Courts

Partially bifurcating trial prevented prejudice

November 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant’s argument that he was prejudiced by a trial court’s decision to not fully bifurcate his murder trial failed in the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Justices affirm dismissal of Logansport power plant suit

November 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
Local units of government may engage in preliminary talks or solicit prospective public-private partners before those units of government have adopted legislation enabling such agreements, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in a challenge to Logansport’s efforts to overhaul a coal-burning power plant.
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Possible improper use of risk assessment in sentencing not enough for remand

November 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A man convicted of child molesting and incest will not get a chance to have his 99-year sentence reduced. The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that even though the trial court may have abused its discretion, the sentence was not inappropriate.
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Justices affirm rejection of tendered jury instruction

November 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
Judges have wide discretion regarding when and whether to use tendered jury instructions, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled in affirming the conviction of a criminal defendant whose proffered instructions on defense of another were rejected.
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Drug-dog sniff after traffic stop was rightly suppressed

November 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
A southern Indiana trial court rightly suppressed drug evidence gathered after a police drug-sniffing dog indicated the presence of meth in a van after a traffic stop.
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Increased bail is abuse of discretion, panel rules

November 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
A trial court abused its discretion when it raised a defendant’s bail in a meth possession case, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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COA rules preliminary injunction wrongly extended noncompete agreement

November 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
In reviewing a dispute over the terms of a noncompete agreement, the Indiana Court of Appeals reminded the trial court that a preliminary injunction has limits.
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Justices to hear convictions reversed due to prosecutor’s arguments

November 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
The case of a man whose two convictions of sexual misconduct with a minor were reversed on appeal because of a prosecutor’s overzealous arguments will go to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Judge rejects interlocutory appeal in Marion Superior judiciary challenge

November 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
A federal judge has denied the state of Indiana’s motion for an interlocutory appeal, signaling that a trial probably won’t be needed in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of how Marion Superior judges are elected.
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Justices reject Spierer-obsessed man’s appeal of gun confiscation

November 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from a man whose 51 guns and ammunition were seized after authorities became alarmed by his behavior near the site where missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer was last seen.
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7th Circuit blocks Obamacare ‘contraception mandate’

November 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
Roman Catholic employers – including the owners of an Indiana company – won a Circuit Court ruling Friday blocking the “contraception mandate” contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare.
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Allen County courts join forces to establish new veterans’ court

November 11, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Allen County will gavel in its veterans’ court Nov. 12 and join a growing list of Indiana jurisdictions creating the problem-solving court especially to serve military veterans.
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7th Circuit case docketing fees increasing Dec. 1

November 11, 2013
IL Staff
Beginning Dec. 1, it will cost an extra $50 to appeal a case to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Notice of appeals, as well as petitions for review/applications for enforcement and writ of mandamus, will cost $500.
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Attorney voting for Judicial Nominating Commission to be extended

November 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
The voting process to select a lawyer representative to the Judicial Nominating Commission by more than 7,400 eligible attorneys will be extended due to an undetermined glitch that resulted in some lawyers not receiving ballots.
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Delayed jail releases common, says witness in judge’s discipline case

November 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
A senior judge who presided in a Marion Superior criminal court for more than a dozen years testified Friday that delayed releases of defendants from jail are a problem with the county’s entire judicial system and not limited to the court of a judge facing discipline for that and other charges.
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COA reverses summary judgment in complaint to recover credit card debt

November 8, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding a company did not satisfy its burden of proof under Indiana Trial Rule 56(C) when attempting to collect on a breach of a credit card contract, the Indiana Court of Appeals on Friday reversed summary judgment in the case.
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Judges uphold 54-year sentence of man who asked women to take pics of kids

November 8, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument Friday that he couldn’t be convicted of Class A felony child molesting under the accessory statute because the perpetrator was under 21 at the time of the molestations.
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Criminal code committee still trying to answer funding and sentencing questions

November 7, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana General Assembly passed an overhaul of the state’s criminal code during 2013 but left two major issues for the upcoming session – funding and sentencing.
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COA holds law firms are judgment creditors, owe restitution

November 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
In a dispute over whether two law firms should have to repay money from a judgment they received by way of attorney liens, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that the law firms are judgment creditors, so they are liable to pay restitution to the state of Indiana.
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2 BLE members reappointed

November 7, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson has reappointed Senior Judge Barbara L. Brugnaux and Madison attorney Gary K. Kemper to the Indiana Board of Law Examiners. Their first terms as members expire Dec. 1.
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Appellate arguments in cancelled IBM contract set for Nov. 25

November 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals will hear arguments later this month on whether the state should have to pay more than $62 million to IBM after cancelling its billion-dollar contract with the company to modernize Indiana’s welfare system.
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Judge denies Brizzi’s bid for gag order in malpractice suit

November 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
A judge Tuesday denied former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi’s request for a gag order in the legal malpractice claim filed against him by defrocked Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White.
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COA rejects claim overhaul of Criminal Code shows Class A felonies disproportionate

November 6, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant attempted to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals that the Class A felony classifications for dealing or possession of cocaine are disproportionate by pointing to the recent revisions to the Criminal Code. The new criminal classifications and sentencing structure that take effect next year no longer include these crimes in the highest level of felonies.
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Woman’s 35-year sentence upheld following death of stepson

November 6, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Lake Superior judge did not abuse her discretion in sentencing a woman to 35 years for neglect of a dependent after the woman’s stepson died following years of abuse.
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Kokomo lawyer skips town, leaving 'mess' behind

November 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Kokomo lawyer’s sudden abandonment of his law practice has left the local legal community scrambling to clean up a mess involving scores of ripped-off clients, some of whom learned of their attorney’s disappearance when they showed up for court dates and he didn’t.
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  1. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  2. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  3. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  4. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

  5. And so the therapeutic state is weaonized. How soon until those with ideologies opposing the elite are disarmed in the name of mental health? If it can start anywhere it can start in the hoosiers' slavishly politically correct capital city.

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