Legal News

State judicial leaders present budget proposals at first Ways and Means meeting

January 11, 2017
Olivia Covington
Indiana’s top judicial leaders made their cases for additional funding in the next two years on Wednesday, with the biggest funding boost requested to support continued court technology initiatives.
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USA Gymnastics faces another suit over alleged sex abuse by doctor

January 11, 2017
 Associated Press
A doctor accused of sexually abusing gymnasts was sued Tuesday by 18 women and girls, the latest legal action over alleged assaults, mostly at his clinic at Michigan State University.
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COA upholds child support order in peculiar case involving non-biological son

January 11, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
A divorce involving a troubled husband, unfaithful wife and a 12-year lie unraveled into a child support and paternity dispute that ended with a split Indiana Court of Appeals ordering the non-biological father to provide financial assistance. Any other ruling, the majority reasoned, would leave the minor without a dad.
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Indianapolis, billboard company reach court agreement over digital signs

January 11, 2017
IBJ Staff
Billboard company GEFT Outdoor LLC and the city of Indianapolis have agreed to a court settlement that will allow the company to operate two local digital billboards while sparing the city any financial liability for a former sign ordinance that was found to be unconstitutional.
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Pyrz begins his last year leading Indiana State Bar Association

January 11, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Thomas Pyrz, who has led the ISBA since Nov. 22, 1992, plans to retire at the end of 2017. His nearly 25-year tenure has included hiring additional staff, launching new programs, and increasing the value of membership to counter attorneys’ shifting view of the association.
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Critics blast Marion County judge-selection proposals

January 11, 2017
Dave Stafford
Legislation assuring partisan balance on the bench has key stakeholder and lawmaker support.
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Ice Miller attorney stepping away from practice to combat child exploitation

January 11, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Seth Thomas is preparing to jump off what he calls the treadmill of private practice to help combat the “most horrific awful evil thing” — cybersex trafficking and online exploitation of children.
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Simon grant allows ILS to continue helping the homeless

January 11, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The clinic at Horizon House provides advice and counsel to people most in need of legal assistance.
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New ABA Blueprint tool designed to increase solo, small firm efficiency

January 11, 2017
Olivia Covington
The American Bar Associatin's Blueprint, an online legal tech marketplace tool, launched in November 2016 and is meant to enable attorneys working at solo and small firms to quickly and easily find legal technology that meets their firms’ needs.
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COA considers liability in sheriff’s office suicide case

January 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
After the wife of a Harrison County sheriff’s deputy killed herself with her husband’s gun while he was off duty, the sheriff’s office and her estate began debating a single question: was the deputy acting in the line of duty when his wife committed suicide?
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In final argument, Roof does not ask jury to spare life

January 10, 2017
 Associated Press
Dylann Roof said he wasn't sure “what good it would do” to ask jurors for life in prison instead of execution, showing no remorse for killing nine black church members during a Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina.
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Trial court domestic violence counseling order affirmed

January 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Marion Superior Court was within its discretion when it ordered a man to complete domestic violence counseling even though he was not convicted on a domestic battery charge, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Men in KKK costumes disrupt Sessions confirmation hearing

January 10, 2017
 Associated Press
Protesters disrupted Sen. Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing for attorney general Tuesday, including two men wearing Ku Klux Klan costumes and a woman wearing a pink crown.
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U.S. Supreme Court rules for officer in police shooting

January 10, 2017
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court says a New Mexico State Police officer did not violate clearly established law when he shot and killed an armed man without first calling out a warning.
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Indiana judge lets death penalty appeal go to high court

January 10, 2017
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana judge has ruled that a man who faces the death penalty can appeal, claiming the state’s death penalty law is unconstitutional.
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Elkhart suspends use of police body cameras over problems

January 10, 2017
 Associated Press

A northern Indiana city has temporarily suspended its use of police body cameras because about a quarter of them have malfunctioned and been returned to the manufacturer for service.

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Adopt-A-Doll brings cuteness to courtroom

January 10, 2017
 Associated Press
Most of the child-related cases heard in Clark Circuit Court No. 4 are grim. Judge Vicki Carmichael is accustomed to tales of neglect, abuse and troubled juveniles. Saturday’s court docket brought something entirely different — children with smiles on their faces clasping dolls and stuffed animals in front of the bench.
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IU fraternity chapter suspended after hazing problems

January 10, 2017
 Associated Press, IL Staff
The governing body of Delta Tau Delta has suspended the charter for the fraternity's chapter at Indiana University Bloomington following problems with hazing. The fraternity also faces a lawsuit alleging sexual assault.
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Magistrate recommends dismissal of woman’s dog-mauling suit

January 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
Despite “horrendous injuries” incurred as a result of “a grievous lack of discretion” by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers, a district court magistrate recommends an Indianapolis woman’s federal claim against IMPD and the city of Indianapolis be dismissed because she did not state a legitimate constitutional claim.
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Divided COA backs Pence in public records case

January 9, 2017
Olivia Covington
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals sided with former Indiana Gov. and Vice President-elect Mike Pence in a Monday opinion, writing that Pence was within his discretion to redact and withhold certain documents sought through a public records request.
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Program offers free legal assistance on King holiday

January 9, 2017
IL Staff
The Indiana State Bar Association will again be honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by sponsoring the 2017 “Talk to a Lawyer Today” program Jan. 16 at sites all across the state.
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Forfeiture bill would restrict police, prosecutors

January 9, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
A bill scheduled for a hearing before the Indiana Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee Tuesday would require law enforcement to get a conviction before moving ahead with civil forfeiture.
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Divided COA rules in favor of Pence in public records case

January 9, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a trial court decision finding that former Indiana Gov. and Vice President-elect Mike Pence did not violate open records laws when he redacted and withheld certain documents related to his decision to join a Texas lawsuit challenging federal executive orders on immigration.
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Minority law firm representation up modestly post-recession

January 9, 2017
Olivia Covington
Women and minorities have made small gains in representation in the legal community over the last seven years, though their representation in some areas of the legal profession is still below pre-recession levels, a new national report says.
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High court won’t hear appeal over Backpage.com escort ads

January 9, 2017
 Associated Press
The United States Supreme Court said Monday it won’t hear an appeal from three sex trafficking victims who accuse advertising website Backpage.com of helping to promote the exploitation of children.
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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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