Courts

Lawmakers pass Marion Co. small claims reforms

April 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
The General Assembly Wednesday afternoon passed modest reforms of the nine township small claims courts in Marion County, a far cry from recommendations of multiple judicial studies to restructure the courts.
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Judge may sequester house blast jury during deliberations

April 29, 2015
 Associated Press
The judge who'll preside over one defendant's murder trial in a deadly Indianapolis house explosion says he may sequester jurors during deliberations.
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Appellate court records make switch to Odyssey May 4

April 29, 2015
IL Staff
Beginning next week, basic case information on appeals before the Indiana Supreme Court and Court of Appeals will be available to the public through the Odyssey docket. The Indiana Tax Court made the switch in December.
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Wiretap evidence properly admitted at murder trial

April 29, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man's conviction of murdering his stepfather, finding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting wiretap evidence in which the defendant told a friend he was involved in the killing.
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Justices affirm upward deviation from child support guidelines

April 29, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not commit clear error when it deviated from the Indiana Child Support Guidelines by not granting a father the full parenting time credit calculated and allowed his ex-wife to claim their child each year on her taxes, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. The justices also outlined the best practices to be used when a trial court conducts summary proceedings.
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Brothers’ murder convictions upheld by COA

April 29, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Two brothers convicted in the murder of a man with whom they previously had an altercation are not entitled to a new trial based on one juror's concerns for her safety after recognizing someone sitting in the gallery, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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3 brothers plead guilty to massive biofuels scam

April 29, 2015
IBJ Staff
Three brothers have pleaded guilty to participating in a biofuels scam that federal investigators are calling “one of the largest tax and securities fraud schemes in Indiana history."
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COA affirms new trial on motorcyclist’s negligence claim

April 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it set aside a jury verdict allocating 70 percent of fault to a motorcyclist who hit a dog that darted in front of his bike, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The motorcyclist was injured in the accident and sued the dog's owners.
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Former Lilly partner set to pay $2.3B to settle Actos cases

April 28, 2015
 Bloomberg News
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. executives have agreed to pay more than $2.3 billion to resolve lawsuits accusing the company of hiding its Actos diabetes medicine’s cancer risks, three people familiar with the accord said.
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Appeals court declines to revise battery sentence

April 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Even though a trial court did not specify why it imposed consecutive sentences for a man convicted of two counts of battery - one as a Level 6 felony and the other a Class A misdemeanor - the Indiana Court of Appeals found the rationale for consecutive sentences is apparent on the face of the record.
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Mother’s failure to timely contest adoption dooms appeal

April 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who failed to give notice to the court within 30 days after learning her child's stepmother sought to adopt the child could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that her due process was denied in the matter.
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US Supreme Court hears historic same-sex marriage arguments

April 28, 2015
 Associated Press
Pivotal Supreme Court of the United States Justice Anthony Kennedy did not tip his hand Tuesday as the high court heard historic arguments over the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry.
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US Supreme Court to hear historic same-sex marriage arguments

April 28, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States  is set to hear historic arguments in cases that could make same-sex marriage the law of the land.
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8 apply to be next COA judge

April 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court released the names of the eight people who want to replace Court of Appeals Judge Ezra Friedlander after he retires from the bench in August.
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Woman’s battery conviction reversed due to fatal variance

April 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A couple arrested after they screamed and resisted arrest at a local Department of Child Services' office after learning their child was being removed from their care had all but one of their convictions from the incident upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday.
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BLE announces names of 174 who passed February bar exam

April 27, 2015
IL Staff
Nearly 175 people have passed the Indiana Bar Exam. The Board of Law Examiners posted the names of the 174 successful test-takers Monday. Results are from the February 2015 exam.
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SCOTUS considers excessive force, discrimination and personal data issues

April 27, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States said Monday it will decide whether websites and other firms that collect personal data can be sued for publishing inaccurate information even if the mistakes don't cause any actual harm. The court is also considering time limits for discrimination claims and issues involving excessive force against inmates awaiting trial.
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Long odds for insanity defense in theater shooting trial

April 27, 2015
 Associated Press
The parents of Colorado theater shooter James Holmes joined the parents of his victims in line on a gray and drizzly Monday morning before entering the courthouse where lawyers prepared to declare why he should be executed or spend the rest of his life in a mental hospital.
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Boston Marathon bomber's lawyer urges jury to spare his life

April 27, 2015
 Associated Press
A lawyer for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev urged a jury Monday to spare the young man's life, portraying him as "a good kid" who was led astray by his belligerent older brother.
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Small Indiana town sued for rejecting proposed cell tower

April 27, 2015
 Associated Press
A company that wants to build a cellphone tower in northeast Indiana is suing a small town, alleging the Zanesville Town Council is violating the federal Communications Act by using zoning ordinances to keep a wireless communications facility out.
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Ex-Valpo attorney pleads guilty to wire fraud, money laundering

April 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
Former Valparaiso lawyer Clark Holesinger will plead guilty to federal wire fraud and money-laundering charges accusing him of stealing $2 million, according to an information announced Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
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Lawsuit against hip replacement maker to remain in Indiana

April 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The lawsuit brought by 19 people in Virginia and Mississippi against Warsaw, Indiana-based DePuy Orthopaedics alleging injuries from a now-recalled hip implant will remain in Indiana over the medical manufacturer’s objections.
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Judges dismiss appeal over deposition prep time

April 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because a trial court's decision to deny ordering the defendants to pay for the time the plaintiffs' expert witness spends preparing for his defense deposition is not a final judgment, the plaintiffs should have appealed under Ind. Appellate Rule 14(B). Since they did not, the Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed their appeal.
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County can’t raise tax to fund emergency expenses

April 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court affirmed the decision by the Department of Local Government Finance to deny the Clark County Board of Commissioners' request to increase the county's Cumulative Capital Development Fund tax rate for the 2012 budget year. The county sought the additional funds for a rainy day fund and to cover unexpected emergency costs.
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Justices affirm LWOP sentence, admission of suicide note

April 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A southern Indiana man challenging his robbery and murder convictions and sentence to spend the rest of his life in prison lost his appeal before the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday. The justices rejected the man’s claim that his sentence should be reduced to a term of years.
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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. 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)

  4. "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.

  5. 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.

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