7th Circuit Court of Appeals

7th Circuit affirms men’s drug convictions

April 16, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
In a consolidated appeal brought by two men convicted on charges stemming from a heroin conspiracy, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed their convictions. Ronald Zitt, who went to trial, argued he was entitled to a mistrial. Joshua Wampler pleaded guilty but argued he should be allowed to appeal.
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Trial court needs to take another look at alibi defense

April 16, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a man’s petition for habeas corpus and ordered the District Court to take another look at the defense counsel’s alibi defense investigation.
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7th Circuit: Federal courts or juries can’t decide religious questions

April 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Taking up three appeals stemming from a lawsuit filed surrounding control of religious documents and artifacts from the appearance of the Virgin Mary, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found that a federal judge erred in ruling that it should be up to a jury to decide whether a party to the lawsuit is still a religious sister.
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7th Circuit upholds precedent but asks for further guidance from U.S. Sentencing Commission

April 9, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a gun buyer had his sentence affirmed, his argument for reduced time has caused the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to call upon the Sentencing Commission to clarify a section of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
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7th Circuit revives suit for woman with MS fired from city job

April 9, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis woman who worked in the city’s Department of Metropolitan Development and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis may pursue her discrimination and retaliation claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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7th Circuit affirms for employer in rental equipment fatality

April 9, 2013
Dave Stafford
An employer bears no liability in a lawsuit brought by the estate of a man who died operating a rented 40-foot boom lift, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Broken gun still a firearm for felon-conviction purposes

April 4, 2013
Dave Stafford
A gun that can no longer shoot is still a gun for purposes of federal firearms convictions, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Presence of alternate juror in deliberation room not reversible error

April 4, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man’s conviction of methamphetamine and firearms crimes in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana was not prejudiced by the presence of an alternate juror in the deliberation room, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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7th Circuit affirms defense verdict in motorcycle crash

April 4, 2013
Dave Stafford
A woman who lost her legs after an Indianapolis motorcycle crash isn’t entitled to a new trial even though hearsay evidence was improperly admitted, including her statements that the crash was her fault.
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7th Circuit: no liability insurance coverage for associate’s error

April 2, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a Northern District judge’s conclusion that a Dyer law firm’s professional liability insurer did not have to cover a mistake by an associate in a client’s failed business deal because the firm didn’t timely notify its insurer of a potential malpractice claim.
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Judge allows Corcoran to appeal denial of habeas corpus

April 1, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Joseph Corcoran, who has been sentenced to death for killing four men in 1997, will be allowed to appeal the denial of his petition for habeas corpus to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Man may not have drug sentence reduced after pleading guilty

March 29, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a defendant’s request to reduce his sentence after he pleaded guilty to distributing crack cocaine. The judges also pointed out concerns with the use of a form order in his case.
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7th Circuit rules against homeowners on quiet title action

March 29, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Hamilton County couple who went into default on their home mortgage loan had the dismissal of their action to quiet title and claims of negligence and unconscionability upheld Friday by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Appeals court tackles sex offender use of social media

March 27, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Two months after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the state’s law prohibiting sex offenders from using certain social media sites, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that Indiana Code 35-42-4-12 violates an Elkhart County man’s First Amendment rights.
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Durham, other guarantors must post collateral on bond

March 19, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that Tim Durham and two other men who promised to indemnify and post collateral on a surety bond issued by Frontier Insurance Co. must post collateral on that bond.
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Judges deny prisoner’s request to appeal without paying fees

March 13, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that he and other prisoners do not need to pay appellate filing and docketing fees, and so a District Court’s certification of appeal is irrelevant.
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7th Circuit again reverses drug sentence for minor role reduction

March 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of a federal charge that he transported drug money will be sentenced a third time after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in a nonprecedential opinion that a resentencing the court ordered in 2010 did not sufficiently consider his minor role compared with conspirators.
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Judges uphold $600k sanction for contempt

March 1, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
After initially vacating a District judge’s $600,000 sanction against SonCo Holdings for contempt of court and remanding it to the lower court for more proceedings, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the sanction Friday. 
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7th Circuit affirms kidnapping and extortion convictions, sentence

March 1, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding no error in the admittance of three photo identifications of a defendant following charges of kidnapping and extortion, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Lamar Sanders’ convictions and 25-year sentence Thursday.
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5 sitting jurists to judge moot court competition Friday

March 1, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of distinguished judges, including one from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, will be on hand Friday evening to hear final arguments in a case involving judicial recusal and eminent domain as part of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law Sherman Minton Moot Court Competition.
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Bankruptcy ruling locks out insiders

February 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
A recent bankruptcy appeal tossing an Indianapolis shopping center’s reorganization plan further establishes that the control of equity in Chapter 11 cases will be subject to competitive bidding and that insiders might be out of luck.
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Circuit Court rules utility contract falls in state jurisdiction

February 22, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A dispute between a power generator and an electricity wholesaler should be heard in the state court, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled after finding the central issues did not arise under federal law.
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High-priced Chicago firm handling Durham’s appeal pro bono

February 21, 2013
Scott Olson
Just because Tim Durham isn’t paying a lawyer to handle the appeal of his 50-year federal prison sentence doesn’t mean he’s getting shortchanged.
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7th Circuit rejects hospital's claims for $20M more in federal aid

February 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Columbus Regional Hospital, which was flooded following heavy rains in southern Indiana in 2008, is not entitled to an additional $20 million in disaster relief funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in addition to the $70 million it already received, the 7th Circuit concluded Wednesday.
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7th Circuit Bar seeks Indiana attorneys to honor

February 18, 2013
IL Staff
Each year, the 7th Circuit Bar Association honors members of the legal profession for their pro bono and public service work who are from the host state of the association’s annual meeting. Indiana is hosting the meeting May 5-7 in Indianapolis.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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