Courts

Judges reduce sentence due to ineffective trial counsel

March 27, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday ordered a Lake Superior court to resentence a man to 23 years for his convictions stemming from a drunken-driving accident that killed another man. Joseph Scott’s trial attorney was ineffective because he failed to inform Scott of the correct maximum sentence he could face.
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Pence gets finalist list for St. Joe judgeship

March 27, 2013
IL Staff
A letter containing the names of the five finalists vying to succeed St. Joseph Superior Judge Michael P. Scopelitis has been delivered to Gov. Mike Pence. Scopelitis will retire in June. The list was tweaked after finalist Elizabeth Hurley was appointed to fill another pending vacancy on the court.
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Attorneys use pro bono tax work to fill the gap

March 27, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Almost immediately after taking her seat on the Indiana Tax Court, Judge Martha Blood Wentworth saw the problem. Flowing into her court were numerous pro se litigants who ended up getting their cases bounced because they had made a procedural error.
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Lawmakers advance bill to aid courthouse restoration, but money is missing

March 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
Nearly every county seat in Indiana could benefit from a bill promoting historic courthouse renovation and maintenance projects. Only problem is, when lawmakers passed the legislation through the Senate they stripped out the money for it.
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Behind the News: Lawsuit over Simon’s bonus may expose board’s mindset

March 27, 2013
Greg Andrews
The $120 million retention bonus that Simon Property Group Inc.’s board awarded David Simon two years ago has spawned a bitter legal battle in Delaware that promises to shed fascinating light on the inner workings of the board.
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Renovation project raises questions on public bidding

March 27, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Contractors claim in lawsuit that a school corporation's financing method circumvented the law.
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Hazing suit weighs college, fraternity liability

March 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
A former freshman pledge hurt as fraternity brothers at Wabash College carried and then dropped him will have his case heard by the Indiana Supreme Court, testing the reach of Indiana’s anti-hazing statute.
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Disciplinary Actions - 3/27/13

March 27, 2013
IL Staff
See who's been suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Indiana solicitor general: ‘Good day’ for traditional marriage at SCOTUS

March 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana and other states against same-sex marriage appeared to make a strong impression on the U.S. Supreme Court justices Tuesday, Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher said after watching arguments in Washington.
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Police following drug package wire into home unconstitutional, COA rules

March 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
Police violated Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure when they used a parcel wire to track the opening of a shipment of marijuana in an Indianapolis man’s home, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Voucher program stands, Indiana Supreme Court rules

March 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s school voucher program, considered the nation’s widest-reaching, is constitutional, the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously ruled Tuesday.
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Indiana Supreme Court: school vouchers constitutional

March 26, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana’s school voucher program is constitutional, the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously ruled Tuesday.
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Pence appoints Hurley to St. Joseph bench

March 25, 2013
IL Staff
Gov. Mike Pence on Monday made his first appointment to the judiciary, announcing Elizabeth C. Hurley will fill a vacancy when St. Joseph Superior Judge Roland W. Chamblee retires March 31.
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High School Mock Trial Championship volunteers can earn free CLE

March 25, 2013
IL Staff
Volunteers are needed to judge mock trials in May, when Indianapolis for the first time will host the National High School Mock Trial Championship. Attorneys who volunteer to judge will earn free continuing legal education credit. 
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Prospective juror’s criticism of lawyer OK in verdict for hospital

March 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
When a prospective juror in a wrongful death lawsuit against a hospital said he believed a lawyer was suing to make money, that attorney’s failure to ask the judge for an admonishment of the jury pool waived her later argument for a mistrial, the Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Lake County judge pro tem appointed to fill Bonaventura vacancy

March 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
Senior Judge Thomas W. Webber Sr. was appointed a judge pro tem late Friday as the Indiana Supreme Court intervened further in a controversy over who will be the next judge of the Lake Superior Court Juvenile Division.
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Judge tosses township jurisdiction challenge in collection cases

March 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
A federal judge has ruled that Marion County collections cases need not be filed in the township where a defendant lives or a contract was signed, a key ruling regarding a practice criticized as “forum shopping.”
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White claims Brizzi ‘ignorant’ of law, jurors wowed by Super Bowl

March 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
Former Secretary of State Charlie White says his convictions on six charges ranging from vote fraud to theft should be tossed because they violated state and federal law. He also claims that his lawyer, former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi “was ignorant of the law.”
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Supreme Court blocks Lake Superior judge’s transfer bid

March 21, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday afternoon issued an emergency order preventing a Lake County judge from taking over the vacancy created when a fellow judge was tapped to lead the Department of Child Services.
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Justices order resentencing on habitual offender sentences

March 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday reversed the part of a White Superior Court’s sentencing order that a man who pleaded guilty to theft and being a habitual offender must serve his sentence consecutively with a case out of Tippecanoe County.
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Federal prosecutor opposes funds for Conour, raises concern over assets

March 21, 2013
Dave Stafford
A federal prosecutor says resigned personal injury attorney William Conour should not receive $10,000 from a court fund for living expenses. A court filing objecting to Conour’s request raises concern that he might try to liquidate assets the FBI inventoried.
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Justices reaffirm ruling on sentence enhancements under habitual offender statute

March 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Thursday granted the state’s request for a rehearing in a case in which the justices determined that Anthony Dye’s sentence for unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, which was enhanced under the general habitual offender statute, was an impermissible double enhancement.
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COA affirms changing boy’s last name

March 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The mother of a 5-year-old boy was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the Marion Circuit Court erred in granting his father’s petition to change the boy’s surname to his last name.
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Cedar Lake allowed to dissolve Parks Department, board

March 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Lake Superior judge erred when she used Dillon’s Rule to determine the scope of the town of Cedar Lake’s legal authority to dissolve its park board and Parks Department, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The proper legal inquiry is based on the state’s Home Rule Act.
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Judges rule against commissioners in eminent domain dispute

March 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
In a case involving the use of eminent domain to acquire land to expand the runway at the Clark County Airport, the Indiana Court of Appeals encouraged lawyers and the courts to stop using the phrase “jurisdiction over a particular case” when the term “legal error” should be used.
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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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