Courts

Misdemeanant challenges voting lockout

March 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When a former town council member in northern Indiana was sentenced to county jail for two months on a misdemeanor battery conviction, he didn’t realize that experience would take away his right to vote.
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Encouraging diversity in CASA programs

March 16, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Having volunteers and staff who can relate to families that interact with Court Appointed Special Advocates programs has proven invaluable to a number of county-level CASA programs in Indiana. Indianapolis-based Child Advocates Inc. received the National CASA Inclusion Award for its inclusion and diversity plan March 20 at the National CASA conference in Chicago.
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New Southern District magistrate named

March 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis employment law attorney has been chosen as the newest U.S. magistrate judge for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Lawmaker asks General Assembly to study creation of state patent law

March 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana lawmaker wants to explore whether the state should create its own patent law, focusing on specific business method processes that aren’t covered by the federal patent system.
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Welcoming the new tax judge

March 16, 2011
IL Staff
Martha Blood Wentworth took her oath of office and received her robe at an investiture ceremony March 8.
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Disciplinary Actions - March 16, 2011

March 16, 2011
IL Staff
Read about recent disciplinary actions ordered by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Court declines Medicaid appeal

March 16, 2011
IL Staff
A divided Indiana Supreme Court declined to accept a case asking whether Medicaid rejected applicants can include information on appeal that wasn’t included in their initial applications.
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No bankruptcy abuse by ex-mayor

March 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Reversing her earlier decision, U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee Nancy Gargula in the Northern District of Indiana determined March 7 that former East Chicago Mayor Robert Pastrick’s income is not too high to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and his filing should not be considered to be an abuse of the process.
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AG wants trustee for casino revenue

March 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Two days of court mediation are scheduled in mid-April for the long-running litigation concerning East Chicago casino revenue and economic development agreements, but the Indiana attorney general wants the city council to consider setting up a trusteeship for the millions of dollars generated through those agreements.
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High court taking public defender applications

March 16, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court is now accepting applications for state public defender. The current state public defender, Susan Carpenter, is retiring in May.
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Habeas proceeding stays execution

March 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge has postponed the April execution of a St. Joseph County man convicted of killing his wife, her ex-husband, and her son.
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Bar Crawl - March 16, 2011

March 16, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger, IL Staff
The Evansville Bar Association will celebrate Law Day 2011 in late April. On April 28, mock trials and a student lunch will take place; Applications for an October 2011 to October 2013 term on the Indiana State Bar Association board of governors are due April 1.
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Judges split on whether 2 insurers must pay for damage

March 15, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented from the majority’s holding that two insurers were financially responsible for the damages caused by a fractured storm pipe and subsequent flooding of a school. The judge believed that only one of the responsible party’s insurers had to pay for the property damage.
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High court takes 4 cases

March 15, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to four cases, including two dealing with whether a trial court should assert exemptions in garnishment actions on behalf of pro se debtors.
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7th Circuit reverses on relation back issue

March 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A plaintiff attempting to sue his employer for breach of contract should have been able to file an amended complaint with relation back to the date of the original complaint in order to correct the defendant even though the statute of limitations had expired, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded today.
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Judges affirm insurer has no duty to defend

March 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court that a homeowner’s insurance policy is clear that the ingestion of methadone by a guest at his house and his subsequent injuries are excluded from the policy’s liability coverage.
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Appeals court to hear arguments at Indy high school

March 14, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals will visit Pike High School in Indianapolis this week to hear arguments in a case in which a man appeals his drug dealing conviction.
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High court taking applications for state public defender

March 11, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court is now accepting applications for state public defender. The current state public defender, Susan Carpenter, is retiring in May.
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7th Circuit takes girls' basketball schedule case

March 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals will decide whether several Indiana school corporations discriminate against girls’ basketball teams by scheduling more of their games on weeknights as compared to the boys’ basketball games.
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Trial court should decide educational credit time

March 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court judge should be the one to determine whether a defendant who completes an educational degree before sentencing is entitled to educational credit time, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
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Attorney general files 'notario publico' civil suits

March 10, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Attorney General’s Office filed a pair of civil consumer deception lawsuits Wednesday against two non-attorneys for offering immigration services that constitute the unauthorized practice of law.
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Comment sought on reappointment of magistrate judge

March 10, 2011
IL Staff
Members of the bar and the public are invited to comment as to whether United States Magistrate Judge Michael G. Naville of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division, should be reappointed to a new four-year term.
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Judges order new trial following juror issue

March 9, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A case involving the issue of a prosecutor’s use of a peremptory strike against an African-American member of the jury pool has appeared before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for the third time. This time, the judges vacated the two defendants’ murder and robbery convictions and ordered a new trial.
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COA: Admission of prior convictions fundamental error

March 9, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for a sex offender convicted of failing to register while having a prior conviction. The court ruled the evidence regarding his prior convictions for failing to register shouldn’t have been admitted at trial.
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Trustee: Pastrick's bankruptcy not an abuse

March 8, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Reversing her decision from a month ago, a federal trustee has determined that former East Chicago Mayor Robert Pastrick’s income is not too high to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and his filing should not be considered to be an abuse of the process.
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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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