Indiana Trial Courts

Right to equal access at center of federal lawsuit

January 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A courtroom spectator’s persistent requests to two trial courts for an interpreter raises questions of how accessible Indiana courts should be for people who have disabilities as well as how much control the state judiciary has over local judges.
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Commission: Suspend Judge Kimberly Brown

January 7, 2014
Dave Stafford
Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown circumvented the three-judge panel that heard her disciplinary case with a direct appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court, the presiding judge said in striking her last-minute apology and an affidavit in her support from former Justice Frank Sullivan.
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Remove Judge Kimberly Brown, special masters recommend

December 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown should be removed from the bench, a panel of three special masters has recommended to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Humvee maker, defense giant BAE wrangle over $277M judgment

December 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
A dispute over the true cost of Humvee body armor rushed to the battlefield in the deadliest days of the Iraq war has resulted in a court battle that includes suggestions that one of the world’s top defense contractors may have serious business problems as it argues against posting full security for a $277 million judgment.
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Marion Superior Judge Brown’s discipline case likely one for the record books

November 20, 2013
Dave Stafford
The 47-count case against a Marion Superior judge appears to be the most voluminous judicial discipline proceeding in the state’s history, according to people familiar with the case and matters of judicial discipline.
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Courts to allow cameras for National Adoption Day

November 14, 2013
IL Staff
Selected courts around Indiana have been granted permission through an order of the Indiana Supreme Court to allow cameras to record and broadcast events in observation of National Adoption Day.
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Delayed jail releases common, says witness in judge’s discipline case

November 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
A senior judge who presided in a Marion Superior criminal court for more than a dozen years testified Friday that delayed releases of defendants from jail are a problem with the county’s entire judicial system and not limited to the court of a judge facing discipline for that and other charges.
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Judge denies Brizzi’s bid for gag order in malpractice suit

November 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
A judge Tuesday denied former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi’s request for a gag order in the legal malpractice claim filed against him by defrocked Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White.
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Filings continue to drop, as does funding for Indiana courts

November 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
A sharp decline in infraction and ordinance-violation cases is among factors that resulted in courts around the state collecting considerably less revenue, according to data released in the annual Judicial Service Reports.
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County official puts Indiana's expungement statute on trial

November 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
Morgan County Prosecutor Steve Sonnega has heard the criticism that he’s on the wrong side of the law when he argues that Indiana’s expungement statute is unconstitutional. But he insists he’s right.
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Finney: Is trial technology a reasonable and necessary expense?

November 6, 2013
Deanna Finney
A recent decision from the Nevada District Court, Clark County, demonstrated that technology at trial is a valued component and not merely a dog-and-pony show. The dispute at hand centered upon unpaid expenses for trial technology that had been deemed as not a “reasonable and necessary” expense.
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Surrogate: Clients lost fees paid to attorney who fled

October 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
As many as 80 clients of a Kokomo attorney may have pre-paid for bankruptcy petitions that the attorney failed to file before leaving the country, according to the lawyer appointed to wind down the practice.
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Surrogate handling missing Kokomo attorney’s files

October 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
Kokomo attorney Bradley Hamilton has been missing more than a month, leaving behind numerous unrepresented clients.
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Zoeller moves to strike Ritz’s suit against Board of Education

October 24, 2013
Dave Stafford
Attorney General Greg Zoeller Thursday asked a court to throw out a lawsuit filed by Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz against the Indiana Board of Education.
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South Bend nudity case goes from Supreme Court to the stage

October 23, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Following the completion of arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States, Indiana attorney Wayne Uhl found himself in a gaggle of reporters on the outside plaza. The 1991 case with its questions about nude dancing, pasties, G-strings and First Amendment rights had, not surprisingly, attracted national media interest.
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Marion Superior judge faces week-long disciplinary case

October 21, 2013
Dave Stafford
A week-long hearing has been set in the disciplinary case against a Marion Superior judge who now faces 47 counts alleging she violated Rules of Judicial Conduct.
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IMPD officer Bisard trial begins in Fort Wayne

October 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Jury selection began Monday in the trial of an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer accused of driving while intoxicated, leading to an accident that killed one motorcyclist and injured two others in 2010. David Bisard’s trial was moved to Allen County due to pre-trial publicity.
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Innovative court programs get funding support from Indiana Supreme Court

September 4, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has awarded more than $450,000 in court reform grants for the 2013-2014 grant cycle.
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Shuai pleads guilty to lesser charge, is freed

August 2, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Chinese immigrant who tried to kill herself by consuming rat poison and was charged with murder and attempted feticide days later when her newborn daughter died pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of criminal recklessness, a Class B misdemeanor.
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Marion County probation ending transportation for community service work

August 2, 2013
Dave Stafford
Criminal defendants ordered to perform community service work will have to get to their destinations without a ride from the Marion County Probation Department as the result of a program change adopted Friday.
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No-phone zones might be called for in Indy courts

July 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
Judges in Marion County were rightly troubled recently by multiple instances of cellphone video taken in court winding up online, which included secretly recorded video of a criminal informant’s testimony.
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Dispute over bail bonds likely to produce a legislative solution

July 31, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Growing tension between the bench and bail bond agents has been shoved into the spotlight at the Statehouse and could be the subject of bills introduced during the 2014 session of the Indiana General Assembly.
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Judge issues gag order in Bei Bei Shuai case

July 29, 2013
Dave Stafford
The judge in the case of a woman charged with murder and attempted feticide in the death of her newborn daughter on Friday ordered prosecutors, defense attorneys and others involved in the case not to speak about it outside court.
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Judges formalize reaffirmation of City-County Building firearms ban

July 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
Marion County judges on Friday formally reaffirmed a 2007 policy banning firearms from the City-County Building. Law-enforcement personnel and judicial officers are exempt from the prohibition.
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Lawyer accused of staging shooting avoids trial

July 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
A southern Indiana attorney accused of staging his shooting a little more than a year ago will avoid a trial that had been scheduled to begin Wednesday. The attorney will enter a guilty plea next month, but attorneys involved with the case said they won’t disclose details.
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  1. Bill Satterlee is, indeed, a true jazz aficionado. Part of my legal career was spent as an associate attorney with Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans in Valparaiso. Bill was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing me to jazz music, thereby fostering my love for this genre. We would, occasionally, travel to Chicago on weekends and sit in on some outstanding jazz sessions at Andy's on Hubbard Street. Had it not been for Bill's love of jazz music, I never would have had the good fortune of hearing it played live at Andy's. And, most likely, I might never have begun listening to it as much as I do. Thanks, Bill.

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  3. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  4. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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