Legal News

COA: third-party perpetrator evidence not relevant

September 8, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A man sentenced to 40 years for murder failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals he was unable to adequately defend himself at trial because he was prohibited from pointing an accusatory finger at the victim’s brother-in-law.
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Circumstantial evidence supports murder conviction

September 8, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite not having a direct link showing Donald Burns intended to kill his 74-year-old grandmother, the Indiana Court of Appeals found the amount of circumstantial evidence was enough to support his murder conviction.
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Appeals court orders physical custody of child back to father

September 8, 2016
Olivia Covington
A mother has lost primary physical custody of her daughter after the Indiana Court of Appeals decided on Thursday to reverse and remand a decision that would have taken the daughter out of the custody of her father and instead place her in the primary custody of her mother.
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Bad-faith deal after bar assault clears insurer

September 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
Trial court rulings in favor of an insurer finding it had no duty to pay the victim of a punch in the jaw at a New Castle bar were affirmed Thursday. The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a consent judgment between the tavern, the victim, and the man convicted of the crime was executed in bad faith.
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COA finds notice on out-of-state parties sufficient to affirm

September 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
Lawyers for a man injured in a crash involving a tractor-trailer sufficiently served the truck driver and the transport company, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in affirming a default judgment in favor of the injured driver.
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Tax Court stands by lower assessment basis for big-box store

September 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indiana Tax Court rejected a county assessor’s appeal of the slashed assessed valuation of a department store, forcefully affirming that large retailers may base their assessments on the sale prices of similar vacant or “dark” retail store properties.
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Builder’s statute of limitations defense prevails in COA

September 8, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of construction supplier on its breach of contract claim against a builder to which it provided a line of credit. The appellate court agreed with the defendants' claims that the lawsuit was time-barred.
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COA reverses resisting law enforcement convictions based on video evidence

September 8, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has overturned convictions of mistreatment of a law enforcement animal and resisting law enforcement after finding that law enforcement officers’ testimony in the case was in direct contrast to video evidence.
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Uber gains leverage against drivers with ruling on arbitration

September 7, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Uber Technologies Inc.’s arbitration agreements were largely ruled by an appeals court to be valid and enforceable in a decision that undercuts drivers’ efforts to secure the benefits and protections of employees.
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Man whose truck dragged dog 5 miles to death out of jail

September 7, 2016
 Associated Press
An Evansville man convicted of threatening a woman who stopped his truck after it had dragged a dog more than 5 miles to its death is free after already serving his sentence.
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ITT Educational employees file lawsuit over sudden terminations

September 7, 2016
IBJ Staff
Two employees who were terminated Tuesday as part of mass layoff by ITT Educational Services Inc. have filed a lawsuit claiming the Carmel-based firm violated federal law by failing to provide 60-days notice.
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Fired Elkhart city attorney files federal suit against mayor

September 7, 2016
Dave Stafford
A female Elkhart city attorney who claims the newly elected mayor fired her because he “wanted my own guy” has filed a federal lawsuit alleging her First Amendment rights were violated. She also claims age discrimination and violation of the Equal Pay Act.
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Bail reforms encourage risk assessments in pretrial release decisions

September 7, 2016
IL Staff
As part of an effort to reform the state’s bail system and reduce recidivism rates, the Indiana Supreme Court has adopted a new criminal rule to encourage the prompt release of arrestees who do not pose a significant threat to public safety.
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Man pleads guilty in slayings of southern Indiana couple

September 7, 2016
 Associated Press
One of two men charged in the brutal 2013 slayings of a rural southern Indiana couple pleaded guilty to two murder charges Tuesday and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
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Senior judge program’s promise to assist judiciary faces challenges

September 7, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court charged a seven-member committee with promoting the effective use of senior judges in trial and appellate courts, increasing participation of senior judges, and recommending expanded opportunities and uses for them.
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'Small-town' Shelbyville firm expanding around the state

September 7, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
As merger fever continues to spread through the legal community, a Shelbyville-based firm is spreading out.
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Female corporate lawyers at Anthem find opportunity, no glass ceiling

September 7, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
At Anthem Inc., the billion-dollar health insurance provider, women comprise 76 percent of its workforce and 63 percent managerial leadership.
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Finding funds to support Indiana legal aid

September 7, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Legal aid groups seek private donors as the Indiana Supreme Court requests $500,000 more for indigent representation from the Legislature.
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Justices weigh gun store's liability in policeman's shooting

September 7, 2016
Dave Stafford
A gun store’s possible liability for making a straw sale of a handgun that wounded an Indianapolis police officer is a matter of first impression for Indiana and a case watched closely for legal and policy implications nationwide.
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Fight to protect Indiana bat from wind farm renders mixed ruling

September 7, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana bat has been part of a long-running battle against a proposed 100-turbine wind farm in Ohio. A lawsuit filed in 2013 by the Bloomington-based Conservation Law Center sought to block a permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that would have allowed the Buckeye Wind Project to kill the protected species.
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Indiana attorneys join effort to end judicial backlog

September 6, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
An assistant clinical professor at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and a board member of the Marion County Bar Association will join elected officials and judicial clerks in Washington, D.C., Wednesday in calling upon the U.S. Senate to vote on the backlog of nominees to the federal bench.
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Justices take case on DCS caller confidentiality

September 6, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether the Indiana Department of Child Services may be sued for failing to maintain the confidentiality of a caller who reported suspected child neglect.
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EPA objects to Vertellus Specialties acquisition plan

September 6, 2016
Susan Orr, IBJ Staff
Indianapolis-based chemical company Vertellus Specialties Inc. is at odds with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over whether its proposed sale would provide adequate resources to address environmental cleanup needs at Vertellus-owned sites in Indiana and elsewhere.
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Symposium to look at commercial courts and e-filing

September 6, 2016
IL Staff
A symposium later this month highlighting the Indiana Supreme Court’s work to modernize the judicial branch will provide information about the state’s new commercial courts and e-filing project.
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Lawyer’s fee tally exceeds $100k for dubious Indy skyline photo suits

September 6, 2016
Dave Stafford
An Indiana lawyer and photographer who’s sued hundreds of people alleging copyright infringement has been ordered to pay more than $100,000 in fees and costs — most recently in a ruling where a judge essentially described his legal motivation as a shakedown.
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