Courts

COA addresses impact of guilty pleas on immigration status

November 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a man’s petitions for post-conviction relief, finding his attorneys’ failure to advise him of adverse immigration consequences of pleading guilty did not prejudice his defense.
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Appellate judges travel to Indianapolis high school

November 28, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals will hear arguments in Christopher Bryant v. State of Indiana Tuesday at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis.
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Judge grants limited class certification in stage collapse lawsuit

November 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
While she said she doubts the plaintiffs can win their case, U.S. Judge Sarah Evans Barker is allowing limited class certification in a lawsuit challenging the state’s $5 million damage liability cap. Plaintiffs incurred injuries in the Indiana State Fair stage collapse Aug. 13.
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7th Circuit cautions against 'ostrich-like' advocacy

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Warning appellate lawyers not to ignore precedent, a 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision today issues a short but clear message to not use “ostrich-like” tactics when briefing and arguing cases.
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COA delves into grammar in reversing trial court

November 23, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals issued three opinions Wednesday that dissect the grammar of a state statute in reversing a trial court’s decision regarding sentence enhancements.
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7th Circuit rules on Indiana's prison grievance process

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Addressing a question for the first time about prison inmate complaints, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held that a prisoner's participation in internal affairs investigations isn’t an alternative for the administrative process an inmate must follow in filing a grievance.
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Supreme Court rules town can regulate aquifer's water use

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Underground aquifers are “watercourses” as defined by state law and as a result the Indiana Supreme Court says community officials have the ability to reasonably regulate how that water is taken out and used by other local governments.
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Holiday court closures, bankruptcy court changes

November 23, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana’s courts will be closed Thursday in honor of Thanksgiving. However, some court offices will be available to handle emergencies on Friday.
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Targeting stolen money

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
AG says lawsuits against  public officials show need  for better oversight.
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Unifying Indiana courts

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Unification of courts is leading to greater efficiency and cooperation.
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Judge rejects dental coverage cap

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Ruling puts Medicaid dental program in jeopardy.
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Knowing the possible consequences

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Legal community works to ensure defendants know plea agreements could impact immigration status.
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Disciplinary actions 11/23/11

November 23, 2011
IL Staff
Read the latest disciplinary actions issued by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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COA orders trial court to award credit for time served

November 22, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled a trial court erred in calculating credit for time served but found the record was insufficient to prove that additional credit time should be awarded for the defendant’s participation in a drug-treatment program.
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Magistrate applicants sought

November 22, 2011
IL Staff
St. Joseph Circuit Court Judge Michael Gotsch is seeking applicants for the position of magistrate judge.
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Tax Court rules on inheritance tax valuation

November 22, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Tax Court has rejected an estate’s attempt to sidestep trial rules by allowing verified tax returns to stand in for affidavits in determining a property’s fair market value.
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Justices accept two cases

November 21, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer in two cases, one examining medical malpractice liability evidence for damages and another examining how Marion County’s mass tort litigation rules impact the overall goal of orderly and speedy justice in an asbestos case.
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Court relies on equitable estoppel determination test

November 21, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Examining both state and national caselaw in an appeal involving an Allen County car crash, the Indiana Court of Appeals has used a two-part test in determining whether equitable estoppel is available to those filing a claim.
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COA: Serving notice on an adult's parents isn't adequate

November 21, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a trial court can’t serve notice on the home of someone’s parents if that adult doesn’t live there and expect that to serve as adequate notice for the party to appear in court.
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7th Circuit decides MDL appeal question

November 18, 2011
Michael Hoskins

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeal wants each federal judge handling multi-district litigation to have the flexibility to choose between sending parts of unresolved cases back to the original courts or keep those in one jurisdiction, once a final district-level decision has been made and the time for appeal arrives.

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COA affirms trial courts in truant kindergartner cases

November 18, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has sided with the trial courts in two cases that have been consolidated in one appeal in determining that referral and attendance records for truant students were admissible at trial under the state’s business records exception.
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Hammond City judge gets 60-day unpaid suspension

November 17, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has ordered that Hammond City Court Judge Jeffrey A. Harkin be suspended for 60 days without pay.
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Court won't remove trial judge in Simon case

November 17, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has dismissed an appeal filed by Melvin Simon’s widow, finding that it doesn’t have jurisdiction to remove a Hamilton Superior judge from the case involving the late mall-magnate’s estate valued at more than $2 billion.
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Justices rule on applicable statute of limitations

November 17, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court decided Thursday that the period within the general statute of limitations controls the limitation period when a medical provider may seek payment of outstanding bills for authorized treatment to an employer’s worker. The justices came to that conclusion after finding the Worker’s Compensation Act is silent on what the applicable limitation period is for this matter.
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COA finds Army discipline does not exempt defendant from prosecution

November 17, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court denial of a man’s motion to dismiss, rejecting his argument that being reprimanded by the United States Army precludes him from prosecution for the same offense.
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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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