Judge Melissa S. May

COA reverses and remands CHINS finding regarding stepfather

February 15, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
After the juvenile court adjudicated two minor children as children in need of services following their mother’s admission to allegations filed by the Indiana Department of Child Services, the majority of a Court of Appeals panel today reversed and remanded that finding in favor of the stepfather, who denied the allegations and asked for a fact-finding hearing. One Court of Appeals judge dissented, writing that she disagreed that the trial court violated the stepfather’s right to due process in this case.
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Judges: DNA admittance was harmless error

December 17, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals addressed for the first time today the admissibility of DNA evidence when a defendant can’t be excluded from a possibly infinite number of people matching the crime-scene DNA.
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COA divided on dismissal of OWI charges

December 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split on whether a defendant’s operating while intoxicated charges should have been dismissed because the charging information didn’t let the man know what vehicle he needed to defend against operating.
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Appellate court to hear arguments in Fishers

December 9, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals hits the road Friday to visit Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers for oral arguments in an interlocutory appeal involving the denial of a motion to suppress.
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Opinion regarding insurance company considers definition of ‘ever’

November 24, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
An Indiana Court of Appeals panel was split in an opinion released today that considered the definition of “ever” on a home insurance application when it came to whether the homeowners insurance coverage was ever “declined, cancelled, or non-renewed.”
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All judges up for retention to stay on bench

November 3, 2010
IL Staff
The 11 judges up for retention this year – including five on the Indiana Court of Appeals – will remain on the bench.
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State bar releases results of COA retention survey

October 13, 2010
IL Staff
If the results of the Indiana State Bar Association’s 2010 Judicial Retention Poll are any indicator of next month’s election, then the five Indiana Court of Appeals judges up for a vote will be easily retained.
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5 Court of Appeals judges up for retention

October 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
One third of the Indiana Court of Appeals judges face a retention vote this year. Read the judges’ answers to questions posed by Indiana Lawyer.
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COA panels divided on attorney's fees under AWDA

August 18, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Nearly a month after an Indiana Court of Appeals panel ruled attorney's fees aren’t recoverable under the Adult Wrongful Death Act in a matter of first impression, another panel unanimously ruled they are recoverable.
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Court declines to review commitment cases differently

July 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined Thursday to change how it reviews cases dealing with involuntary commitment.
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Court rules on first impression 'alibi' witness issue

July 13, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred in excluding testimony of a defendant’s witnesses on the ground they were alibi witnesses, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today in an issue of first impression.
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COA reverses modification of juvenile's probation

June 16, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the order to send a juvenile to prison because the state didn’t present any evidence to support alleged probation violations to justify the placement modification.
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5 appeals judges up for retention

June 3, 2010
Michael HoskinsMore

Dissent: new issues can be raised in response

October 9, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Parties shouldn't be allowed to raise arguments for the first time in response to a rehearing petition before an appellate court, an Indiana Court of Appeals judge wrote in disagreeing with two of her colleagues.
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COA: findings don't support attorney fees

September 28, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals remanded a case today involving attorney fees - the appellate court questioned whether the Indiana High School Athletic Association was trying to dissuade appeals by athletes - because the findings of the case currently don't support the judgment.
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COA says voter I.D. law unconstitutional

September 17, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has tossed out the state's 4-year-old voter identification law as unconstitutional, bringing new attention to a statute that has been upheld by the nation's highest court.
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Instant offense considered 'unrelated' per statute

August 28, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The trial court was correct in interpreting the state's habitual offender statute to include an instant conviction as one of the "unrelated" convictions referred to in the statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Judge to throw out first pitch at pro bono night

July 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Melissa May will throw out the first pitch tonight at a Gary baseball game at which attorneys will be honored for their pro bono work.
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COA: Dog sniff requires reasonable suspicion

July 14, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Analyzing the issue for the first time, the Indiana Court of Appeals today determined reasonable suspicion is needed to conduct a drug-detecting dog sniff of a private residence. Even though the state didn't argue the police had reasonable suspicion, it established the officers relied on the warrant executed after the sniff in good faith.
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Judges differ in interpretation of earlier ruling

December 31, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed today as to whether a man's convictions of attempted sexual misconduct with a minor and attempted dissemination of matter harmful to minors should be reversed because his intended victim was actually a police officer conducting an online sting operation.
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Mom's promoting prostitution sentence stands

December 30, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the 17-year sentence for a woman convicted of prostituting her daughter, finding her sentence was appropriate and that an even longer sentence could be justified.
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Judges differ on insurance coverage

December 18, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed about whether a school bus driver who also worked as an independent farmer over the summer should be covered by the school corporation's insurance following a car accident while hauling grain.
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Estate must be reimbursed for funeral expenses

September 18, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a trial court's approval of money received in a wrongful death suit of an Indianapolis attorney to be used to reimburse his estate for funeral and burial expenses.
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  1. IF the Right to Vote is indeed a Right, then it is a RIGHT. That is the same for ALL eligible and properly registered voters. And this is, being able to cast one's vote - until the minute before the polls close in one's assigned precinct. NOT days before by absentee ballot, and NOT 9 miles from one's house (where it might be a burden to get to in time). I personally wait until the last minute to get in line. Because you never know what happens. THAT is my right, and that is Mr. Valenti's. If it is truly so horrible to let him on school grounds (exactly how many children are harmed by those required to register, on school grounds, on election day - seriously!), then move the polling place to a different location. For ALL voters in that precinct. Problem solved.

  2. "associates are becoming more mercenary. The path to partnership has become longer and more difficult so they are chasing short-term gains like high compensation." GOOD FOR THEM! HELL THERE OUGHT TO BE A UNION!

  3. Let's be honest. A glut of lawyers out there, because law schools have overproduced them. Law schools dont care, and big law loves it. So the firms can afford to underpay them. Typical capitalist situation. Wages have grown slowly for entry level lawyers the past 25 years it seems. Just like the rest of our economy. Might as well become a welder. Oh and the big money is mostly reserved for those who can log huge hours and will cut corners to get things handled. More capitalist joy. So the answer coming from the experts is to "capitalize" more competition from nonlawyers, and robots. ie "expert systems." One even hears talk of "offshoring" some legal work. thus undercutting the workers even more. And they wonder why people have been pulling for Bernie and Trump. Hello fools, it's not just the "working class" it's the overly educated suffering too.

  4. And with a whimpering hissy fit the charade came to an end ... http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2016/07/27/all-charges-dropped-against-all-remaining-officers-in-freddie-gray-case/ WHISTLEBLOWERS are needed more than ever in a time such as this ... when politics trump justice and emotions trump reason. Blue Lives Matter.

  5. "pedigree"? I never knew that in order to become a successful or, for that matter, a talented attorney, one needs to have come from good stock. What should raise eyebrows even more than the starting associates' pay at this firm (and ones like it) is the belief systems they subscribe to re who is and isn't "fit" to practice law with them. Incredible the arrogance that exists throughout the practice of law in this country, especially at firms like this one.

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