Legal News

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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Panel dismisses contempt appeal as moot

December 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man held in contempt of court after a judge determined he threatened witnesses in his brother’s murder case had his appeal dismissed Tuesday.
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New Castle denied appellate legal fees in frivolous suit

December 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
A New Castle couple doesn’t have to pay the city’s appellate legal fees in its appeal of a frivolous litigation ruling, but they still must pay New Castle’s legal bills for the trial court filing.
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IU pot-suspension appeal ‘near frivolous,’ 7th Circuit rules

December 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Indiana University student’s appeal of his suspension after a large marijuana plant and other evidence of illegal drug use were discovered in his dorm room “is near frivolous,” a panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
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Judge blocks ‘contraception mandate’ for Catholic diocese plaintiffs

December 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
A federal judge in Fort Wayne has blocked enforcement of the “contraception mandate” for numerous health care providers in a lawsuit brought by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. The ruling could impact more than 10,000 people eligible for benefits through a number of diocese-related organizations.
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Ex-coroner settles malpractice suit against Brizzi

December 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
One of two legal malpractice suits filed against former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi has been settled.
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Repeal of administrative code abolishes 3-year limit for filing petitions

December 30, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
In a ruling that it conceded could “open the floodgates,” the Indiana Tax Court found neither state statute nor regulations provided any time limits for homeowners to file petitions to correct error on their property tax assessments.
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Remove Judge Kimberly Brown, special masters recommend

December 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown should be removed from the bench, a panel of three special masters has recommended to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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