Courts

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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COA reverses marijuana conviction based on intent

March 8, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
The majority of an Indiana Court of Appeals panel today reversed a conviction of marijuana possession after the defendant contended there was insufficient evidence that she constructively possessed the drug.
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Judges uphold man's remanded drug sentence

March 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s argument that the District Court violated the cross-appeal rule when it based his new sentence on remand on evidence that wasn’t relied upon at his first sentencing hearing.
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Johnson County Historical Society gets legal history grant

March 7, 2011
IL Staff
The Johnson County Historical Society has been awarded an Indiana Legal History Grant by the Indiana Humanities Council and the Indiana Supreme Court, the council announced today. The $2,000 award will fund projects and research to increase the understanding of the legal history of the county among those served by the county courts.
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Judges visit Jeffersonville for arguments

March 7, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals travels to southern Indiana Wednesday to hear arguments in a case involving credit time.
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Brizzi discipline case could set new prejudice standard

March 4, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Commission wants to set a new standard of “actual prejudice” for attorney misconduct. In making that argument, the validity of two high-profile murder convictions that Carl Brizzi secured during his time as prosecutor in the state’s largest county are being questioned.
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7th Circuit denies petition to remove judge

March 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied a man’s petition for writ of mandamus to remove a federal judge from a case he is involved with that’s still pending in District Court. The man failed to intervene in the case and his interest in the case is too uncertain to give him the rights of a party automatically, the judges ruled Friday.
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Man still fighting dismissal of bar exam suit

March 3, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The man who sued the Indiana Supreme Court and state Board of Law Examiners because he wants to take the bar exam without going to law school wants a federal judge to reopen his case, arguing that he has no other legal recourse available and the court’s refusal to allow relief is contrary to established precedent.
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Judges uphold IATC’s issuance of alcohol dealer permits

March 3, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that an association comprised of retail package liquor stores isn’t entitled to injunctive relief preventing the state’s Alcohol and Tobacco Commission from issuing permits to stores in the same manner it has for the last 30 years.
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Investiture set for new tax judge

March 2, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana Tax Court Judge Martha Blood Wentworth’s formal robing ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. March 8 in the Indiana Supreme Court courtroom. Judge Thomas Fisher will preside over the ceremony.
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Porter County can't leave RDA

March 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A northwestern Indiana county can’t withdraw from a regional development authority created by lawmakers to facilitate economic development, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Competitor lacks standing for judicial review

March 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court was correct in dismissing the petition for judicial review from a liquor wholesaler who challenged the issuance of a wine and liquor permit to a competitor because the wholesaler lacked standing, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Court weighs needs when timing judicial suspensions

March 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When deciding that a judge must be suspended and determining when that time off the bench should be, decision-makers must maintain a delicate balance.
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Disciplinary dividing line = R-E-S-P-E-C-T

March 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Two recent rulings by the Indiana Supreme Court send a message to any attorney who might be accused of misconduct and face disciplinary proceedings.
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Prosecution raises awareness of human trafficking

March 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
When it comes to human trafficking, most people who are unfamiliar with the crime visualize one person holding another hostage and giving them limited contact with the rest of the world. Some envision a basement in a dungeon-like setting with chains or other restraining devices, say advocates for victims of human trafficking.
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Chief public defender retiring after 30 years

March 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
If there had been more job prospects for English literature graduates in the early 1970s, Susan Carpenter may not have ever become Indiana’s state public defender.
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Would bill make immigrants feel unwelcome?

March 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
As a contentious immigration law that went into effect in Arizona last summer continues to be challenged and further changes are being considered by Arizona lawmakers, similar bills at the state and local level, including one in the Indiana Statehouse, have been gaining traction.
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Hogsett takes his oath as U.S. attorney

March 2, 2011
IL Staff
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Joseph H. Hogsett took his official oath of office on Feb. 18 before a crowd of more than 200 members of the state’s legal community as well as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The investiture ceremony was held at the Indiana Repertory Theatre in Indianapolis.
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Dinsmore sworn in as magistrate

March 2, 2011
IL Staff
U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore received his robe and took the official oath of office on Feb. 25 at an investiture ceremony in the Birch Bayh Federal Building in Indianapolis.
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Judicial panel promotes civic education

March 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court hosted a panel discussion recently to discuss the broad topic of judicial independence, taking a lesson about how the courts operate to an Indianapolis college campus.
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Process outlined for BLE search

March 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A month after applications were submitted for the state Board of Law Examiner’s executive director position, the Indiana Supreme Court has announced its plan to review those applications and narrow the field.
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Change sought for 3rd murder trial

March 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Defense attorneys for former Indiana State Police trooper David Camm have asked the state’s intermediate appellate court to accept an interlocutory appeal and decide whether a special judge should have appointed a new prosecutor to preside over the man’s third trial.
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Disciplinary Actions - 3/2/11

March 2, 2011
See who has been suspended, received a public reprimand, and who resigned.
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  1. Hmmmmm ..... How does the good doctor's spells work on tyrants and unelected bureacrats with nearly unchecked power employing in closed hearings employing ad hoc procedures? Just askin'. ... Happy independence day to any and all out there who are "free" ... Unlike me.

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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