jury instructions

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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Explanation as to the spirit of the law was harmless error

February 11, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a trial court’s words to a jury about the spirit of Indiana’s criminal law was improper and an error, it was harmless and could not overturn a defendant’s sentence of life without parole.
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Erroneous instruction on accomplice liability not enough to get conviction overturned

January 27, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals has split on whether erroneous jury instruction was a harmless error or gave the jurors another base for finding a defendant guilty of attempted murder.
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  1. "So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)" Well, you know, we're just following in the footsteps of our founders who raped women, raped slaves, raped children, maimed immigrants, sold children, stole property, broke promises, broke apart families, killed natives... You know, good God fearing down home Christian folk! :/

  2. Who gives a rats behind about all the fluffy ranking nonsense. What students having to pay off debt need to know is that all schools aren't created equal and students from many schools don't have a snowball's chance of getting a decent paying job straight out of law school. Their lowly ranked lawschool won't tell them that though. When schools start honestly (accurately) reporting *those numbers, things will get interesting real quick, and the looks on student's faces will be priceless!

  3. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

  4. Unfortunately, the court doesn't understand the difference between ebidta and adjusted ebidta as they clearly got the ruling wrong based on their misunderstanding

  5. A common refrain in the comments on this website comes from people who cannot locate attorneys willing put justice over retainers. At the same time the judiciary threatens to make pro bono work mandatory, seemingly noting the same concern. But what happens to attorneys who have the chumptzah to threatened the legal status quo in Indiana? Ask Gary Welch, ask Paul Ogden, ask me. Speak truth to power, suffer horrendously accordingly. No wonder Hoosier attorneys who want to keep in good graces merely chase the dollars ... the powers that be have no concerns as to those who are ever for sale to the highest bidder ... for those even willing to compromise for $$$ never allow either justice or constitutionality to cause them to stand up to injustice or unconstitutionality. And the bad apples in the Hoosier barrel, like this one, just keep rotting.

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