Courts

SCOTUS says lawyer’s brief absence doesn’t merit retrial

March 30, 2015
 Associated Press
The  Supreme Court of the United States says a Michigan man convicted of murder and armed robbery does not deserve a new trial even though his lawyer was absent for 10 minutes during the original trial.
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High court to hear Kansas plea to reinstate death sentences

March 30, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States agreed Monday to hear Kansas' appeal to reinstate death sentences for two brothers in the fatal shootings of four people and for another man convicted of killing a couple.
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Divided court lets stand suppression of pat-down evidence

March 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
Three of Indiana’s five Supreme Court justices vacated transfer on a suppression-of-evidence case, letting stand a divided Court of Appeals ruling that a trial court abused its discretion by admitting evidence obtained in a questionable pat-down search.
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Similar entrapment argument brings different COA ruling

March 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Again faced with the question of whether a defendant had been entrapped by an undercover detective posing as a prostitute, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court, reaching a different conclusion than they had in a similar case a year earlier.
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Split COA reinstates State Fair stage collapse suit

March 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
The company that leased a temporary stage that collapsed in a windstorm killing seven and injuring dozens prevailed in overturning a trial court ruling in favor of the Indiana State Fair Commission. A dissenting appellate judge wrote that the majority placed form over substance in shifting liability to the state.
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Judge OKs $725K settlement against Whitley County sheriff

March 27, 2015
Dave Stafford
Defendants jailed in Whitley County more than 48 hours without a probable cause hearing in violation of U.S. Supreme Court caselaw will share a $725,000 settlement, a federal judge ruled.
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Panther Racing suit against IndyCar, Rahal Letterman tossed

March 27, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal breach-of-contract lawsuit alleging damages of more than $17 million resulting from an IndyCar sponsorship dispute has been dismissed.
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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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Bartholomew juvenile detentions plummet under JDAI

March 27, 2015
 Associated Press
The number of local juvenile offenders detained each year in Bartholomew County has been decreasing dramatically during the past decade, the Columbus Republic reports.
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Dispute over beach ownership heading back to trial court

March 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Property owners along Lake Michigan will have another chance to make their arguments in a dispute over which part of the beach belongs to them and which belongs to the public.
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Driving 91 mph in 55 zone supports reckless driving verdict

March 26, 2015
Dave Stafford
A driver’s argument that his speed of 91 mph on a 55-mph country road was insufficient evidence of endangerment cut no ice with the trial court, and the Indiana Court of Appeals agreed Thursday.
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Justices agree to rewrite footnote conflicting with opinion

March 26, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court agreed to rewrite a footnote that was at least confusing if not in conflict with its opinion in a case reviewing an action of the Department of Insurance.
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Plaintiffs in bar shooting were owed protection

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
When a customer pulled a gun and started shooting, the bar had a well-established duty to protect its other customers, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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State statute protects taxpayers from loan dispute

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Ruling that taxpayers should not be penalized for a bank’s lack of diligence, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held a financial institution cannot recoup the outstanding balance on a loan for a fire truck.
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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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COA reverses neglect resulting in death verdict against mom

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis mother was wrongly convicted of neglect of a dependent child resulting in death, the Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday in reversing the jury’s verdict. Judges found evidence against Chelsea Taylor was insufficient to support the conviction.
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Bragging is admissible in court, COA rules

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant’s statement to law enforcement that he could “read” people was a boast and not a character reference, according to the Indiana Court of Appeals, so it was admissible at trial.
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Termination of parental rights waiting period requires no services

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Parents of children removed from the home for 15 of the prior 22 months before a hearing on termination of parental rights may not argue that a lack of services during that time tolls the waiting period, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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COA reverses lease judgment for tenant, finds for landlord

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
A medical office that leased space from a landlord lost a judgment in its favor in a dispute over owed rent. The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and ordered judgment in favor of the property owner.
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SCOTUS sides with ex-UPS worker who claims pregnancy bias

March 25, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court is giving a former UPS driver another chance to prove her claim of discrimination after the company did not offer her lighter duty when she was pregnant.
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Appeals court sets April hearing on Obama immigration action

March 25, 2015
 Associated Press
A court hearing has been set for April 17 on whether a temporary hold on President Barack Obama’s immigration executive action should be lifted, a federal appeals court announced Tuesday.
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Boyer selected new Allen County Small Claims Court magistrate

March 25, 2015
IL Staff
Thomas P. Boyer, a magistrate for Allen Superior Court Family Relations Division, has been named the newest magistrate judge of the Allen Superior Court Small Claims Division. Boyer replaces Magistrate Jerry Ummel, who recently announced his retirement after 27 years on the bench.
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State closes 2 businesses for unpaid taxes

March 25, 2015
IL Staff
An Indianapolis architecture firm and a Greenfield restaurant were ordered closed Tuesday because the businesses owe the state almost $900,000 combined in taxes. Indiana courts issued temporary restraining orders preventing both from transacting business.
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A lifetime of service

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Imagine reviewing your bosses’ expense claims and finding something that raises red flags. Now imagine it’s your job to go to your bosses and reject their claims.
Incidentally, your bosses are judges. And there are 15 of them. You’ve just imagined one of the routine tasks of veteran Indiana Court of Appeals administrator Steve Lancaster. If you can negotiate this task and dozens of others for the court’s judges and 18 administrative staff members, you may be the person to take Lancaster’s place.
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Commemorating a legal legacy

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
In his hometown of Evansville where he is known to friends and colleagues as “Randy,” retired Indiana Chief Justice Randall Shepard is being recognized in a way that members of the legal community say will appropriately honor his legacy. Money from private donors and legal organizations is being put toward two commemorations. The first is a plaque noting Shepard’s contributions to Indiana that will hang outside the Randall T. Shepard Courtroom in the historic Vanderburgh County Courthouse. The second is a lecture series which will bring nationally known lawyers and legal scholars to Evansville to talk about law and leadership.
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  1. Sociologist of religion Peter Berger once said that the US is a “nation of Indians ruled by Swedes.” He meant an irreligious elite ruling a religious people, as that Sweden is the world’s least religious country and India the most religious. The idea is that American social elites tend to be much less religious than just about everyone else in the country. If this is true, it helps explain the controversy raking Indiana over Hollywood, San Fran, NYC, academia and downtown Indy hot coals. Nevermind logic, nevermind it is just the 1993 fed bill did, forget the Founders, abandon of historic dedication to religious liberty. The Swedes rule. You cannot argue with elitists. They have the power, they will use the power, sit down and shut up or feel the power. I know firsthand, having been dealt blows from the elite's high and mighty hands often as a mere religious plebe.

  2. I need helping gaining custody of my 5 and 1 year old from my alcoholic girlfriend. This should be an easy case for any lawyer to win... I've just never had the courage to take her that far. She has a record of public intox and other things. She has no job and no where to live othe than with me. But after 5 years of trying to help her with her bad habit, she has put our kids in danger by driving after drinking with them... She got detained yesterday and the police chief released my kids to me from the police station. I live paycheck to paycheck and Im under alot of stress dealing with this situation. Can anyone please help?

  3. The more a state tries to force people to associate, who don't like each other and simply want to lead separate lives, the more that state invalidates itself....... This conflict has shown clearly that the advocates of "tolerance" are themselves intolerant, the advocates of "diversity" intend to inflict themselves on an unwilling majority by force if necessary, until that people complies and relents and allows itself to be made homogenous with the politically correct preferences of the diversity-lobbies. Let's clearly understand, this is force versus force and democracy has nothing to do with this. Democracy is a false god in the first place, even if it is a valid ideal for politics, but it is becoming ever more just an empty slogan that just suckers a bunch of cattle into paying their taxes and volunteering for stupid wars.

  4. I would like to discuss a commercial litigation case. If you handle such cases, respond for more details.

  5. Great analysis, Elizabeth. Thank you for demonstrating that abortion leads, in logic and acceptance of practice, directly to infanticide. Women of the world unite, you have only your offspring to lose!

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