Courts

Ex-Martin County judge pleads guilty to failing to pay income tax

February 6, 2015
IL Staff
One-time Martin Circuit judge and county prosecutor Robert J. Howell pleaded guilty Friday to charges that he failed to pay more than $66,000 in taxes on receipts from his law firm in Loogootee.
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Appeals court strips grandmother’s visitation, cites grandchild’s adoption

February 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indiana Court of Appeals panel Friday stripped a maternal grandparent of visitation rights, finding she had no standing to seek visitation. The parents of the child had divorced, and the father remarried shortly after the mother’s death.
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Prosecutor: 50-plus warrants issued in Evansville meth ring

February 6, 2015
 Associated Press
Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Nicholas Hermann said federal arrest warrants have been issued for more than 50 people allegedly involved in a meth-trafficking ring that funneled the drug into the area from four other states.
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COA reverses confinement conviction, cautions prosecution on future statements

February 5, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a Lake County man’s Class B felony criminal confinement conviction because the trial court erred in admitting out-of-court statements by an alleged accomplice.
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Hamilton County establishing veterans court

February 5, 2015
Dave Stafford
A veterans court could be up and running in Hamilton County within 45 days after the county council on Wednesday approved startup funding.
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7th Circuit affirms carjacking enhancement stemming from bank robbery

February 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals quickly dismissed a defendant’s argument that his sentence for bank robbery should not include a two-level sentence enhancement for carjacking because the keys to the car were obtained by rummaging through the victim’s purse and not through force or intimidation.
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7th Circuit stresses holding Pavey hearing separate from summary judgment hearing

February 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for the Indiana Department of Correction and its commissioner on a disabled inmate’s claims of violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. The judges also suggested that courts do not hold a Pavey hearing at the same time as a hearing on a motion for summary judgment.
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Defendant must try to prevent crime discovery for statute of limitations to toll

February 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In dealing with an issue of first impression, the Indiana Supreme Court found a robbery charge should be dismissed because it was filed outside of the statute of limitations. The state argued the defendant had concealed evidence of the crime, thus tolling the five-year statute of limitations.
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Marion County justice complex decision could come at last minute

February 4, 2015
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
The Indianapolis City-County Council could push the closing of a $1.6 billion deal for a new criminal justice complex to the last minute.
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Majority finds no error regarding potential electronic monitoring

February 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that a trial court had improperly delegated to a community corrections program the authority to decide whether he should be subject to electronic monitoring.
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Court rules in favor of hospital in contract dispute

February 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Lake County medical center prevailed in an appeal filed by the other party in a contract to provide anesthesiology services for patients. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the hospital on several breach of contract claims.
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Man’s conviction for murdering neighbor upheld

February 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Citing a wide array of circumstantial evidence to support a Cass County man’s murder conviction in connection with his neighbor’s death, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction.
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Courthouse security plan to add cameras with sweeping views

February 4, 2015
 Associated Press
Security cameras at a southeastern Indiana county's courthouse will rotate 180 degrees and allow officials to monitor every part of the building without cluttering it up.
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Indiana woman found guilty of feticide charge

February 4, 2015
 Associated Press
A guilty verdict has been returned against an Indiana woman charged with neglect in the death of a newborn whose body was found in a restaurant trash bin.
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Supreme Court seeks state funds for technology, access to courts

February 3, 2015
IL Staff
A group of four representatives of the Indiana Supreme Court explained to the House Ways & Means Committee Tuesday morning why the state should give the judiciary millions of dollars for court technology, access to courts and criminal code reform.
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Indiana will get share of $1.38B Standard & Poor’s settlement

February 3, 2015
IL Staff
A billion-dollar settlement stemming from allegations that Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC misled investors in the lead up to the 2008 financial crisis will net Indiana $21.5 million.
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Man’s criminal confinement conviction reversed, battery conviction reinstated

February 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a Class B felony criminal confinement conviction reversed based on insufficient evidence, but judges ordered a battery conviction previously dismissed over double jeopardy concerns reinstated.
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COA affirms father must pay $876 in child support to non-custodial parent

February 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
There was no error by a trial court when it ordered a father to pay his ex-wife, who is the non-custodial parent of their two children, nearly $900 a week in child support, the Court of Appeals affirmed Tuesday. The order and figure are supported by the Indiana Child Support Guidelines.
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Nominee for Southern District bench could be named by summer

February 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana could be filled by the end of the year, according to Indiana’s Democratic U.S. senator.
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COA reverses summary judgment in personal injury claim, abandons volunteer doctrine

February 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A negligence case involving a Terre Haute HVAC business and a man injured while helping move a furnace will move forward now that the Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed summary judgment in favor of the company.
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COA reverses conviction based on unreasonable police search

February 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer had no reasonable suspicion to believe that a container found in a man’s pocket during an arrest held any illegal substances, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. As such, it reversed his Class D felony possession of schedule III controlled substance conviction, ruling it violated the Indiana Constitution.
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Justices send post-conviction case back to COA for consideration

February 2, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has vacated the dismissal of a Marion County post-conviction case and remanded it to the Court of Appeals. That was one of two cases justices took action on last week.
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Judge orders revenue department to produce handwritten notes

February 2, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Two pages of handwritten notes prepared by an Indiana Department of State Revenue employee must be turned over to an Illinois company challenging the denial of four refund claims, the Indiana Tax Court held Friday.
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Appeals court finds high-fence deer hunting not prohibited in Indiana

February 2, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana law does not prohibit “high-fence” hunting of deer in Indiana, nor does it allow for the Department of Natural Resources to create regulations relating to the practice, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Indiana courts press for $5M for e-filing system

February 2, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana courts are asking lawmakers to allocate an additional $5 million a year so they can implement an electronic filing system that allows litigants to submit paperwork online and gives the public free access to court records.
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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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