Court opinions

Man's murder sentence upheld in abduction slaying

June 11, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of murder in Allen County will continue to serve a 65-year sentence after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that the callousness of the crime merited the consideration of numerous aggravators.
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Drug dealing, possession convictions upheld again

June 11, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld on rehearing a Clark County man’s convictions of drug dealing and possession, among other charges.
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COA: Sex offender registration statute not unconstitutional

June 11, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals held that a man who was convicted of violating requirements of the Indiana sex offender registry statute failed to show evidence of ex post facto law.
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Attempted murder sentence upheld in Martinsville school shooting

June 11, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Martinsville teen who as an eighth-grader shot and seriously wounded a classmate will continue to serve a 35-year sentence with five years suspended for his attempted murder conviction as an adult.
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Appeals court affirms attempted rape conviction

June 8, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man who tried to sexually assault a female co-worker as she slept in her home where he was a guest lost his appeal of an attempted rape conviction Friday.
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COA reverses in favor of FSSA in provider payment dispute

June 8, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals held that a trial court erred in ruling in favor of health care providers regarding payments from the state’s Residential Care Assistance Program.
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Daughter's emancipation upheld; COA advises on forthcoming child-support changes

June 8, 2012
Dave Stafford
A 20-year-old woman will remain emancipated from her divorced parents after the Indiana Court Appeals on Friday upheld a Howard Circuit Court order.
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7th Circuit affirms court in retaliation claim

June 8, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A man who claimed he was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for claiming racial discrimination at his workplace was fired for just cause, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA: Indiana hog farmer’s suit against N.C. operation to proceed

June 7, 2012
Dave Stafford
A North Carolina commercial hog operation must face an Indiana farmer’s claims of nuisance, negligence and trespass after an intentionally introduced, highly contagious virus infected his neighboring herd, causing damages in excess of $275,000.
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Appeals court affirms admission of victim video in molestation trial

June 7, 2012
Dave Stafford
St. Joseph Probate Court did not err when it allowed videotaped evidence of a child molesting victim to be presented at the fact-finding hearing of a minor who subsequently was placed at the Indiana Boys School.
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COA finds court made several errors in sentencing

June 6, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A trial court erred in sentencing a man who was on probation for one offense when he committed another, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Termination of father's parental rights upheld on appeal

June 6, 2012
Dave Stafford
A father with a history of incarceration and substance abuse properly had his parental rights to his four minor children terminated, an Indiana Court of Appeals panel ruled Wednesday.
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Appeals court affirms dismissal of suit against Nappanee in near-drowning

June 6, 2012
Dave Stafford
The city of Nappanee was not negligent and didn’t breach its duty of care when a 5-year-old boy required CPR after lifeguards rescued the child as he floated face-down in a city pool, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Revocation of probation was court error

June 5, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A trial court erred when it revoked a man’s probation, because it failed to consider several factors before issuing that order, Indiana’s Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA holds omission of 'voluntary' was not an error

June 5, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s decision to refuse a man’s tendered jury instructions.
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Rolls-Royce must answer federal whistleblower suit on military engines

June 5, 2012
Dave Stafford
Rolls-Royce must answer whistleblowers’ allegations that the company violated manufacturing standards, concealed defects in military aircraft engines, and retaliated against workers who raised concerns, a federal judge ruled Monday.
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SCOTUS rules in favor of Indianapolis in sewer dispute

June 4, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Monday that the city of Indianapolis did not violate the Federal Equal Protection Clause when it refused to refund money to residents who paid the in-full assessment up front for sewer work.
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Tax Court denies bid to dismiss medical supplier's refund suit

June 4, 2012
Dave Stafford
A medical supplier’s lawsuit seeking a refund of sales taxes its customers paid to purchase dialysis equipment will go forward, the Indiana Tax Court ruled.
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7th Circuit affirms lower court in elaborate mortgage fraud case

June 1, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a District Court’s conviction and sentence for a man who defrauded buyers and lenders in northern Indiana.
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Appeals court upholds motion to correct error, voiding Elkhart tax deed

June 1, 2012
Dave Stafford
An Alabama company that purchased a property at a tax sale in Elkhart but subsequently failed to pay property taxes did not receive adequate notice that the city was seeking a tax deed on the property, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Defendants' drug sentences ineligible for reduction

May 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the sentences of six members of a Gary street gang for various crack cocaine and other offenses, finding none of the men are eligible to have their sentences reduced based on the retroactive crack cocaine amendments to the sentencing guidelines.
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Court rules on inclusion of survivor benefits in child support obligation

May 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was faced with a situation not specifically addressed in the Child Support Guidelines and Commentary or in any Indiana case – whether Social Security survivor benefits paid to children due to the death of a custodial parent’s subsequent spouse are or should be included in the custodial parent’s weekly gross income.
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Woman's claim fails under modified impact and bystander rules

May 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The woman who sued a northern Indiana lawyer and his law firm for not filing her lawsuit against a school district following the discovery that her grandson was sexually abused by a teacher’s assistant lost her appeal.
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Judges order trial in drunk driving case

May 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the partial denial of a defendant’s motion to suppress evidence, finding that the trial court properly determined that the evidence seized by the uniform on-duty police officers shouldn’t be suppressed pursuant to the exclusionary rule.
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Pool's owner did not breach any duty owed to boy

May 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a jury verdict in favor of the owner of a pool in a lawsuit filed by the father of a young boy who drowned in the pool. The appellate court found the trial court did not abuse its discretion in giving certain jury instructions.
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  1. 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)

  2. "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.

  3. 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.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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