Courts

COA: Survivor benefit plan is a marital asset

January 27, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Ruling on an issue barely touched upon in a previous decision, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined that a survivor benefit plan of a military pension should have been included in the marital pot when calculating asset distribution in a divorce.
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Indiana among states asking for stay of EPA power plant rule

January 27, 2016
IL Staff
A multistate coalition that includes Indiana has asked the Supreme Court of the United States to grant a temporary stay of a new EPA rule requiring existing power plants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
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Judge OKs reworked NCAA concussions deal, with changes

January 27, 2016
 Associated Press
A federal judge gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a reworked head-injury settlement between thousands of former athletes and the National Collegiate Athletic Association that includes a $70 million fund to pay for brain trauma testing and limits legal immunity for the nation's largest college sports governing body.
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Indiana man set for release after conviction is overturned

January 27, 2016
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana man who faced 50 years in prison before the Indiana Supreme Court overturned murder convictions against him and two co-defendants is set for release this week from a state prison.
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Indiana woman gets 50 years in mother's slaying

January 27, 2016
 Associated Press
A 19-year-old northwest Indiana woman has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for killing her mother.
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As drone sales soar, legal and regulatory atmosphere remains turbulent

January 27, 2016
Dave Stafford
Attorneys are at the horizon of what could be a new body of law involving drones, some of which could be decided by the courts.
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Attorneys, courts feel drop in bankruptcy filings

January 27, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Bankruptcy attorney Mark S. Zuckerberg recently described the current state of his practice: “Nobody’s coming into my office; nobody’s calling me; nobody’s paying me.” His loneliness can be tied to the drop in bankruptcy filings. In 2015, petitions nationally fell to 860,182, an 11 percent decline from 2014 and the lowest number of filings since 2007.
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Do-it-yourself dangers

January 27, 2016
Dave Stafford
Where there’s a will, there’s a way to do it yourself with Internet services such as LegalZoom, Nolo and Rocket Lawyer. But attorneys say relying on online form providers for long-term financial and estate planning may not be the wisest investment.
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Specialized courts get boost in State of Judiciary

January 27, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indiana's first commercial courts are announced a week after Rush highlights problem-solving approaches in her annual State of the Judiciary address.
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Selby, Ong nominated for federal bench

January 27, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Even before a confirmation hearing has been gaveled to order or a floor vote scheduled, one nominee to an Indiana vacancy on the federal bench is facing opposition as a home state senator renews his call for a nominating commission.
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Disciplinary Actions - 1/27/16

January 27, 2016
IBJ Staff
Read who recently resigned from the Indiana bar.
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Lawyer sanctioned for ‘abandonment’ of federal case gets reprimand

January 26, 2016
Dave Stafford
A Lake County lawyer whose client learned his battery case against Hammond police was dismissed after his daughter looked up court records online has received discipline from the Indiana Supreme Court: a public reprimand.
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Indy judge selection bill set for Wednesday hearing

January 26, 2016
Dave Stafford
A proposed merit-selection plan giving state lawmakers a strong hand in the nomination and appointment of Marion Superior judges will be introduced Wednesday to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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Lawsuits deluge operator of towing business

January 26, 2016
John Russell, IBJ Staff
Brian Fenner had big plans for his Indianapolis towing company, Sperro Towing and Recovery. His goal was to build a national network of bankruptcy attorneys who would let him know if a struggling client had a vehicle they couldn’t afford to keep. But the plan, which he appears to have hatched at least two years ago, quickly ran into trouble.
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Jury instruction splits Supreme Court

January 25, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Jury instructions that included the interpretation from an appellate ruling split the Indiana Supreme Court as to when trial courts should look beyond the statute.
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30 apply for Indiana Supreme Court vacancy

January 25, 2016
IL Staff
Thirty judges and lawyers have applied to succeed Justice Brent Dickson on the Indiana Supreme Court. The first round of interviews will take place in mid-February.
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Investment broker's plea deal erases 20 felony counts

January 25, 2016
IBJ Staff
An Indianapolis man accused of multiple felony securities fraud counts has reached a plea agreement with the Marion County Prosecutor's Office.
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Indiana justices take case involving denied deposition request

January 25, 2016
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether a man on trial for a drug charge should have been allowed to depose two witnesses before trial. The issue divided the Indiana Court of Appeals in September.
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Justices extend bar on automatic life terms for teenagers

January 25, 2016
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Monday that people serving life terms for murders they committed as teenagers must have a chance to seek their freedom, a decision that could affect more than 1,000 inmates.
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High court upholds government's energy conservation program

January 25, 2016
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States has upheld a 4-year-old federal program that pays large electric customers to save energy during times of peak demand.
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Prosecutor won't pursue case against state lawmaker

January 25, 2016
 Associated Press
A special prosecutor says he will not pursue a criminal case against state Rep. Michael Aylesworth over allegations that he was inside a polling station illegally during election day in November 2014.
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Justices: Officer could open container found after pat-down search

January 22, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer did not commit an unreasonable search when he opened a pill container found following a pat-down search after a man was lawfully placed under arrest for driving without a valid license. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld the search under the state constitution.
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District Court in New Albany closes early

January 22, 2016
IL Staff
Snow has shut down the New Albany division of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Attorney urges jurors in house blast trial to keep open mind

January 22, 2016
 Associated Press
An attorney for a man accused of murder and arson in a house explosion that killed two people urged jurors to keep an open mind despite emotional testimony they will hear during the trial expected to last more than a month.
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Rental car insurance policy excludes UIM coverage

January 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of an insurance company’s motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by a customer injured in a car accident who had purchased optional supplemental liability protection when renting a car. The trial court incorrectly denied the company’s motion for summary judgment on the premise it did not provide uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage to the customer.
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