Courts

Jury is out on Indiana Tax Court

May 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on April 20 appointed a task force to study the work volume, operations and performance of Indiana’s Tax Court, created in 1986 by the Legislature to remove the intricate tax cases from state trial courts.
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Indiana attorney disbarred by Supreme Court for 'profoundly disturbing' behavior

May 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
R. Mark Keaton lost his license to practice law recently, but that hasn’t stopped him from continuing his vendetta against a woman who ended what the Indiana Supreme Court called “a tempestuous long-distance relationship.”
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Mediation Assistance Program appoints counsel to help litigants settle cases

May 6, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The program, started in 2009, matches attorney volunteers with pro se litigants as they enter settlement talks. In its inaugural year, MAP appointed legal counsel to two settlement conferences. By 2013, MAP attorneys assisted in 43 conferences.
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Johnson County ADR program sees uptick in caseload

May 6, 2015
 Associated Press, Dave Stafford
Every day, a program in Franklin works with families struggling with divorce, custody battles and child support disputes. The goal is to help resolve arguments, get cases through the court system faster, and help families move on.
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Parents of autistic children gird for showdown with Anthem

May 6, 2015
IBJ Staff, J.K. Wall
A showdown is brewing over autism therapy in Indiana. After an Elkhart couple with an autistic son sued Indianapolis-based health insurer Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in April, autism families around the state have started a campaign to get Anthem to change its policy for covering therapy for school-age children.
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Graham takes oath

May 6, 2015
IL Staff
Bankruptcy Judge Jeffrey Graham recently took the oath.
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7th Circuit wants rationale for sentence

May 5, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant was unable to get his revocation of probation overturned, but he is heading back to court for another sentencing after the District judge failed to give reasons for imposing a two-year jail term.
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Deaf litigant’s ADA case proceeds, minus state defendants

May 5, 2015
Dave Stafford
A judge has dismissed state defendants from a lawsuit brought by a deaf man who was denied a court-appointed interpreter during a mediation, but his lawsuit against the Marion Circuit Court will proceed.
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Pence signs bill tightening Indiana's state ethics laws

May 5, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has endorsed an overhaul of state ethics laws that requires greater financial disclosure by lawmakers and expressly prohibits elected officials from using state resources for political purposes.
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Website domain dispute pulled from justices’ calendar

May 5, 2015
Dave Stafford
A dispute over a website address that had been scheduled for oral arguments Wednesday before the Indiana Supreme Court has been settled, an attorney involved in the case said.
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New law will give immunity to volunteer medical workers

May 5, 2015
 Associated Press
Doctors, nurses and other health care providers will have civil immunity for their volunteer work under a new Indiana law.
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Indiana Supreme Court approves amended pro bono reporting rule

May 4, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Supreme Court has amended the state’s new pro bono reporting rule, narrowing the focus to measuring only the direct representation given to indigent litigants.
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Justices to review ruling for father of fatally injured moped rider

May 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear a case, stemming from a fatal crash, in which the trial court and Court of Appeals reached different results.
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Judge allows woman's suit over jail miscarriage to proceed

May 4, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal judge has ruled that a northern Indiana woman can proceed with her lawsuit alleging negligence in a miscarriage she suffered while in custody.
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Central Indiana county seeks to develop work release program

May 4, 2015
 Associated Press
Officials in a central Indiana county are seeking to develop a community work release program that would keep the jail from becoming overcrowded and could save taxpayers the expense of having to expand or eventually build a new jail.
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Split 7th Circuit allows death penalty challenge asserting intellectual disability

May 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
A killer sentenced in Texas and awaiting execution on federal death row in Terre Haute will be allowed to proceed with efforts to present new evidence of intellectual disability that would make him ineligible for capital punishment, a 7th Circuit Court of Appeals en banc review determined in a 6-5 opinion.
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Judge, attorney credited for robust recovery for victims of securities fraud

May 1, 2015
Greg Andrews, IBJ Staff
The more than 90 investors who lost $9.7 million in a securities fraud perpetrated by Fishers hedge fund manager Keenan Hauke will recover about 33 percent of their losses - a far better outcome than is typical in cases of its kind.
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Fort Wayne attorney named new Allen Superior magistrate

May 1, 2015
IL Staff
A private practice attorney and former Indiana Department of Child Services attorney has been chosen as magistrate judge in Allen Superior Court Family Relations Division.
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COA orders judgment in favor of woman on adverse possession claim

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because there is evidence that both the woman who purchased land from a trust and the trustee paid taxes on a disputed 1.8 acres of land for at least 10 years, the woman’s claim for adverse possession of the land should be granted, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Court OKs admission of tweets, reverses criminal gang activity conviction

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression regarding the authentication of social media posts, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that the testimony from the defendant's girlfriend that the Twitter account belonged to her boyfriend, as well as content from that account, sufficiently showed the defendant was the author of its tweets.
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Man’s conviction from controlled drug buy upheld

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Anderson man who was criminally convicted for selling drugs to a confidential informant waived both his arguments on appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. And, the judges found no fundamental error in a jury instruction given or the admission of cash found on the defendant by police.
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COA orders woman’s sentence revised to include credit time

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday that a trial court incorrectly calculated the sentence a woman should serve in the Department of Correction after she had her probation revoked.
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Revised sentence modification statute not applicable in defendant’s case

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not err in denying a man’s petition to modify his sentence after finding that the current version of the sentencing modification statute is not applicable to his sentence, which he began serving in 1989. The Indiana Court of Appeals panel relied on a January decision by its colleagues to affirm the denial of Mitchell Swallows’ petition.
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Judicial campaign solicitation ban upheld by SCOTUS

April 30, 2015
 Bloomberg News
A divided Supreme Court of the United States ruled that states can bar judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions, leaving intact bans in 30 states.
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Lawmakers pass Marion Co. small claims reforms

April 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
The General Assembly Wednesday afternoon passed modest reforms of the nine township small claims courts in Marion County, a far cry from recommendations of multiple judicial studies to restructure the courts.
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  1. Indianapolis Bar Association President John Trimble and I are on the same page, but it is a very large page with plenty of room for others to join us. As my final Res Gestae article will express in more detail in a few days, the Great Recession hastened a fundamental and permanent sea change for the global legal service profession. Every state bar is facing the same existential questions that thrust the medical profession into national healthcare reform debates. The bench, bar, and law schools must comprehensively reconsider how we define the practice of law and what it means to access justice. If the three principals of the legal service profession do not recast the vision of their roles and responsibilities soon, the marketplace will dictate those roles and responsibilities without regard for the public interests that the legal profession professes to serve.

  2. I have met some highly placed bureaucrats who vehemently disagree, Mr. Smith. This is not your father's time in America. Some ideas are just too politically incorrect too allow spoken, says those who watch over us for the good of their concept of order.

  3. Lets talk about this without forgetting that Lawyers, too, have FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND ASSOCIATION

  4. Baer filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit on April 30 2015. When will this be decided? How many more appeals does this guy have? Unbelievable this is dragging on like this.

  5. They ruled there is no absolute right to keep a license, whether it be for a lifetime or a short period of time. So with that being said, this state taught me at the age of 15 how to obtain that license. I am actually doing something that I was taught to do, I'm not breaking the law breaking the rules and according to the Interstate Compact the National Interstate Compact...driving while suspended is a minor offense. So, do with that what you will..Indiana sucks when it comes to the driving laws, they really and truly need to reevaluate their priorities and honestly put the good of the community first... I mean, what's more important the pedophile drug dealer or wasting time and money to keep us off the streets?

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