Regional News

Federal judge upholds Evansville man's death sentence

April 4, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge in Indianapolis has upheld the death sentence of a condemned man who killed his wife and two young children in Evansville a decade ago.
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Appellate court affirms arbitration on claims against college

March 29, 2011
Michael Hoskins
With one judge frustrated that Indiana residents and students may have been “hornswoggled” by a college’s advertisements about being accredited, the Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld an order compelling arbitration on a claim that three students were fraudulently induced to enroll because of misrepresentation about that accreditation.
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AG files criminal UPL, tax evasion charges against ‘notario publico’

March 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Adding to what it has already done in targeting two “notario publicos” for illegally offering immigration services, the Indiana Attorney General’s Office has now filed a criminal Unauthorized Practice of Law charge and several tax evasion counts against one of those non-lawyers who was operating in Indianapolis.
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Misdemeanant challenges voting lockout

March 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When a former town council member in northern Indiana was sentenced to county jail for two months on a misdemeanor battery conviction, he didn’t realize that experience would take away his right to vote.
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President shares MCBA goals

March 16, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Minority bar associations continue to benefit the Indiana legal community by offering diverse perspectives. Members benefit from networking opportunities, and the bars help to maintain a positive professional presence in the communities they serve.
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Encouraging diversity in CASA programs

March 16, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Having volunteers and staff who can relate to families that interact with Court Appointed Special Advocates programs has proven invaluable to a number of county-level CASA programs in Indiana. Indianapolis-based Child Advocates Inc. received the National CASA Inclusion Award for its inclusion and diversity plan March 20 at the National CASA conference in Chicago.
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New Southern District magistrate named

March 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis employment law attorney has been chosen as the newest U.S. magistrate judge for the Southern District of Indiana.
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AG wants trustee for casino revenue

March 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Two days of court mediation are scheduled in mid-April for the long-running litigation concerning East Chicago casino revenue and economic development agreements, but the Indiana attorney general wants the city council to consider setting up a trusteeship for the millions of dollars generated through those agreements.
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Bar Crawl - March 16, 2011

March 16, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger, IL Staff
The Evansville Bar Association will celebrate Law Day 2011 in late April. On April 28, mock trials and a student lunch will take place; Applications for an October 2011 to October 2013 term on the Indiana State Bar Association board of governors are due April 1.
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7th Circuit takes girls' basketball schedule case

March 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals will decide whether several Indiana school corporations discriminate against girls’ basketball teams by scheduling more of their games on weeknights as compared to the boys’ basketball games.
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Attorney general files 'notario publico' civil suits

March 10, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Attorney General’s Office filed a pair of civil consumer deception lawsuits Wednesday against two non-attorneys for offering immigration services that constitute the unauthorized practice of law.
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Comment sought on reappointment of magistrate judge

March 10, 2011
IL Staff
Members of the bar and the public are invited to comment as to whether United States Magistrate Judge Michael G. Naville of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division, should be reappointed to a new four-year term.
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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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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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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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Lawyer commits to pro bono

March 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
The aspirational pro bono goal for attorneys, set by the American Bar Association and endorsed – but not forced – by many states, is around 50 hours. Some Indiana attorneys work this into their annual budget by working with pro bono district plan administrators to accept cases when need exists and when they can easily fit them into their work schedules.
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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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Attorney called to serve

March 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
As an attorney who was being deployed by the U.S. Navy Reserve to serve his country, there was no question that he would go. The support received from his firm for the year he was away made the experience manageable.
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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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COA adopts common-sense rule on providing insurance policies

March 1, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has adopted a common-sense rule many other courts throughout the country have implemented, in requiring insurers to provide copies of their insurance policies to the insured if they ask for one following a loss.
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First impression case tackles wetlands issue

February 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a landowner who raises the subterranean water table on his land and creates a federally regulated wetland may not invoke the common enemy doctrine of water diversion and be shielded from liability to adjoining landowners whose properties as a result become federally regulated wetlands.
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Governor appoints 3 judges

February 28, 2011
IL Staff
Gov. Mitch Daniels made three judicial appointments, filling vacancies in Howard, Jay, and Wells county courts.
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Justices accept certified question on misdemeanor voting

February 24, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has taken a question proposed by a federal court in a suit challenging the law that prevents voting by people with misdemeanor convictions.
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Race for LACE to benefit Kenya legal aid clinic

February 23, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Following the success of last year’s Race for LACE to support the Legal Aid Centre of Eldoret, Kenya, organizers are seeking participants for this year’s event that coincides with the 5K race held with the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on May 7.
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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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