Courts

Past associations with Conour get lawyers named in civil suits

August 28, 2013
William Conour’s multi-million-dollar fraud has produced an avalanche of state and federal lawsuits naming as defendants several attorneys who used to work with the once-prominent personal-injury and wrongful-death attorney.
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Massa stays in Rockport case despite calls for recusal

August 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana Supreme Court Justice Mark Massa on Aug. 14 denied a formal motion arguing that he should recuse himself from a pending case concerning a controversial power plant in Rockport. The project is backed by a longtime friend of Massa and former aide to Gov. Mitch Daniels, whose administration championed the project.
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Failure to report

August 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
The arm of the Indiana Supreme Court that enforces rules governing the admission and discipline of lawyers has been in violation of one of those rules for several years.
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Ethanol plant emissions suit may be bound for Indiana Supreme Court

August 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s ethanol industry faces an uncertain regulatory environment and likely more stringent emissions standards after a recent Indiana Court of Appeals ruling. A state agency will ask the Indiana Supreme Court to hear the case, as several corn-to-fuel plant operators also are expected to do.
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Farm smells ignite debate but no consensus reached

August 28, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Before dinner can be prepared and served at the table, the food has to be raised on a farm. However, Old MacDonald’s Farm with its placid scenes of pigs and cows is a shrinking segment of American farming, being replaced with large industrial agricultural operations with hundreds and thousands of animals.
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3 things to know about the boundaries of closing arguments

August 28, 2013
Attorneys James Bell and Mike Gaerte discuss the three things that criminal defense attorneys should know about the limits of a prosecutor's closing arguments.
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New planning report form now in use in Northern District

August 28, 2013
John Maley
Effective Aug. 14, the Northern District of Indiana has a new form for the “Report of Parties’ Planning Meeting” that is required to be submitted after the parties’ Rule 26(f) planning conference. This new form is to be used going forward.
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Expired time limit does not prevent estoppel argument, Supreme Court rules

August 27, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Citing the reasoning in a dissenting opinion, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled an injured driver can present his argument of why he should be allowed to file a lawsuit against a government entity even though the time limit has expired.
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State Fair properly stripped champion sheep title, but penalties merit hearing

August 23, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana State Fair Board’s decision to strip a winner of his grand champion sheep prize will stand, but the 4-H’er was entitled to a hearing on penalties, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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7th Circuit reinstates smelly washer class actions

August 23, 2013
Dave Stafford
Two class actions claiming Kenmore washing machines sold at Sears stores were defective were reinstated by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday after certification of the suits was vacated in June by the U.S. Supreme Court.
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‘The State is the State’ and they share the same fate, Supreme Court rules

August 23, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Department of Correction’s motion to obligate a convicted sex offender to continue registering was blocked by the Indiana Supreme Court on the grounds that “the State is the State.”
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Mother may petition for college expenses for emancipated children

August 22, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Two amendments made by the Indiana General Assembly to the termination of child support and emancipation statute allow for a mother’s college support petition for two emancipated children to stand.
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Foreclosure affirmed on transferred mortgage

August 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
A couple who stopped making mortgage payments in 2007 and continued to live in their house failed to convince an appeals panel that a trial court erred in determining who holds the note and ruled the mortgage valid despite an allegedly defective acknowledgement.
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Open Door violation not worth $8K, COA rules

August 22, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A group of petitioners who prevailed on an Indiana Open Door Law violation will get reimbursed for attorney fees, but the amount will be reduced by nearly $5,000 after a trial court found the group was requesting money for work unrelated to the claim.
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Dissenting judge argues tenants can’t ask drunk, disorderly man outside door to leave

August 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
An argument that tenants of an apartment complex may not ask a drunk and threatening man to leave common areas convinced one judge, but the majority of an appeals panel found otherwise, warning that such a holding would “defy logic and lead to an absurd result.”
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Convicted Conour wants to keep fees, attorney says

August 21, 2013
IL Staff
Despite pleading guilty to wire fraud on government charges that he took more than $4.5 million from at least 25 clients, William Conour’s public defender argues the former attorney is entitled to some $2 million in legal fees on cases other attorneys worked.
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Mom loses bid to bar DCS child interviews after clean home check

August 21, 2013
Dave Stafford
A mother who challenged a court order granting the Department of Child Services’ petitions to interview her minor children lost her appeal Wednesday, despite her argument that a DCS inspection of her home and her screening found no evidence of drug abuse that had been alleged in a complaint.
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Threats of violence sufficient to order involuntary commitment

August 21, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although an Indianapolis man never harmed another individual, his persistent threats of violence were sufficient to support his involuntary commitment to a mental health facility.
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Tinted-window stop yielding pot arrest by precedent-setting cop upheld

August 20, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer Keith Minch is on a roll in the appellate courts.
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Ex-prosecutor candidate’s bar resignation accepted

August 20, 2013
Dave Stafford
A southwest Indiana attorney and former Democratic candidate for Gibson County prosecutor has been allowed to resign from the bar, according to an order from the Indiana Supreme Court.
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COA affirms probation violation for nonsupport, modifies amount due

August 20, 2013
Dave Stafford
A trial court properly revoked probation of a man sentenced for non-support of a dependent child, but the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the lower court to revise the arrearage.
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Justices to hear case in which glove DNA led to conviction

August 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear a case in which DNA found on a glove was the sole evidence that led to the conviction of a man on a burglary charge in St. Joseph County.
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In adoption case with no winners, SC offers suggestions to avoid similar situations

August 19, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
In reversing the adoption that could remove fraternal twins from the only family they have ever known, the Indiana Supreme Court noted the situation might have been avoided if more than “just the bare minimum” had been done.
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Foreclosure stands against ‘Redemptionist’ claims, appeals panel rules

August 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
A pro se litigant who fought a mortgage foreclosure by attempting to pay a bank with drafts from his purported account at the United States Treasury has no basis to reverse summary judgment in favor of the lender, the Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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ACLU alleges IMPD officers infringed panhandlers’ free-speech rights

August 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
The ACLU of Indiana has filed a federal lawsuit claiming the city and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers violated the free speech rights of indigent panhandlers ordered to move from near Circle Center Mall last week.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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