Courts

Comment period open for proposed probate rules

May 6, 2011
IL Staff
The final proposed Marion County Probate Rules and Probate Forms, which have been approved by the Marion Superior Court Executive Committee and the General Term of Marion Superior Court, are now available for review and comment.
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Justices address judicial-temperance presumption

May 6, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court used an opinion Thursday to reaffirm the limitation described in Fletcher v. State on the judicial-temperance presumption.
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Judges order modification of dissolution decree

May 5, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a trial court abused its discretion when it didn’t consider a $160,000 change in value of a property when calculating marital assets and distributing marital property.
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Chief Justice given Circle of Hope Award

May 5, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard received the Richard M. Fairbanks Circle of Hope Award Wednesday in Indianapolis. He received the award at the 10th annual Fairbanks Circle of Hope Dinner.
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Beech Grove City judge publicly admonished

May 5, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has publicly admonished Beech Grove City Court Judge Charles W. Hunter for comments he made last year to an Indianapolis television reporter.
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Evansville bar names Gresham award winner

May 4, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Evansville Bar Association presented the James Bethel Gresham Freedom Award to Vanderburgh Circuit Judge Carl A. Heldt on April 29 at its annual Law Day dinner.
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Appellate court orders reinstatement of jury verdict

May 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Finding a trial judge erred when granting a new trial because he didn’t make specific findings in setting aside a jury verdict, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the lower court and ordered the jury verdict reinstated.
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Landlord sent itemized letter on time

May 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed judgment in favor of a tenant in a security deposit dispute, ruling that the landlord did deliver an itemized damages letter within statutory deadlines.
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7th Circuit addresses sex offender registration law

May 3, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has joined a majority of other circuits nationwide in finding that the federal sex offender registration law is not a retroactive punishment on those who were convicted prior to 2006 and traveled after the law was enacted.
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Judges split on District Court’s use of Colorado River abstention doctrine

May 3, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that a homeowners’ citizen suit under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act against a solid waste dump should be allowed despite two similar suits pending in state court filed by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. However, the court split when determining whether the District Court erred by dismissing the homeowners’ suit based on the Colorado River abstention doctrine.
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Committees seek comment on problem-solving courts, programs

May 3, 2011
IL Staff
The Court Alcohol and Drug Program Advisory Committee and the Problem-Solving Courts Committee of the Judicial Conference of Indiana are seeking public comment on the new rules governing problem-solving courts and amendments to the court-administered drug and alcohol programs.
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SCOTUS denies cert, upholding Indiana's judicial canons

May 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
It’s official: Indiana’s judicial canons are constitutional and the rules don’t infringe upon a judge or candidate’s free speech rights.
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Pinched nerve causes chief justice to miss arguments, Evansville event

May 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard is dealing with a painful pinched nerve in his neck but is working on managing the pain and has not been hospitalized as a result of the condition, said Supreme Court Public Information Officer Kathryn Dolan.
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SCOTUS denies Indiana judicial canons case

May 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States has refused to take a case asking whether Indiana’s judicial canons constitutionally infringe on the free speech rights of those on or vying for seats on the bench.
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General Assembly wraps up on time

May 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 2011 session of the Indiana General Assembly ended on schedule despite the weeks-long walkout by House Democrats. Now, bills impacting Indiana’s courts and legal community make their way to the governor’s desk.
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COA rules on unjust enrichment issue for first time

April 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
For the first time, the Indiana Court of Appeals addressed an issue involving express contracts and equitable remedies and decided that the existence of a contract, in and of itself, doesn’t preclude equitable relief which isn’t inconsistent with the contract.
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First impression issue on 'in loco parentis' doctrine

April 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Until Friday, Indiana courts had never specifically addressed the application of the in loco parentis doctrine in the context of a private club sport that isn’t affiliated with a school. The Indiana Court of Appeals addressed the issue in a lawsuit against a private club volleyball coach and the volleyball club following the injury of a minor player while on private property.
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Judges split on stalking conviction

April 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided Friday in reversing a man’s conviction of stalking. The decision hinged on their interpretations of the term “repeated” in Indiana’s anti-stalking laws.
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Indianapolis attorney to represent accused USS Cole bomber mastermind

April 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A week after the federal government announced it would seek the death penalty against the prime suspect in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, the Department of Defense has appointed an Indianapolis attorney to represent the man who will face the first military tribunal under President Barack Obama’s administration.
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7th Circuit rejects ineffective trial assistance claim

April 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the denial of a defendant’s motion to vacate his guilty plea, claiming ineffective assistance of trial counsel. The judges found the record foreclosed any claim that the man’s attorney was constitutionally ineffective or that the man didn’t otherwise knowingly and voluntarily plead guilty.
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Appellate court to visit Wabash for arguments

April 28, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals travels to Wabash Friday to hear arguments in an insurance case.
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COA splits on need for evidentiary hearing in revocation

April 27, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split as to whether only a chronological case summary entry indicating a man’s admissions to violating terms of community corrections placement is enough to bypass holding an evidentiary hearing.
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Credit-time statute amendment not retroactive

April 27, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An amendment to the statute governing credit-time eligibility for people on home detention in criminal corrections programs is not retroactive, therefore, a defendant isn’t entitled to credit time under the amendment, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday.
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Justices reverse forfeiture of truck

April 27, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court agreed with the lower appellate court that a man’s truck shouldn’t have been lost in a civil forfeiture action because the state didn’t prove any substantial connection between the truck and the commission of a crime.
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Bill expands merit selection

April 27, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Lawmakers consider election vs. selection of Superior county judges in Lake County.
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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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