Legal News

Rush named next chief justice, first female to lead the court

August 6, 2014
Dave Stafford
Loretta Rush was selected the next chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday by the seven-member Judicial Nominating Commission, which deliberated about an hour before naming her the first female chief justice in the state’s history.

“I appreciate the vote of confidence the JNC has given me,” Rush said after her unanimous selection. On being the first woman chief, she said, “I look forward to the day it’s unremarkable.”

Rush will succeed outgoing Chief Justice Brent Dickson, who announced earlier this year he will step down from the leadership position by Sept. 1, but will remain on the court. Dickson, who as chief justice also chairs the JNC, must retire from the court when he turns 75 in July 2016.
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Rush named next chief justice

August 6, 2014
IL Staff
Loretta Rush was selected the next chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday by the seven-member Judicial Nominating Commission.
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Court correctly ruled man with terminated employment contract could retire

August 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An employment contract between a certified public accountant and his employer did not prohibit the CPA from retiring from his position after the company announced it would not be renewing his contract, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday.
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Women who dodged orders to appear at trial properly declared unavailable

August 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a teen’s conviction of felony robbery, finding the trial court did not abuse its discretion in declaring two women unavailable for his trial and admitting their depositions at his trial.
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Public asked to comment on magistrate’s reappointment

August 6, 2014
IL Staff
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is accepting comments on whether Magistrate Judge Craig M. McKee should be recommended for reappointment.
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Commission to select next Indiana Supreme Court leader

August 6, 2014
 Associated Press, IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court is about to get its second new leader since 2012.
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7th Circuit affirms man not entitled to habeas relief

August 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although a federal judge erroneously held that a savings clause did not apply to a habeas petition filed by an inmate in Terre Haute, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal based on the merits of the petition.
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7th Circuit overrules decades-old precedent, orders more proceedings on benefits case

August 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal by a federal judge of a woman’s petition for judicial review of the decision to deny rehearing her request for Social Security disability benefits. In doing so, the judges overruled a 1980 7th Circuit decision with similar facts.

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Supreme Court denies blogger’s petition for rehearing

August 5, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will not reconsider its decision affirming Daniel Brewington’s intimidation convictions, which arose from inflammatory posts on a blog that threatened a judge.
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Judges reverse 8 forgery convictions based on fake ballot signatures

August 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A St. Joseph County man charged with multiple counts of forgery after falsifying signatures on an election ballot petition for Barack Obama in 2008 was not prejudiced when the state was allowed to amend the charging information at the end of his trial. But, the Indiana Court of Appeals held the evidence only supports convicting him of one count of forgery, not nine.
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First responders support gay marriage in Indiana

August 5, 2014
 Associated Press
Dozens of Indiana firefighters, police officers and emergency medical workers say a federal appeals court should uphold same-sex marriage in Indiana and Wisconsin for the sake of the families of gay first responders, a spokeswoman said Monday.
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Plea deal rejected for ex-Indiana county auditor

August 5, 2014
 Associated Press
Lawyers are reworking an agreement under which a former county auditor in southern Indiana was expected to plead guilty to criminal charges of wrongly paying personal expenses with county-issued credit cards.
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Death row inmate denied relief by 7th Circuit

August 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An Arkansas man on death row in Indiana for killing a woman in Texas nearly 20 years ago was unable to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that he should not be put to death. Bruce Carneil Webster argues he is mentally retarded and has new evidence that would affect his sentence.
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IU Maurer IP clinic joins select U.S. Patent Office pilot program

August 4, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The intellectual property clinical program, established earlier this year at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, has been certified for pro bono practice before the U.S. Patent Office.
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Testimony properly authenticates video

August 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A video showing two brothers outside a home where a drug deal occurred was properly authenticated for trial, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
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Ex-officer says he was fired for whistle-blowing

August 1, 2014
 Associated Press
A former police officer and council member in an Ohio River city said in a federal lawsuit that he was fired for blowing the whistle on public corruption.
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Two promoted in state attorney general's office

August 1, 2014
 Associated Press
Former Chief Deputy Attorney General Gary Secrest will take over as assistant attorney general, a new post. Deputy Attorney General Matt Light will succeed Secrest as the chief deputy attorney general.
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District courts warn of new juror scam

August 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Once again, the federal courts are warning of a juror scam designed to trick unsuspecting people into giving their personal information.
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Minkler promoted to acting U.S. Attorney

August 1, 2014
IL Staff
Josh J. Minkler, 51, was named Friday to lead the federal prosecutor’s office for the Southern District of Indiana. As acting U.S. attorney, Minkler replaces former U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett, whose final day on the job was Thursday.
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State courts open bidding for e-filing manager

August 1, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Division of State Court Administration is soliciting competitive bids for a statewide electronic filing manager to assist with the coming requirement for electronic filing in trial courts.
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Distinguished Neutrals create Indiana chapter

August 1, 2014
IL Staff
The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals has launched an Indiana chapter with 17 attorneys and former judges as charter members.
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Opinions July 31, 2014 ILD

July 31, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Marlon D. McKnight v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1308-PC-333
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Tobin Pettiet v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1312-CR-510
Criminal. Affirms three-year sentence for pleading guilty to domestic battery, a Class D felony.

Joshua W. Sanford v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1312-CR-552
Criminal. Affirms conviction of theft, as a Class D felony.

Ronald Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1311-CR-451
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder and executed sentence of 65 years.

Terry Lee Carr v. State of Indiana (NFP)
90A05-1311-CR-548
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

Robert Hubbard v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A05-1312-CR-622
Criminal. Affirms six-year aggregate sentence for pleading guilty to Class D felony residential entry and Class D felony invasion of privacy and status as a habitual offender.

Justin Stephens v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1312-CR-598
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.  

Mark McCoy v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1310-CR-531
Criminal. Affirms convictions for three counts of child molesting, Class A felonies, and one count each for criminal confinement, intimidation, and child molesting, all Class C felonies.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana decisions by IL deadline.  
 
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Appeals panel: Trust’s real property bequeath by later writing invalid

July 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
A panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that a mother’s specific gift of real property incorporated into trust documents was an invalid method of willing it to heirs.
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Absence of a plan foils development proposal

July 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A plan commission did not overstep its authority when it turned down a proposal to build a 300-unit apartment complex, in part, because the developer did not submit a preliminary plan for the project.
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Asset forfeiture dispute divides appeals panel

July 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
An order transferring to the federal government money seized from a criminal defendant was deemed proper by the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday, though a dissenting judge said the defendant didn’t even know the order had been issued until nearly two years later.
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  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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