Legal News

Firing of officer who stunned nursing home patient was supported by evidence

September 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
A police chief and city review board were within their rights to terminate the employment of an officer who repeatedly used a Taser on a 64-year-old nursing home patient. An appellate panel Monday reversed a trial court order that had thrown out the officer’s firing.
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Rise of legal services bringing upheaval and opportunity, Maurer professor says

August 30, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The advances in technology that rocked the industrial arts, bringing automation and displacing workers, are coming to the legal profession and giving a bigger role to nonlawyers, according to William Henderson, a nationally recognized authority on the legal profession and legal education. 
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Newspaper loses appeal over access to death records

August 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
A newspaper was not improperly denied access to death records, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Affirmed sentence in home invasion, sex assault clarifies aggravator standards

August 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis man’s 40-year executed sentence for leading a home invasion and forcing the woman who lived there to perform oral sex at gunpoint wasn’t improper, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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ACLU suit targets Evansville schools’ service-dog restrictions

August 30, 2013
IL Staff
Evansville public schools’ restrictive policy on service dogs is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the ACLU of Indiana contends in a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of two high-schoolers whose medical conditions require the animals.
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Lake bar groups join to help child cancer patient

August 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
Lake County-area bar associations and attorneys across northwest Indiana will team up over the Labor Day weekend to help prepare the room where a 5-year-old girl undergoing cancer treatment will recover upon returning home to St. John, Ind.
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Southern District Bankruptcy Court amends rules

August 30, 2013
IL Staff
New rules in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana regarding wage assignment orders in Chapter 13 cases and additional requirements for electronic filing will be effective Sept. 23, according to an order posted Thursday.
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Survey: Midlevel associate satisfaction hits new high

August 29, 2013
IL Staff
Associates in their third, fourth and fifth years at large law firms report the highest overall level of job satisfaction seen in the 10-year history of a survey on the topic.
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ACLU sues for Winamac girl who wants to play football

August 29, 2013
Dave Stafford
A northern Indiana girl who was denied the opportunity to try out for her middle school’s football team has filed a gender-equality lawsuit in federal court.
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Brown County logging damages award stands

August 29, 2013
Dave Stafford
A landowner’s award of $55,572.50 in damages caused by a logging contractor at a property in Brown County was properly calculated, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Appeals panel reinstates claims of capacity, undue influence in trust dispute

August 29, 2013
Dave Stafford
A family feud involving half-siblings contesting the trust bequeathed by their mother was improperly disposed of through summary judgment, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County awarded grant to expand project

August 28, 2013
IL Staff
The Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County has been awarded a two-year grant to support its work with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
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Man tried twice for same offense, but relief denial affirmed

August 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
A divided Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a man convicted of rape on retrial was unconstitutionally prosecuted twice for the same offense, but the court upheld denial of post-conviction relief.
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Supreme Court takes closer reading of precedent in affirming post-conviction relief

August 28, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A man’s 2002 guilty plea to a habitual traffic violator offense will be set aside after the Indiana Supreme Court held his 1989 conviction in Fayette County constituted a material error.
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Justices affirm new trial in estate awarded $41,400 in hotel killing

August 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a lower court order for a new trial in a case involving a  $41,400 award made to the estate of a man who was killed at a Speedway hotel by a former employee.
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Men sentenced for aiding inmate-run meth ring

August 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
Two men found guilty of participating in a drug-trafficking ring directed by Indiana prison inmates were sentenced in federal court on Tuesday.
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Indiana’s 5th law school opens

August 28, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Tech Law School opened Aug. 26 in Fort Wayne with an inaugural class of 30 students. Within the Allen County legal community, the new law school has drawn mixed reaction.
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Past associations with Conour get lawyers named in civil suits

August 28, 2013
William Conour’s multi-million-dollar fraud has produced an avalanche of state and federal lawsuits naming as defendants several attorneys who used to work with the once-prominent personal-injury and wrongful-death attorney.
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Choosing a life beyond suburbia has shaped lawyer's family and future

August 28, 2013
Holly Wheeler
Years ago, Ice Miller LLP attorney Sherry Fabina-Abney and her husband made the decision to raise their children on an 18-acre farm in Johnson County, and they wouldn't have it any other way.
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Massa stays in Rockport case despite calls for recusal

August 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana Supreme Court Justice Mark Massa on Aug. 14 denied a formal motion arguing that he should recuse himself from a pending case concerning a controversial power plant in Rockport. The project is backed by a longtime friend of Massa and former aide to Gov. Mitch Daniels, whose administration championed the project.
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Failure to report

August 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
The arm of the Indiana Supreme Court that enforces rules governing the admission and discipline of lawyers has been in violation of one of those rules for several years.
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Taking flight on terra firma

August 28, 2013
Holly Wheeler
Pilot or farmer, attorney or father, Chris Stevenson wears many hats. The lawyer, who has worked for Wilson Kehoe Winingham LLC for going on 12 years, specializes in injury work, specifically that which is aviation- or farm-related.
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Bodensteiner: Too many lawyers? The problem may be one of ‘allocation’

August 28, 2013
Ivan Bodensteiner
Valparaiso University Law School Interim Dean Ivan Bodensteiner argues that there may not be too many lawyers, but the problem may be one of how those resources are allocated.
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ABA task force sees role for many in helping to fix legal education

August 28, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
In its review of legal education, a special committee led by retired Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall Shepard concluded that fixing the problems in law schools will require help from individuals and groups outside the classroom.
More

Case illustrates the value of legal-medical partnership

August 28, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The impact of the Midtown/Indiana Legal Services Medical Legal Partnership is life-altering for an Indianapolis great-grandmother and grandson.
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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