Court opinions

AG to appeal secretary of state ineligibility case

December 27, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller will appeal on behalf of the Indiana Recount Commission the decision by a judge that found Secretary of State Charlie White ineligible to run for office.
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Appeal planned on judge's order to remove secretary of state

December 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Marion Circuit Judge Lou Rosenberg ruled Wednesday that Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White was ineligible to be a candidate for the state office in the November 2010 election because he allegedly committed voter fraud. Now, an appeal is being planned and many believe the case is on a fast-track to the state’s highest court.
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Justices to consider certified question on municipal reorganization

December 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted a certified question from a federal judge in Indianapolis that asks whether a township can reorganize into a city in a way that deprives some residents of their statutory rights to vote for mayor and city council.
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7th Circuit rules school provided appropriate public education

December 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Hamilton Southeastern Schools has prevailed on appeal that it does not have to reimburse two parents for their son’s special education at another institution because they claimed the school system wasn’t providing a free appropriate education to their son, who had a traumatic brain injury.
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7th Circuit allows Indiana to enforce ban on out-of-state robo-calls

December 22, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Indiana is allowed to enforce the statute that restricts out-of-state robo-calls while an appeal on the issue is ongoing.
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Judge upholds Delaware County smoking ban

December 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Delaware Circuit Judge Marianne Vorhees refused to strike down an ordinance passed this summer by the county commissioners that enhanced the county’s smoking ban by prohibiting smoking in bars and private clubs. In her ruling Wednesday, she said those who are unhappy with the ordinance should use the political process to try to change it.
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Court upholds finding man committed crime of domestic violence

December 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the finding that a defendant committed a crime of domestic violence, which then made it illegal for him to possess a firearm in the future. The judges determined there was enough evidence to support the finding that the defendant and the victim were in a dating relationship, a key element in the charge.
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Justices suspend attorney for 18 months

December 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Three Indiana justices decided that an attorney deserved an 18-month suspension for violating four rules of Professional Conduct, including charging an unreasonable fee. Justice Steven David didn’t participate in the case and Justice Robert Rucker believed the attorney only violated three of the rules and deserved a shorter suspension.
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Marsh wins $19.5M judgment against Roche

December 20, 2011
Scott Olson
A Hamilton Superior judge has awarded Marsh Supermarkets Inc. a total of $19.5 million in damages in a soured sublease deal with Swiss pharmaceutical- and medical-equipment-maker Roche.
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Traffic judge's 60-day suspension begins next week

December 20, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Hammond City Court Judge Jeffrey A. Harkin will begin serving his 60-day unpaid suspension on Dec. 27 as a result of an agreement he reached with the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications and approved by the state’s highest court.
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Federal incarceration doesn't count toward speedy trial clock

December 20, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a Marion Superior judge’s decision not to dismiss charges against a man who alleged his constitutional right to a speedy trial was violated because the state didn’t bring his case to trial within a year, as required by Rule 4(C) of the Indiana Rules of Criminal Procedure.
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In issue of first impression, COA reverses union decision

December 20, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Following denials from a union officer, three union panels and a trial court, three former union employees successfully convinced the Indiana Court of Appeals that they are entitled to payment for their accrued vacation time. But the COA opinion was not unanimous.
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Judges uphold man's convictions, enhanced sentence

December 20, 2011
Michael Hoskins

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions of and sentence for a man on multiple drug charges, finding that the Lake Superior judge didn’t err by enhancing the man’s sentence because he is a habitual offender.

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Federal Circuit hears judges' pay case

December 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A federal appellate court heard arguments Friday in a case that could ultimately decide if Congress has the authority to withhold judicial pay increases as it’s done in the past or whether cost-of-living adjustments are required.
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COA affirms arbitration opinion on rehearing

December 19, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Rehearing a case at the request of the appellant, the Indiana Court of Appeals reaffirmed its original opinion that trustees are not bound by an arbitration clause that was signed by predecessors.
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Appeals court sides with estate of contractor killed on the job

December 19, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled an employer was liable for the safety of a subcontractor who fell from a ladder and sustained a fatal injury.
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In first impression ruling, COA reverses trial court on illegal search

December 16, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a police officer went one step too far when he opened a pill bottle he found in a man’s pocket.
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Justices rule man not disenfranchised under the Infamous Crimes Clause

December 15, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court hesitantly answered Thursday a certified question from the federal court as to whether misdemeanor battery is an “infamous crime” under Article II, Section 8 of the Indiana Constitution.
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7th Circuit affirms dismissal of plaintiffs

December 15, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals could rule on the dismissal of multiple plaintiffs from a civil rights and breach of contract lawsuit, the appellate court had to determine if it had jurisdiction to rule on the plaintiffs’ appeal.
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Woman loses appeal for overtime pay

December 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A sewing manager who sued her former employer to obtain overtime pay for work she did before her shift started lost her appeal because the employer didn’t know that she was working prior to her shift, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Evidence properly admitted under independent source doctrine

December 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found no plain error in a District Court’s decision to admit evidence of a telephone number on a defendant’s cell phone in 2007 at the man’s trial several years later.
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Judges reverse termination of parents' rights

December 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a case filled with several errors and discrepancies, the Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the termination of parental rights of a mother and two fathers because the Department of Child Services failed to meet the burden of proving that termination is in the best interest of the children.
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Judge won't allow auto-dialer statute enforcement during appeal

December 13, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Balancing free speech rights with the public interest in preventing automated political calls from out-of-state entities, U.S. Judge William Lawrence in Indianapolis denied the state’s request to continue enforcing Indiana’s auto-dialer statute while a higher court is considering his ruling from two months ago that blocked enforcement.
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Justices: emotional distress actions not barred

December 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court held Tuesday that separate actions by parents seeking damages for emotional distress from experiencing the stillbirth of their child are not barred by the Indiana Child Wrongful Death Act or the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act.
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COA rules on right of first refusal issue

December 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that the right of first refusal set forth in a purchase agreement of land between neighbors could only be exercised between the two neighbors and didn’t apply to the sale of land by an estate.
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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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