Courts

Senate gets St. Joe judges bill, with twist

April 8, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The full Indiana Senate will consider in the next week whether St. Joseph Superior judges should be elected or merit-selected and retained by voters. A Senate committee wants the full legislative body to consider that issue, but with a twist: An amendment has been attached to the controversial House Bill 1491.
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Justices uphold death sentence

April 7, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld the sentence for a man sentenced to die for the 2001 rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl in southern Indiana.
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Use of bench warrants still not certain

April 7, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Attorneys have settled a federal case that led to the Marion Superior Court scrapping its practice of issuing bench warrants for the arrest of people who'd failed to appear in civil cases, but a statewide investigation of whether state law allows judges to issue these warrants remains ongoing.
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Single larceny rule doesn't apply in case

April 7, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a man's petition for post-conviction relief, finding the defendant's trial counsel wasn't ineffective for arguing a single larceny rule defense because it wasn't applicable in this case.
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Need remains for GAL/CASA help in Indiana

April 7, 2009
IL Staff
While more than 4,000 Indiana children remain on a waiting list for advocates in cases that involve abuse and neglect, Guardian Ad Litem/Court Appointed Special Advocates programs recruited and trained 911 new volunteers, a 50 percent increase from 2007, according to the 2008 statewide Court Appointed Special Advocates statistics made available today.
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High court rules on recovery issue

April 7, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Under the statute governing the wrongful death of an unmarried adult with no dependents, the amount recoverable for reasonable medical and hospital expenses necessitated by the alleged wrongful conduct is the total amount ultimately accepted after contractual arrangements with an insurer, Medicare, or Medicaid, and not the total of the charges billed, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.
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Comment sought on copyright jury instructions

April 6, 2009
IL Staff
The 7th Circuit Pattern Jury Instruction Committee and Copyright Subcommittee are seeking public comment on proposed copyright pattern civil jury instructions for the court.
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COA to hear insurance, attorney fee cases

April 6, 2009
IL Staff
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges will hear arguments Tuesday in Evansville in an insurance coverage case while another panel in Indianapolis will hear arguments in a case involving the division of attorney fees.
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Supreme Court grants 3 transfers

April 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted three transfers Thursday to cases involving what manner an appellate court could reverse a revocation of probation, how to calculate guardian ad litem fees, and whether there is a rebuttable presumption that children ages 7 through 14 can't be found contributorily negligent.
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Attorney didn't commit conversion, malpractice

April 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals today affirmed the dismissal of conversion and legal malpractice claims filed in LaPorte County against an Illinois attorney following the settlement of a wrongful death claim in Illinois.
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Seminar, CLE on Criminal Justice Act

April 2, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Federal Community Defenders will host a seminar for attorneys interested in joining the Criminal Justice Act panel of attorneys to represent indigent clients accused of crimes against the United States.
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Federal judicial nomination hearing draws crowd

April 2, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Senate Judiciary Committee considered U.S. District Judge David F. Hamilton's nomination for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals at a Wednesday afternoon hearing.
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Judges: Vehicle stop by cops reasonable

April 2, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man's illegal gun possession conviction, ruling the South Bend Police officer who made the traffic stop had reasonable suspicion the car may be linked to a shooting in an apartment complex.
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Justices affirm cop killer's death sentence

April 1, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A man sentenced to die for fatally shooting a Morgan County sheriff's deputy in 2001 will remain on death row despite his appellate claims he's mentally ill and not eligible for execution.
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Comment sought on ADR rule changes

April 1, 2009
IL Staff
Changes may be coming to the rules governing Alternative Dispute Resolution in Indiana.
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Senate Judiciary holds nomination hearing

April 1, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A busy Congressional calendar has caused the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to move its nomination hearing to a room without cameras, which leaves Indiana's legal community in the dark about an Indianapolis-based federal judge's nomination for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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No vote yet on St. Joe judges bill

April 1, 2009
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana Senate committee debated this morning a bill that would make it so St. Joseph Superior judges are elected rather than chosen by merit selection and later retained by voters.
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High court addresses Protected Person Statute

March 31, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Addressing for the first time under the current Rules of Evidence a case regarding a protected person testifying at trial as well as by videotape or other statement, the Indiana Supreme Court held that if the statements are consistent and both are otherwise admissible, testimony of a protected person can't be presented both in open court and in a pre-recorded statement through the Protected Person Statute.
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Appellate docket offers more public access

March 31, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Docket entries for more than 200 juvenile-related cases are now publicly available online through the Indiana Appellate Clerk's Office.
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First impression in 'non-suspension' rule case

March 31, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals determined in a case of first impression that the state's 'non-suspension rule' in Indiana Code depends on the status of the prior criminal conviction at the time of sentencing for a subsequent conviction.
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Text messages must be separately authenticated

March 31, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined text messages are subject to separate authentication before being admitted into evidence, much like the authentication process that data saved in a computer must undergo before being admitted.
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St. Joe judges election bill hearing Wednesday

March 31, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee will meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Room 130 at the Statehouse to discuss several bills on first reading, including House Bill 1491, which would require nonpartisan elections of St. Joseph Superior judges.
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Plea puts stop to federal death penalty trial

March 30, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The first-ever federal death penalty trial for the Southern District of Indiana was set to start today, but a plea agreement means a trial likely won't be happening at all for a man connected to a violent killing spree four years ago.
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Judges at law school to hear defamation case

March 30, 2009
IL Staff
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges will head a few blocks from their Statehouse courtroom to Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis to hear arguments in a case involving defamation and invasion of privacy claims stemming from a letter written to church leaders.
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Man not prejudiced by attorney's assistance

March 27, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Even though a defendant's counsel was found to be ineffective based on his "television fantasy" trial strategy, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court denial of his petition for habeas corpus because he didn't show he was prejudiced by his attorney's performance.
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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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