.
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Legislators meet for Organization Day

November 16, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Today is the 2011 Organization Day for Indiana lawmakers, typically a ceremonial day. But one tradition was slightly altered due to Secretary of State Todd Rokita’s absence.
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Court rejects man's explanation of 'briefly'

November 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A man charged with a drug dealing offense near a school wasn’t entitled to a jury instruction stating he was only “briefly” within 1,000 feet of school property because the drug transaction was short in time even though it happened at his house, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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No error in refusal to tender 'missing witness' instruction

November 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s drug convictions, finding the District Court didn’t err by refusing to give the jury a requested “missing witness” instruction.
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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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