Legal News

COA reverses summary judgment in complaint to recover credit card debt

November 8, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding a company did not satisfy its burden of proof under Indiana Trial Rule 56(C) when attempting to collect on a breach of a credit card contract, the Indiana Court of Appeals on Friday reversed summary judgment in the case.
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Judges uphold 54-year sentence of man who asked women to take pics of kids

November 8, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument Friday that he couldn’t be convicted of Class A felony child molesting under the accessory statute because the perpetrator was under 21 at the time of the molestations.
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Criminal code committee still trying to answer funding and sentencing questions

November 7, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana General Assembly passed an overhaul of the state’s criminal code during 2013 but left two major issues for the upcoming session – funding and sentencing.
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COA holds law firms are judgment creditors, owe restitution

November 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
In a dispute over whether two law firms should have to repay money from a judgment they received by way of attorney liens, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that the law firms are judgment creditors, so they are liable to pay restitution to the state of Indiana.
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2 BLE members reappointed

November 7, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson has reappointed Senior Judge Barbara L. Brugnaux and Madison attorney Gary K. Kemper to the Indiana Board of Law Examiners. Their first terms as members expire Dec. 1.
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Appellate arguments in cancelled IBM contract set for Nov. 25

November 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals will hear arguments later this month on whether the state should have to pay more than $62 million to IBM after cancelling its billion-dollar contract with the company to modernize Indiana’s welfare system.
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Judge denies Brizzi’s bid for gag order in malpractice suit

November 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
A judge Tuesday denied former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi’s request for a gag order in the legal malpractice claim filed against him by defrocked Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White.
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COA rejects claim overhaul of Criminal Code shows Class A felonies disproportionate

November 6, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant attempted to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals that the Class A felony classifications for dealing or possession of cocaine are disproportionate by pointing to the recent revisions to the Criminal Code. The new criminal classifications and sentencing structure that take effect next year no longer include these crimes in the highest level of felonies.
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Woman’s 35-year sentence upheld following death of stepson

November 6, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Lake Superior judge did not abuse her discretion in sentencing a woman to 35 years for neglect of a dependent after the woman’s stepson died following years of abuse.
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Kokomo lawyer skips town, leaving 'mess' behind

November 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Kokomo lawyer’s sudden abandonment of his law practice has left the local legal community scrambling to clean up a mess involving scores of ripped-off clients, some of whom learned of their attorney’s disappearance when they showed up for court dates and he didn’t.
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Filings continue to drop, as does funding for Indiana courts

November 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
A sharp decline in infraction and ordinance-violation cases is among factors that resulted in courts around the state collecting considerably less revenue, according to data released in the annual Judicial Service Reports.
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Limited licensing programs gain traction in the legal community

November 6, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The idea of non-lawyers practicing law sparks howls of protest from attorneys but with a handful of state seriously considering the proposition and a national committee recommending the concept, the push toward limited licenses is gaining momentum.
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Is a death certificate public information?

November 6, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Differing interpretations of statutory language puts the state of Indiana and the Court of Appeals at odds.
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County official puts Indiana's expungement statute on trial

November 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
Morgan County Prosecutor Steve Sonnega has heard the criticism that he’s on the wrong side of the law when he argues that Indiana’s expungement statute is unconstitutional. But he insists he’s right.
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David, Massa stake key positions on court

November 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
A review of the work of the Indiana Supreme Court in 2012 by Barnes & Thornburg LLP attorneys finds Justices Steven David and Mark Massa establishing themselves respectively as swing votes and active dissenters.
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Unemployment checks no longer part of summer break, COA rules

November 5, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding that an addition to the state’s statute did not change the intent of the law, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that school bus drivers in Anderson were rightly denied their unemployment checks.
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Court of Appeals cites snail mail as reason for overturning summary judgment

November 5, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
While neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will keep the U.S. Postal Service from its appointed rounds, the Indiana Court of Appeals reminded a lower court that trial rules allow for three extra days when motions are sent by mail.
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‘Marijuana legal elsewhere’ claim no help in parental termination appeal

November 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
Termination of parental rights was properly granted for a molesting father in federal prison and a drug-using mother who failed to comply with court-ordered services after striking a child.
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Jury finds IMPD officer guilty on all 9 counts

November 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
An Allen County jury returned a guilty verdict Tuesday afternoon in the trial of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer David Bisard. Bisard faced nine charges stemming from a deadly accident in August 2010 when his police cruiser struck motorcyclists stopped at an Indianapolis intersection.
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Trial court errantly suppressed DUI evidence

November 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Marion Superior Court should not have suppressed evidence of intoxication of a man who was taken to a roll-call station on suspicion of drunken driving, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Post-conviction claim allowed in DOC placement change

November 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
Offenders may seek post-conviction relief from Department of Correction placement changes, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday after the state revised its view that a claim should be dismissed.
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Appeals court affirms revoked probation after test shows marijuana

November 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man ordered to serve 90 days of a suspended one-year sentence for a conviction of misdemeanor marijuana possession wasn’t denied due process when his probation officer admitted evidence of a positive urinalysis, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Justices reverse custody modification but order status quo to continue, for now

November 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The laws in place to protect children caught in the middle of a custody battle were ignored by a St. Joseph Superior Court, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, pointing to a change in custody despite a lack of a proper evidentiary hearing.
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How the Brizzi public-corruption case unraveled

November 5, 2013
Cory Schouten
Federal authorities suffered a near-complete defeat in their efforts to prosecute the players in an unusual real estate deal in Elkhart, a setback that ultimately doomed an ambitious public-corruption case targeting former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi.
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Conour online asset auction begins, will run 2 weeks

November 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
An auction of wine, art, home furnishings and other assets seized from the Carmel home of imprisoned former wrongful-death attorney William Conour begins Tuesday and will continue for two weeks, according to the Texas auction company handling the sale.
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  1. 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!!!

  2. 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.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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