jury instructions

COA advice: Leave affirmation out of jury instructions

August 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man’s convictions of battery and disorderly conduct will stand, but the Indiana Court of Appeals cautioned trial courts that including law enforcement affirmations in jury instructions should not, calling the practice “undesirable and completely avoidable.”
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ABA calls for including implicit bias in jury instructions

August 12, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Over opposition from some attorneys including one from Indiana, the American Bar Association has adopted a resolution that calls for judges to instruct jurors on implicit bias.
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Justices rule jury instruction not fundamental error

June 22, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court found a jury instruction that jurors “shall presume” that a man’s alcohol concentration equivalent was above the legal limit if his chemical test, taken hours later, was at 0.08 or higher was not fundamental error. As such, it affirmed his conviction.
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Man loses home damage appeal that blamed neighbor’s watering

May 20, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man whose Monroe County home was lost to mold contamination lost his appeal of a jury verdict in favor of his neighbor. The homeowner had claimed his neighbor's excessive watering of her lawn caused water damage to the basement of his home.
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Appellate court defines rules of police stops

April 27, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a man’s tendered jury instruction was a mistake of law and not a mistake of fact and upheld his conviction of felony resisting law enforcement by fleeing. The judges then outlined what fleeing law enforcement means and what rights police officers and drivers have to determine location of stops.
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7th Circuit seeks public comment on civil jury instructions

April 25, 2016
IL Staff
The 7th Circuit Pattern Jury Instruction Committee has released revised pattern Section 1983 civil jury instructions which will be available for comment through Friday.
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Denial of jury instruction was correct, COA rules

March 10, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals said a trial court was right in denying a man’s jury instruction that would have applied mens rea to every element of aggravated battery, saying the severity of an injury is not an element of prohibited conduct, but a result of it.
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7th Circuit: cousins conspired to sell heroin; another gets new trial

March 9, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said two cousins conspired to distribute heroin, despite the claim from the defendants they were running separate heroin businesses.
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Indiana Judges Association launches website

February 1, 2016
IL Staff
The Indiana Judges Association is now online. The organization has created a website with information for judicial officers and the public.
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Jury instruction splits Supreme Court

January 25, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Jury instructions that included the interpretation from an appellate ruling split the Indiana Supreme Court as to when trial courts should look beyond the statute.
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Erroneous jury instruction leads to DWI conviction reversal

December 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A jury instruction given at a man’s drunken-driving trial resulted in fundamental error because it contained a constitutionally impermissible evidentiary presumption, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded. As such, the court reversed the man’s conviction.
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Justices: Jury should hear defense of necessity instruction

November 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ordered a new trial for a man convicted of a misdemeanor gun charge after finding he presented sufficient evidence to have the jury instructed on his defense of necessity.
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Ruling in favor of doctors in med mal case upheld

October 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The trial court properly tendered a jury instruction in a medical malpractice case that advised the jury that physicians are not liable for an error in diagnosis or treatment when exercising reasonable care, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Cocaine dealing conviction affirmed over jury instruction challenge

October 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of dealing cocaine failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse due to what he claimed was an erroneous jury instruction.
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After the verdict, attorneys have learning opportunity

September 23, 2015
Teryn Armstrong
In both federal and state courts, jury feedback occurs after a trial is over. Despite how helpful attorneys and jurors often find this extra step, though, it isn’t always part of the process.
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The juror experience: deliberating the verdict

September 23, 2015
Teryn Armstrong
Determining the final outcome of a case may bring about feelings of apprehension and stress, and leave jurors second-guessing their decision.
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Jury foreman sent to jail for 30 days for using cellphone

June 12, 2015
 Associated Press
The foreman of a North Carolina jury is spending 30 days in jail because he used his cellphone in the jury room.
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Woman’s theft, check deception convictions affirmed

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday that a defendant did not establish that the trial court abused its discretion by refusing her proffered jury instruction or in the admission of pretrial identification evidence.
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COA splits over jury instruction, affirms conviction

March 27, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the Indiana Court of Appeals split over whether the jury instruction was erroneous, the panel was unanimous in upholding the defendant’s conviction for theft from Walmart.
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Justices spell out required 'presumption of innocence' jury instruction

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
A convicted murderer who didn’t receive a requested jury instruction on the presumption of innocence lost his appeal Wednesday, but the Indiana Supreme Court used the case to impart an exact instruction trial courts must use going forward upon request.
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Counsel’s ‘risky’ trial strategy is not considered ineffective

January 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial attorney who decided to pursue a trial strategy in a theft case that did not request a jury instruction on the lesser-include offense of criminal conversion did not provide ineffective assistance of counsel, the Court of Appeals ruled.
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Despite jury instruction error, man’s battery conviction upheld

December 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although the trial court erred in giving one jury instruction on self defense that only applies when deadly force is involved, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an inmate’s Class A misdemeanor battery conviction because he otherwise couldn’t prove his self-defense claim.
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Justices: Pattern Jury Instruction 9.05 is correct statement of law

October 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Clearing up confusion among the courts as to whether a jury instruction regarding the definition of “intentionally” can include that the defendant intended to “cause the result” of his conduct, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed Pattern Jury Instruction 9.05 represents a correct statement of the law.
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COA: Gas station did not commit spoliation regarding mat

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s decision to not instruct a jury in a personal injury action regarding the spoliation of evidence. Margaret Dawson, the injured party, had ample time to inspect the mat she tripped on before the store replaced it.
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Judges uphold man’s resisting law enforcement conviction

July 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding the evidence to be sufficient to support a man’s conviction of misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction Monday. The judges also found no error in the trial court’s instructions to the jury.
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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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