Court opinions

7th Circuit orders lower court to consider a minor participant reduction

October 13, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a man’s lengthy sentence for transporting drug money because the District Court needs to determine whether the man should receive a minor participant reduction since he only transported money one time.
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Justices side with casinos' interests on card counters, problem gambling losses

October 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has given state casinos a double win, strengthening their rights by saying they can exclude card counters and holding that pathological gamblers can’t recover damages stemming from gambling losses as long as the casinos are following state regulations.
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Pending dissolution settlement not enforceable upon a party's death

October 12, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
A property-settlement document is not an enforceable contract if one of the parties dies before the dissolution action is finalized, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Actual notice denies bona fide purchaser defense

October 12, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
The Indiana Court of Appeals today reversed an interlocutory order and remanded for the trial court to grant prejudgment possession of farm equipment to a company that had security interest in it even though it had been traded to another company.
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Court cuts $42.4 million state back pay award

October 8, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals today significantly slashed a $42.4 million damages award against the state, cutting the period from which employees can recover back pay from 20 years to about two months.
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COA rules on military benefits to former spouses

October 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Ruling on the issue for the first time, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held that a military spouse may not, by a post-decree waiver of retirement pay in favor of disability benefits or combat-related special compensation, unilaterally and voluntarily reduce the benefits awarded to the former spouse in a dissolution decree.
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Judge: Girls' basketball games schedule not discriminatory

October 7, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge has ruled that 14 school corporations haven’t discriminated against girls’ basketball teams by scheduling more of their games on weeknights instead of weekends as compared to boys’ basketball games.
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Court affirms, denies challenge to DNA evidence, new mid-trial witness

October 6, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
The Court of Appeals today affirmed a man’s convictions and sentence for felony robbery despite his challenge to whether the trial court properly admitted DNA evidence and allowed the testimony of a witness discovered mid-trial.
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Supreme Court reverses parental-rights termination

October 5, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
The Indiana Supreme Court reversed a father’s involuntary termination of parental rights today, noting the lack of clear and convincing evidence.
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COA affirms murder conviction, sentence of 14-year-old

October 5, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
When asked whether the conviction of and sentence for felony murder were appropriate findings for a 14-year-old offender, the Indiana Court of Appeals today affirmed the Marion Superior Court’s decision.
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Supreme Court to rule on priority rights on liens

October 4, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court took a case from the Indiana Court of Appeals involving strict foreclosure in which the lower appellate court adopted the reasoning from a federal case to determine priority rights on liens.
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COA: Traffic stop allowed in private parking lot

October 4, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the denial of man’s motion to suppress, finding Indiana Code doesn’t bar law enforcement from investigating violations in private parking lots even if there isn’t a contractual agreement with the property owner to allow officers to enforce traffic ordinances.
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High court divided on faulty workmanship coverage under CGL policy

October 1, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The high court split on whether an “occurrence” under a commercial general liability policy covers an insured contract for faulty workmanship of its subcontractor.
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Majority: warrantless car search OK under automobile exception

October 1, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Fourth Amendment doesn’t prohibit a warrantless search of an operational car found in a public place if police have probable cause to believe the car contains evidence of a crime, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
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News Update: Justices rule in favor of casinos

October 1, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has given state casinos a double win, strengthening their rights by saying they can exclude card-counters and that problem gamblers can’t recover damages stemming from gambling losses as long as the casinos are following state regulations.
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Court of Appeals upholds Miller estate decision

September 30, 2010
Kathleen McLaughlin
The Indiana Court of Appeals has sided with former Columbus, Ind., banker Will Miller in an estate battle launched by his older brother, Hugh.
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Justices rule in favor of casinos

September 30, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has given casinos a double win today, saying the businesses can ban card-counting and also that state statute doesn’t allow patrons to recover for losses they might incur because of problem gambling.
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Pre-trial ID of attacker allowed at trial

September 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The trial court didn’t err in allowing a victim’s pre-trial identification of his attacker, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today in a matter of first impression.
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First impression case on mouthpieces as 'foreign substance'

September 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression, a portable breath test mouthpiece isn’t a foreign substance that will act to invalidate the results of a blood alcohol content Datamaster chemical breath test, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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High court orders new murder trial

September 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court overturned a Fulton County man’s murder sentence because a detective continued with the interview even after the man invoked his right to counsel several times.
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Vested employer-provided health-insurance premiums are an asset

September 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court held that employer-provided health-insurance benefits constitute an asset once they have vested in a party to the marriage, and addressed for the first time the possible methods of valuing these benefits in marriage dissolution. This conclusion led one justice to dissent because it disrupts existing dissolution property division law.
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Supreme Court affirms sexually violent predator status

September 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A man’s challenge to the finding that he is a sexually violent predator failed because the invited error doctrine precludes consideration of his claims on appeal, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.
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Justices remand to see if defendant had accurate interpreting

September 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ordered the post-conviction court to hold a new hearing for a Mexican man who claimed he didn’t mean to plead guilty to two felonies and did so only because of faulty interpreting in court.
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Majority orders new requirement for pro se defendants with little guidance

September 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Three Indiana Supreme Court justices created a new requirement as an exercise of supervisory powers when it comes to informing future defendants about the dangers of proceeding pro se, leaving two justices to dissent because the new requirement provides no guidance as to what trial courts must do or say.
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Court: team-building activity not under insured conditions

September 28, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
The Indiana Court of Appeals today affirmed summary judgment in favor of an insurance company, noting a soccer team’s accident while traveling to an activity outside of the trip’s purpose was not covered.
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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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